Jacobo Timerman was one of the most well-known “desaparecidos” of the regime. Born in the Ukraine, Timerman founded and directed the newspaper La Opinión. He was one of the few journalists who dared to print editorials questioning the human rights records of the junta and stories detailing disappearances.
The Meyers and the Timermans had been close friends prior to the 1976 coup and the terrible events that followed it. Jacobo was often found at the late-night dinner parties for which the Meyers were famous. Although a secular Jew, Jacobo gravitated to Marshall’s obstreperous personality, keen mind, and engaging discourse, often referring to Marshall endearingly as “mi rabino.”
On April 15, 1977, a little more than a year after the coup, Jacobo was “disappeared,” held incommunicado, and repeatedly tortured. In his best-selling book, Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number, which he dedicated to Marshall Meyer, Timerman details the anti-Semitic hatred that was institutionalized in the military hierarchy and that often provoked particularly harsh treatment of Jewish prisoners. Like hundreds of others who were detained, Timerman saw Nazi symbols and swastikas and was verbally abused for being a Jew. He was released under house arrest, then stripped of his Argentine citizenship, and forced to emigrate to Israel. Although exiled, Jacobo continued to speak out against the human rights crimes and abuses perpetrated by the military.