Words in Motion: No gift of hate


“I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know,” wrote Antoine Leiris, who lost his wife Helene in the Bataclan theatre in Paris. “You are lost souls.”

Great writing full of defiance against terrorism has emerged from survivors of the Paris attacks, but Leiris’s is among the best.  Several days after his Facebook post went viral, Leiris read out his letter in a segment taped by the BBC.

“I won’t give you the gift of hating you . . . . Of course I’m devastated with grief – I will give you that tiny victory.  But it will be a short-term grief.”

He writes that his 17-month-old son Melvil will go on as normal: “And every day of his life, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom, because you don’t have his hatred either.”


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