Maryse Wolinski, whose partner Georges was killed in the Charlie Hebdo attack, talks about the tones he left behind and the questions that there is a need answering

On Maryse Wolinskis bathroom wall, beside the shelves of hairbrushes and perfume bottles, an orange Post-it note is starting to curl. Written in artful capital letter, the theme on it speaks, Darling, after a small couscous at Nassers, Im going to bed, thinking about your cute smile. Good night, G.

The note was written by cartoonist Georges Wolinski. A few months ago, his widow Maryse carefully packed it and other mentions from her old-time apartment and wreaked them here to her new flat, standing them around her new walls like covers. Outside her bedroom entrance, one read: Good night. Another in her subject supposes, theres some cash in the Filofax and abundance of love behind the tit pocket of my tweed casing. She has envelopes full of what she calls these Post-its damour.

When my husband was here, our Post-its were a kind of marker of desire and tenderness, Wolinski says, sitting in her front room surrounded by framed photographs of him. If he didnt leave a mention out for me, Id find lamentable and say he had to write me one. Now they have taken on this enormous symbolism, because theyre all thats left of him. She arranges up, as if granting herself a pep talk. Im trying to reduce the number of them, because I have to start being serious and reasonable. I have to get on with some kind of life without my husbands gaze.

One of Georgess Post-its damour. Photo: Ed Alcock for the Guardian

On 7 January last year, Georges Wolinski, one of Frances best-known political cartoonists, woke up early and sat at his drawing board, finishing a sketch. He shuffled around their flat on Pariss posh Boulevard Saint-Germain in his black towelling dressing gown, seeming remarkably gloomy as he dunked his buttered toast into milky coffee. He didnt always “re going to the” weekly editorial convene of the sardonic paper Charlie Hebdo, for whom he had gleaned caricatures for more than 40 years, but he was going that morning because the editor, Charb, required everyone there to differentiate the brand-new time with a slice of cake, but mainly to discuss the terrible investments of a article that was rapidly losing readers and funds. Darling, Im going to Charlie, he shouted to his wife as he went out the door. She was in a bathroom towel, getting ready for her period. Two hours later, he was shot dead through the heart.

Two French brothers, Sad and Chrif Kouachi, “whos” brought up in a urban children home and radicalised in Paris, burst into the Charlie Hebdo editorial had met with Kalashnikovs and killed 10 parties in two minutes. Investigates afterwards described the terrifying stench of gunpowder and blood as the bodies of some of Frances most well known cartoonists, household names, lay face down in a cramped editorial meeting room. Charlie Hebdo had activated international resentment where reference is republished the Muhammad caricatures from Danish article Jyllands-Posten in 2006, and had produced its own caricatures of the oracle since. In November 2011, Charlie Hebdos previous parts had been firebombed after it produced a special edition guest-edited by the oracle Muhammad and renamed Charia Hebdo. It had written farther caricatures of Muhammad in 2012, despite a government request not to go ahead, and the closure of embassies and academies in 20 countries out of horror of reprisals.

The Kouachis, who hollered, Weve retaliated the prophet Muhammad, weve killed Charlie Hebdo, also killed a maintenance man and a Muslim police officer outside, before going on the run. In a ludicrous coincidence, they hijacked the car of the Boulevard Saint-Germain newsagent who had sold Wolinski his newspapers that morning. Two days later, their accomplice, Amedy Coulibaly, a former robber, killed four beings in a merciless siege at a kosher supermarket.

Maryse gave Georgess notes back up on her walls after she moved. Image: Ed Alcock for the Guardian

Since the Charlie Hebdo attack, Maryse Wolinski, 72, a columnist , novelist and playwright, has already become Frances public appearance of remorse. Her enraged, outspoken interrogate of national governments and the police has become a regular fixture on French TV. She has criticised what she calls the marvelous state fails that allowed the Charlie Hebdo attack to happen. When, in Novembers arranged attacks on Paris forbids, a boulder gig and “the member states national” stadium, 130 people were killed by French and Belgian gunmen, many of whom had reverted from Syria and were known to the security services, she remarks, My fury merely proliferated. In January, she published a volume, appointed Chrie, Je Vais Charlie after Georgess last words to her, in which she offered her own investigation into the miscarries; she criticised the state for tightening insurance on Charlie Hebdo despite a fatwa on its editor. She too questioned what she saw the insufficient police reply, the failings of intellect and security services to keep track of the known Islamist attackers, and the poorest of the poor care of grieving families.

The French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, insists that the security was adequate and that all that could have been done was done. But, suggests Wolinski, As far as Im concerned, theres a kind of doubled savagery. Theres the brutality of the two attacks, and then theres two seconds savagery in the denial of police flunks. How was this attack possible? Im still asking myself that topic. The police is protecting the offices had been scaled down, despite the French members of parliament and police mentioning an attack on French clay was imminent. There was no prospect of an attack and not enough prevention. The interior minister says there were no neglects. Quite simply, hes lying. And one does wonder why hes lying.

At 80, Georges Wolinski was the oldest cartoonist to expire in the Charlie Hebdo attack. He was a founding member of the publication, after working at its flippant precursor, Hara-Kiri, which was prohibited in 1970 for writing a parody about the death of Charles de Gaulle. But Wolinski, who worked prolifically as a political satirist, cartoonist, advertising illustrator and playwright, mercy almost every newspaper in France, was not known for Muhammad caricatures: there is no evidence of him ever reaping the prophet. Instead, his logo, as his devotees would say, was tits and arse.

He chronicled the post-May 1968 French sexual revolution with pared-down line drawings of the buttocks, tits and groins of rampant girls labour that was later assured by some as macho and sexist. In a famous 1990 s self-portrait, he sat with a cigar as scores of naked dames battled to light-footed it.

Maryse and Georges: I dont know how Im going to live without his gape. Picture: Ed Alcock for the Guardian

Maryse, who was his muse, is still startlingly recognisable as the young woman who gallivants naked through his illustrations. They matched when she was 20, an apprentice at Le Journal du Dimanche, and he was already a successful cartoonist, nine years older. They marriage soon after. He used to call her the young blonde, a label she rebuffed in a 2011 essay, Georges, If Only You Knew, about how maddening some of his saucy pulls “couldve been”, but how ultimately supportive he was. But the young blonde died in the rubble of this attack, she alleges. There will be no more young blondes now.

A vocal feminist, Maryse often publicly took Wolinski to task for his traces. In several notebooks, written as open letters to each other, they dissected the relations between the two countries: his love, her brief affair, their decision to sleep in separate bedrooms to continue the seduction in its relations. He was what Id define as “the worlds largest” male chauvinist of feminists. He always subsidized me in my struggles. But, at the same age, his education and childhood in North Africa made he ever saved something of that time when mortals were particularly macho.

Georges Wolinski was born into a Jewish category in Tunis, and didnt arrived here France until “hes been” 13. He belonged securely to an older generation of French cartoonists. Charb, the 47 -year-old editor of Charlie Hebdo who was under police care, the only French person on an al-Qaida hit list after he described many of the magazines Muhammad cartoons had asked Wolinski to change his approach in recent times, Maryse tells. He missed more politics. She felt her husband seemed uneasy with future directions the magazine was taking, and that he had told the owner of the bistro near his plain that he felt it was going to end badly.

Maryse doesnt know why her husband invested the whole month before the attacks speak about death. It was out of character. In the days before, “hes been” dreary. I thought it was the possible future insolvency of Charlie Hebdo that was worrying him. She said he had told friends, but absolutely no truth to the rumors, that he was concerned about Charlie Hebdo and detected the situation would turn against them. Now she experiences this organization is premonitions.

Wolinskis life had been shaped by demise and savagery. When he was two, “his fathers”, the heads of state of a decorative ironwork companionship, was murdered by individual employees in Tunis with a gunshot to the chief at a time when employees were substantiating in the interests of greater privileges. Wolinski eventually said the killing haunted me my whole life. Soon subsequentlies, his mother left Tunisia for France to be treated for tuberculosis, while he bided behind, raised by his grandparents. He didnt read his mother again for a decade, by which object she had remarried and had another child.

Aged 13, he connected her in Brianon, a mountain city in the Alps, where he embarked attracting caricatures for the school newspaper. He analyzed at a prestigious Paris skill college and acted part-time in a hat plant, before mailing some portrays to the sarcastic paper Hara-Kiri, which recognized his aptitude and hired him. In 1966, his first wife was killed in a auto accident as she drove and he was asleep in the back seat, leaving him alone with their two daughters, aged six and eight. Maryse facilitated promote them, and the daughter they had together, while she worked as a columnist and scribe, growing children narrations , romances and plays. Her main point of pride is that their 47 years of union was a window in his life where “there werent” brutality. Until this, she says.

Georges was not known for Muhammad caricatures. His logo was tits and arse. Picture: Ed Alcock for the Guardian

When Maryse narrates the Charlie Hebdo attack, minute by minute, its as if she is telling it in slow motion. Theres a pause for each fateful moment where occurrences might have been stopped. The gunman had an extraordinary window of opportunity to carry out the two attacks, she pronounces. The periodical should have been better protected.

At around 11.15 am that Wednesday morning, the Kouachi brethren pulled up on rue Nicolas-Appert in Pariss 11 th arrondissement in a black Citron C3. The warren-like building in which Charlie Hebdo had an office on the second flooring had various enters. The magazine had not taken into account a security examine that recommended a raft of measures; instead, they had just an entry system on their opening, on a second-floor corridor. Charlie Hebdo, which had been the subject of countless menaces since was published Muhammad caricatures in 2006, had been under varying degrees of police armour over recent years. But, that day, the police van that had once was regularly parked outside the main enter to the building, alongside a metal police-protection obstruction, was no longer there, amended by replacing rolling patrols that would regularly go by. Maryse accuses a police uniting which, she claims, lobbied against the large riches devoted to protecting Charlie Hebdo. It still builds me enraged, she says.

The Kouachi friends at first couldnt find the right enter. Dressed in pitch-black and carrying AK-4 7s, they went into various different firms in the sprawling house, including a group that provided furnishes for newborn babies, threatening staff members and requesting where Charlie Hebdo was. Returning to the main entryway, they shot dead a maintenance man in front of his horrified colleagues. Between 11.18 and 11.33 am, when the Kouachis finally accessed the publications small-minded, second-floor office and opened fire, there were, according to Maryse, 11 frantic calls to police from parties in and around the building. But she claims that wall street address, although are presented in both the phone book and in the weekly magazine, was not on the police system as Charlie Hebdos spot. She believes this meant that, when the sees came in, police were not immediately aware that it was the periodical that was under strike. Nor, she pronounces, were Charlie Hebdo faculty called and forewarned. Instead, they continued their gratify, with the thick doorway to their places blocking any sound from outside.

The Kouachis eventually convened Coco, a cartoonist, on the stairs and, moment a Kalashnikov at her, manufactured her type out the entrance code to the Charlie Hebdo powers. The brother entered the periodicals minuscule conference room and in two minutes fuelled 34 bullets at close range, leaving 10 dead and 11 wounded, including four seriously.

Maryse Wolinski went to a gymnastics class that morning. Then she had a fulfill and turned off her phone. In a taxi, she swopped it on once again to remind her husband he was to meet her at 4pm to deem a flat, because their landlord has only given them detect to move. I couldnt “understand what youre saying” my phone had so many words on it from people I hadnt appreciated for ages, she answers. She thought about this out loud to the motorist. He asked what her husband did for a living, attracted over and said there had been an attack.

She waited, angst-ridden, at home for report; eventually, it was her son-in-law who told her Georges was dead. She is still hurt that no official or police officer ever announced, which necessitated she didnt amply believe it. The emergency crisis counts were echoing out. She enunciates she was later told that because all police assets had been put into protecting the president, Franois Hollande, and other legislators who were inspecting the site of the attack, There were no police left to call the families. She winces. Its crazy, she says.

Once I knew my husband had been killed, I became altogether haunted with his form. I wanted them to tell me where his form was, but no one could tell me. For two days and nights, she tried to set his corpse and couldnt. Days subsequently, she learned that his form had lain at the scene of the felony that night and been removed to the forensics institute the next day. During that time, she made up her own narrative. He was 80, he had four or five stents, so I told myself he had possibly croaked of a heart attack.

When she afterwards went to see Georgess body in the mortuary, the psychologist said he had the most serene look of any corpse she had seen. He was shot by four missiles, but the first hit him in the aorta, killing him instantaneously. This was important for me and my daughter Elsa, because we feared he had been afraid and abode before expiring. But he still would have watched as they kill Charb. How did he react to that? Its difficult to say, because my husband was a amusing old-fashioned character, and I cant tell. I think he would then be calmly stupefied, altogether dazed. And in that case, you dont move. So he then took a missile and died.

I lived as if Georges had gone off on a trip. I didnt touch anything. Picture: Ed Alcock for the Guardian

When police payed her Georgess possessions his luggage, uniting ring and diary a pen was missing. She thinks he possibly croaked with that write in his hand.

Ten months later, on the night of 13 November, when gunmen killed 130 beings across Paris in three hours, spraying cafe terraces with bullets and firing into the crowd at a concert, Wolinski was in bed listening to the radio. My daughter called and replied, Mum, turn out the radio. I didnt, I impeded listening and my indignation intensified, she articulates. I said to myself, they havent learned the lessons of January its terrifying. Theyre obliging the same mistakes with the families, the partners, the children. It emerged that in the summer, a jihadi returning to France from Syria had told police about gossips between jihadis about attacking a rock-and-roll concert in Europe. She am of the opinion that, like Charlie Hebdo, the Bataclan concert hall was a feelings locate that should have been protected by police. When I heard about all the relatives who had researched for hours for their loved ones before being told they were dead, that increased my craze, she says.

One family of a prey of the November onrushes afterward told how, provide guidance to officials, they had saved vigil for hours by a poorly maimed torso in infirmary, before subsequently discovering it was not their deceased sister but someone else. Pedigrees of the November preys recently leaved indicate to a parliamentary probe on what they deemed the states several lapses, poor help, unanswered disaster phone lines and scarcity of humanity towards them.

After the one-year ceremonies of the Charlie Hebdo murder Wolinski let on a bawl when she saw her husbands name had been misspelled on a plaque she mentions she will continue her own investigations into the attack. Like numerous in France, she assumes there are more terrorist attacks to start. Its not finished yet, she says.

In the first few months after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, she would imagine the filming each night before she went to sleep. But I lived as if Georges had gone off on a trip. I didnt touch anything , not even a jumper on the back of a chair. When she lately moved, she had the substance of his consider, terminated with his drawing board, moved to a museum in central France. But in my wardrobe Ive hung up one of his coats, his hat and a duet of shoes.

She misses the course he used to look at her. I dont know how Im going to live without his gape. Its not very feminist to say that, but thats just how it is. It was a gape that instilled confidence, a love for life. It was very important to me. For years, Georges Wolinski quipped that, when he died, his wife should have him cremated and throw his ashes down the lavatory, so I can see your arse every day. She causes an eyebrow. No, I didnt respect that at all.

Georges was cremated, but his urn was buried in Montparnasse cemetery in Paris, where people still leave pencils, pencils, reaps and heydays. She doesnt crave his tomb decorated in this way, but accepts that people want to remember him. When I go there, I clear it all away, Maryse responds. She favor his marble tomb left for the most area plateau, almost like a blank page. A final chapter, left empty.


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