Stephane Hessel
French diplomat, writer

Stephane Hessel, 95, who survived a Nazi death camp and later became a French diplomat who helped write the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, died Feb. 26 in Paris. He was 95.

Sources in the French government confirmed his death. The cause was not reported.

Fighting with the French resistance during World War II, the German-born Mr. Hessel was arrested by the Gestapo and shipped to the Nazis’ Buchenwald concentration camp in 1944. The day before he was to be hanged, he swapped his identity with another French prisoner who had died of typhus.

As a French diplomat after World War II, Mr. Hessel joined a panel that included former U.S. first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, which wrote the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In a best-selling, 32-page pamphlet he wrote at age 93, Mr. Hessel urged young people to rally against an international lust for money. The booklet, “Time for Outrage,” sold millions of copies in Europe and became a source of inspiration for the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States.

Stephane Hessel, 95, who survived a Nazi death camp and later became a French diplomat who helped write the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, died Feb. 26 in Paris. He was 95. (Francois Mori/AP)

Alvin Breeden
Bluegrass musician

Alvin Breeden, 70, a traditional bluegrass musician from Virginia, died Feb. 26 at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville. The cause of death was not disclosed. A funeral home in Madison, Va., confirmed the death.

Mr. Breeden, who lived in Earlysville, Va., led his band, Alvin Breeden & the Virginia Cutups, and played traditional bluegrass for 30 years before retiring in 2006.

He learned the claw-hammer style of playing banjo from his mother and played professionally by the time he was 16. He played with Ralph Stanley, Don Reno and Jim Orange during his career.

— News services and staff reports