Joseph Joanovici

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Joseph Joanovici, also spelled Joinovici (1905 ? – 1965) was a French Jewish iron supplier, who supplied both Nazi Germany and the French Resistance. He may also have been an agent of the Soviet Comintern. His activities made him a millionaire, but in 1949 he was found guilty of collaboration and sentenced to a prison term. In January 1958 he escaped from France to Israel after he was suspected of fraud. His request to naturalize in Israel under the law of return was denied under the clause of having a criminal past and in December 1958 he was returned to France. There he was acquitted from most of the charges against him and was finally sentenced to one year in prison. He was released in 1962 due to health problems, and died penniless in 1965.

Many details of his life are still mysterious today.




  • Philippe Bernert, Roger Wybot et la bataille pour la DST
  • L'étrange Monsieur Joseph (Joseph Joanovici) by Alphonse Boudard, édition Robert Laffont, Paris, 1998 - it was adapted as a TV film of the same name, directed by Josée Dayan from a script by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, with Roger Hanin as Joseph Joanovici, 2001, which was criticised for what was perceived as an over-sympathetic portrayal of Joanovici.
  • (graphic novel) Il était une fois en France, "L'empire de Monsieur Joseph" (i.e. volume I), by Fabien Nury and Sylvain Vallée, Glénat 2007.