The World at War


Pierre Brossolette

French Journalist and Resistant

Born: June 25, 1903
Died: March 22, 1944 at Rennes, Ile et Vilaine, Brittany

     Brossolette graduated from l'Ecole normale superieur in1925 ranked second among class Historians behind Georges Bidault. A militant socialist, he began a career as a journalist for Notre Temps and the SFIO party paper Le Populaire. He was fired from the government controlled Radio-PTT in 1939 after voicing opposition to the Munich Pact.

     Mobilized in 1939 as a Lieutenant, he rose to the rank of Captain in 1940. Brosselette spurned the armistice to join the Resistance. He was among the founders of Liberation-nord and the Organization civile et militaire (OCM) groups that operated in Occupied France. Brossolette and his wife opened a Paris bookstore after Vichy banned him from the teaching profession. The store became a rendezvous for resistants.

     Brossolette went to London in April 1942 as representative of the Resistance movements in the occupied zone. He joined André Dewavrin's BCRA shortly thereafter and was parachuted into Paris with orders to unify the Resistance. He opposed formation of the National Committee of the Resistance (CNR) favored by Jean Moulin but de Gaulle persuaded him to cooperate. His second mission to Occupied France was cut short. He was arrested in September 1943 and tortured by the Gestapo. Brossolette committed suicide on March 22, 1944 by jumping from the fifth floor of a Rennes prison.

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