Juan Carlos Esteban

Gardel - Final Point

rom the year 2001 until the present, through different media and publications, I have systematically figured out the controversial history of Carlos Gardel's origins. I hope it is time to put an end to it.

Two arguments sustained the presumption of a Gardel born in the eastern bank of the River Plate: the Uruguayan registration of nationality and an arrival of Berthe Gardés in Montevideo, many years before her arrival in Buenos Aires in 1893 with her son.

1) When he was about to travel to Europe and nearly to be 30 years old, Gardel decided to be documented in the Uruguayan consulate of Buenos Aires as if born in Tacuarembó, on December 11, 1887. He neither provided birth certificate nor certificate of baptism and the consul Bernardo Milas simply registered it with two witnesses on October 8, 1920, under File N° 10052.

The authors "Avlis" and Bayardo consider it a fundamental document of their theory in spite of sustaining that the date of birth is false, because the year registered doesn't match with his real data, but they don't either contribute other attesting evidences. Without any documentation and because of what was said above, the document is not valid.

Furthermore on April 14, 1937 in the succession proceedings held in Montevideo, the District Court Judge Dr. Abella who was assisted by Uruguayan diplomats, didn't take into account this document and sentenced that he was born in Toulouse, France in 1890 with the name Carlos Gardés.

b) The thesis of the mentioned authors sustains that the boy that would have been born in Tacuarembó, between 1881 and 1883, was given by his presumed parents, without registering him, in custody or adoption to a French woman named Berthe Gardés on imprecise dates that span from 1885 to 1887 (Bayardo).

Berthe, from whom the boy "adopts" her family data, would have settled "around 1880 in Uruguay, later following French engineers in the gold mines of Corrales and Cuñapirú" (Avlis, “El Gran Desconocido”(The Great Stranger), p. 121, Year 1967).

Bayardo affirms, without neither contributing evidences, that Berthe on her arrival resided in the Hotel of Immigrants in Montevideo, with two women friends "supposedly Capot and Anais". Later she traveled to Tacuarembó to work either in the cabaret La Rosada or as ironer in Escayola’s household. After different incidents she settled again in Montevideo with "Carlitos", previous agreement with a certain Paris, delivering the boy around 1889 to Anais Beaux, and returning to France.

No official document endorses all these alternatives and presumptions. Neither her departure from France when she was 15, nor her paternal emancipation and, even less, the successive entrances and exits from France and Uruguay were recorded.

Which is then the real story of Berthe until her arrival, documented on March 12, 1893, in the Dock 1 of the Port of Buenos Aires, with Charles Gardés, under the Passport N° 94?

1) Marie Berthe Gardés was born on June 14, 1865 in Toulouse, France. Her parents: Vidal Gardés and Helene Camares.

2) On March 17, 1868 with Berthe who was 3 years old, the marriage Gardés/Camares separated before the District Court of Toulouse, in public audience in presence of the attorney Dr. Custet.

3) Around 1875, her mother Helene married to Louis Alphonse J. Carichou, 28 years old, machinist, and lived with her two children, Jean and Berthe.

4) On January 14, 1875 in the Department of la Gironde the passports N° 32 and 33 are issued, to travel to Venezuela, corresponding to Louis Alphonse Julien Carichou and Helene Camarés, wife of Gardés, profession milliner, accompanied by her children Jean (13) and Berthe (8).

5) In Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, Charles Carichou, stepbrother of Berthe’s was born on February 11, 1876.

6) In 1883 the family is back in France, and resides on 32 Rue Prunier of Bordeaux.

7) In the National French Census of 1886 Section 3. B. Family N°77, it appears residing in the same street of Bordeaux. Berthe was registered at age 21, profession ironer, Code 211, daughter of Helene Camarés, born in Toulouse. It is also Charles Gardés, 11 years old, born in South America, natural son of Helene and Louis Carichou.

This famous Charles died in the war on October 11, 1918 in the battle of the Marne. He was assistant of the 212 corps of the artillery regiment. His picture and the last name with which he appears in the census, gave reason to interested confusions.

8) The family continued living in Bordeaux up to the existent registration of February 21, 1889, on 202 Cours Balguerie Street.

9) On December 11, 1890 after 21 months of her registration in Bordeaux, the 25-year-old Berthe gave birth in Toulouse, a boy of masculine sex registered with the name Charles Romuald Gardés, under the N° H 2481 folio 311, of this municipality and recognized in the records 280 of December 22, 1890.

10) Since February 21, 1889 either in the General Police Bureau of the county of la Gironde or that of Haute-Garonne there are not or was not issued any "Passe-Port to l'etranger" in favor of Berthe Gardés, up to February 12, 1893, when the N° 94 which was used to travel to Buenos Aires was issued.

11) It was possible to track down the route of Berthe and their family, through the valuable collaboration of Georges Galopa, vice-president of the Association Carlos Gardel of France and the contributions of the "Conseil Général" of la Gironde in Bordeaux and its similar of Haute-Garonne, with headquarters in Toulouse. This documentation is in my hands; it was sent to the National Academy of Tango in Uruguay and the press media.

With this research, I think I have reestablished the historical truth of Berthe Gardés, when making the two essential bases of the legend which were made up to sustain the birth of Gardel in Tacuarembó fall: the passport made with witnesses and which is invalid and to that we add, the Uruguayan judge's sentence and the falsehood of the trip of Berthe to Montevideo in the 80s, taking into account that at that time she was in France.