Paul Gorguloff

Paul Gorguloff, originally Pavel Timofeyevich Gorgulov (Russian: Павел Тимофеевич Горгулов; June 29, 1895 – September 14, 1932), was a Russian émigré who assassinated French President Paul Doumer at a book fair at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris on May 6, 1932.

Paul Gorguloff
Gorguloff procès trial 1932 BNF Gallica.jpg
Gorguloff (standing) during his trial
Pavel Timofeyevich Gorgulov

June 29, 1895
DiedSeptember 14, 1932 (aged 37)
Cause of deathExecution by guillotine
Criminal statusExecuted
Criminal penaltyCapital punishment

Early lifeEdit

Gorguloff was born in Labinskaya in the Kuban region of Russia. He studied medicine before he served in the First World War in which he was badly wounded in the head. During the Russian Revolution of 1917, he served with the White Russian Army against the Bolsheviks, before emigrating to Prague in Czechoslovakia, where he completed his studies. He was later expelled from Czechoslovakia for practising abortion, which was then illegal.

He moved to Paris and then to Nice, where in 1931, he was again found to be committing illegal medical acts and was threatened with expulsion. He applied for a permit to live in Monaco, which was accepted, and he lived there until 4 May 1932.

Assassination of Paul DoumerEdit

On May 6, 1932, a book fair was being held at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris, and the President of France, Paul Doumer, was present.

Gorguloff arrived at the hotel concealing a Browning FN Model 1910 gun. He then approached the President from behind, pulled out his gun and fired three shots. Two of them hit the President, one in the back of the head and the other in the right armpit. The President fell to the floor. He was rushed to the Beaujon Hospital in Paris but died the next day. One of the authors at the exhibition, Claude Farrère, managed to wrestle with Gorguloff until the police arrived. Gorguloff's motive for the murder was that he believed that France had failed to support the White Movement in Russia against Bolshevism.

Gorguloff was arrested and brought to trial at the Assize Court on 25 July 1932. Two days later, after rejecting the idea that he was insane, the jury condemned Gorguloff to death. On 20 August, the Court of Cassation, France's final appeal court, rejected a defence of insanity. On 14 September, Gorguloff was executed at La Santé prison in Paris by guillotine. His last words were "Россия, моя страна!" ("Russia, my country!"). He was buried at Ivry Cemetery.

The gun used in the assassination is now in the Musée des Collections Historiques de la Préfecture de Police in Paris.

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