Robert Desnos

1900 (Paris) – 1945 (Theresienstadt, now Terezin, Czech Republic)

Desnos befriended Limbour, Péret and Vitrac, but while they engaged in Dada activities, he was still doing military service. Breton said he embodied the true spirit of literary surrealism, and collaborated on a play with him and Péret. Bataille published his writing after Breton (characteristically) excluded him from the official surrealist group. Milhaud and Honegger set his words to music. Desnos claimed Duchamp’s alter ego had dictated his 199 puns, and intervened to get Artaud given ECT treatment. Barrault wrote to him when he was a prisoner of the Nazis in Buchenwald, en route to Terezin, where he died of typhoid.