El Pulpo died in Cambridge. England, on 24 March 2002. He was born in Bahia Blanca, Argentina, in 1927. His father, Lazaro Milstein, born in a village in the Ukraine, arrived in Argentina in 1913. For many years he lived in the Jewish settlements near Bahia Blanca, trying his hand at a variety of trades: farm labourer, railway worker, French polisher. He was a member of Jewish anarchist youth groups and helped set up an amalgamated trades union and a library and up until he died was active in the AJR. Cesar’s mother was a teacher in Bahia Blanca.
Cesar was educated in Bahia Blanca and later at the University of Buenos Aires, taking a degree in the exact and natural sciences. Under Peron’s rule, he was active in the student opposition. In 1953 he and his wife Celia left on a tour of Europe, attending a congress in Paris of the IWA or, possibly, the CNT in exile.
After Peron’s downfall La Protesta resumed publication and Cesar was on the editorial team. In 1956-57 he took a doctorate on a scholarship from the British Council and in 1958 moved to Cambridge. In 1961 he returned to Buenos Aires to work at the Instituto Malbrán, only to be obliged to leave the country again on political grounds in 1963.
Returning to Cambridge, he joined the molecular biology laboratory at the Medical Research Council. Working with the German biologist George Koehler, he was to make the discovery that earned him a Nobel prize in 1984.
Translated by: Paul Sharkey.