Combat (newspaper)

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Combat (French for "fight") was a French newspaper created during the Second World War. Originally a clandestine newspaper of the Resistance, it was headed by Albert Ollivier, Jean Bloch-Michel, Georges Altschuler and, most of all, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, André Malraux, Emmanuel Mounier, and then Raymond Aron and Pierre Herbart also contributed to it. Its production was directed by André Bollier until Milice repression led to his death.

In August 1944, Combat took the headquarters of L'Intransigeant, 100 Rue Réaumur in Paris, while Albert Camus became its editor in chief. The newspaper's production run decreased from 185,000 copies in January 1945 to 150,000 in August of the same year:[clarification needed] it wasn't able to rival with others established newspapers (the Communist daily L'Humanité was publishing at the time 500,000 copies). During 1946, Combat was opposed to the "game of the parties" claiming to rebuild France, and thus became closer to Charles de Gaulle without, however, becoming the official voice of his movement.

Loyal to its origins, Combat tried to become the place of expression for those who believed in creating a popular non-Communist Left movement in France. In July 1948 (more than a year after the May 1947 crisis and the expulsion of the Communist ministers from the government), Victor Fay, a Marxist activist, took over Combat 's direction, but he failed to stop the newspaper's evolution towards more popular subjects and less political information.

In 1950, it hosted a debate about the Notre-Dame "Scandal", stimulated by a vehement letter by André Breton in response to the editor Louis Pauwels.[1][2]

Philippe Tesson became editor in chief from 1960 to 1974. Henri Smadja originally thought Tesson could be a perfect puppet-editor but Smadja's situation, in part because of the Tunisian regime, got worse. In March 1974, Philippe Tesson created Le Quotidien de Paris (1974–1996), which he originally conceived as the successor of Combat.

During the May 1968 crisis, Combat supported the student movement although from a Stalinist point of view, through the signatures of the likes of Jacques-Arnaud Penent. On 3 June, it published a falsified version of the Address to All Workers by the Council for Maintaining the Occupations, removing the references to the Situationist International and the attacks against the Stalinists.[3][4]

Henri Smadja committed suicide on 14 July 1974, and Combat definitively ceased to be published the following month.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Boucharenc, Myriam (2005) L'universel reportage, pp. 94-6
  2. ^ Breton, André (1950) Lettre a Louis Pauwels" sur le «"scandale" de Notre Dame», in Combat, 12 April 1950, OC III, pp. 1024-5
  3. ^ René Viénet (1968) Enragés et situationnistes dans le mouvement des occupations, chapter 8 The "Council for Maintaining the Occupations" and Councilist Tendencies (Paris: Gallimard) Translated by Loren Goldner and Paul Sieveking
  4. ^ Authentic version: Address to All Workers by Enragés-Situationist International Committee, Council for Maintaining the Occupations. Paris, 30 May 1968. Translated by Ken Knabb

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