Gabriel Péri

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Gabriel Péri in 1932

Gabriel Péri (Peri) (1902—1941) was a prominent French Communist journalist and politician, and member of the French Resistance. He was executed by Nazi-occupied France during World War II.

Early life[edit]

Péri was born in Toulon to a Corsican family. Forced to give up his studies at an early age, he immersed himself in political activities, and wrote for newspapers in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille.

Career and execution[edit]

At the age of twenty-two, Péri became departmental manager of Foreign Politics at l'Humanité. He was elected Deputy for Argenteuil in 1932 and was re-elected in 1936.

In the French National Assembly, Péri distinguished himself as an expert in the field of diplomatic and international relations and was a strident anti-fascist. He denounced both Benito Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia and France’s non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War. Péri was also a prominent opponent of the Nazi regime in Germany.

After the Fall of France in 1940, the country was placed under Nazi occupation. Arrested on May 18, 1941, Péri was shot later in the same year on December 15 at Fort Mont-Valérien. Albert Camus witnessed his execution, an event which he later said crystallized his own revolt against the Germans.

Tributes[edit]

Many schools and streets have been named after Gabriel Péri, as well as a Paris and a Lyon Metro station. Paul Éluard and Louis Aragon wrote poems in his tribute (titled "Gabriel Péri" and "Ballade de Celui Qui Chanta Dans les Supplices" ["Ballad to Him who Sings While Being Tortured"], respectively).

References[edit]