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Pierre-Bloch, Jean

PIERRE-BLOCH, JEAN (1905–1999), French Socialist politician, writer, and Resistance leader. Pierre-Bloch, who was born in Paris, contributed to the left-wing journal Populaire and in 1936 was elected Socialist deputy for the Aisne department. In 1937 he was vice president of a commission of enquiry into the problem of Algeria, which unsuccessfully advocated the consideration of the special demands of the Algerians, then under French tutelage. Pierre-Bloch volunteered for military service on the outbreak of World War II and was taken prisoner by the Germans in 1940. He escaped and joined the Resistance, becoming one of the leaders of the clandestine French Socialist Party. In 1941 he was condemned to death by the Vichy regime for helping to parachute arms into occupied France. Again he succeeded in escaping and in 1942 reached London, where he became chief of French counterespionage. Later in the war he went to Algiers, where he was appointed assistant commissioner for the interior. After the liberation he was a leading figure in the French Socialist Party (SFIO) and became director of the Société Nationale des Entreprises de Presse. From 1968 to 1992, he was president of the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICA).

A prolific writer, Pierre-Bloch was the author of L'Affaire Frankfurter (1937), Charles de Gaulle, premier ouvrier de France (1945), Liberté et servitude de la presse en France (1952), Carnet d'un voyageur en Israël (1958), and De Gaulle, ou le temps des méprises (1969).