Louis Pauwels, Jacques Bergier

Louis Pauwels, Jacques Bergier

Louis Pauwels (1920 – 1997) was born in Ghent, Belgium. He wrote in many monthly literary French magazines as early as 1946 (including Esprit and Variété) until the 1950s. He participated in the foundation of Travail et Culture (Work and Culture) in 1946 (intended to spread culture to the masses, and of which he was the secretary). In 1948, he joined the work groups of G. I. Gurdjieff for 15 months, until he became editor in chief of Combat in 1949 and editor of the newspaper Paris-Presse.

Pauwels met Jacques Bergier in 1954 while he was the literary director of Bibliothèque Mondiale (World Library). He wrote The Morning of the Magicians in 1960, and in 1970 the interrupted continuation of " The Eternal Man”. Constantly with Bergier (as well as François Richaudeau), he founded the bi-monthly magazine Planète in October 1961 (around 150 pages) that appeared until May 1968 (and would appear again that same year under the title le Nouveau Planète (the New Planet); 64 numbers in total between the two editions). Various studies were researched and published in a collection which the authors called "Encyclopédie Planète" (each volume containing around 250 pages, with around thirty volumes in all). The seventeen "Anthologies Planètes" dedicated to Jacques Sternberg grouped short texts by various authors on a given subject together.


Yakov Mikhailovich Berger, who later adopted the name Jacques Bergier (1912-1978) was born in Odessa. Mikhail Berger, his father, was a Jewish wholesale grocer and his mother, Etlia Krzeminiecka, was a former revolutionary. A grand-uncle of his was a miraculous rabbi and in his autobiography, Je ne suis pas une légende, Bergier says he was a cousin of nuclear physicist George Gamow and of a certain Anatoly, a member of the firing squad that shot Tsar Nicholas II.

He was a gifted child: at two he read his first newspaper and at four he could easily read Russian, French and Hebrew. He was a speed reader (until the end of his life he could read 4 to 10 books per day) and had an eidetic memory. He was a vivacious child, and he told fabulous sounding stories of discussing strategy with generals as well as talking with street prostitutes in Odessa. He never went to school but had private tutors.

In 1920 the Russian Civil War forced the Berger family to take refuge in Etlia's homeland in Krzemeiniec, Northwestern Ukraine. Young Yakov Mikhailovich went to a Talmudic school and he became enthralled with the study of the Kabbalah and its mysteries. Besides that he studied mathematics, physics, German and English. He read everything he could lay hands on, but his favourite reading was science fiction.

In 1925 the family moved to France.

He became an assistant to the noted French atomic physicist André Helbronner who was killed by the Gestapo towards the end of World War II. According to Walter Lang, Bergier was approached by Fulcanelli with a message for Helbronner about man's possible use of nuclear weapons. The meeting took place in June 1937 in a laboratory of the Gas Board in Paris


The Morning of the Magicians
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The Morning of the Magicians

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