(b. 28 Apr. 1900, d. 11 July 1964).
French Communist politician Born the illegitimate son of a grocer, he became a full‐time official of the French Communist Party in 1920. A talented bureaucrat rather than a charismatic leader, he rose quickly to join the party's executive committee (Politburo) in 1925. As the party's general secretary from 1930 until his death, he kept the party on a Stalinist path faithful to the directives from Moscow. He was a member of the Chamber of Deputies from 1932 to 1939 and, following the Stavinsky scandal, he supported the Popular Front against the rise of Fascism. He spent the years 1939–45 in the Soviet Union, and became a member of the Constituent Assemblies (1945–6) upon his return to France. A member of the National Assembly until his death, he was a Minister without Portfolio (1945–6), and Deputy Prime Minister (1946–7), but then the other parties began to shun the Communist Party as a result of the onset of the Cold War.
Subjects: Politics — Contemporary History (Post 1945).