Jean-Pierre Timbaud (Payzac, Dordogne, September 20, 1904 - Chateaubriant, October 22, 1941) was the secretary of the steelworkers’ trade union section of the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT). He took part in the strikes which preceded the Popular Front. During the Second World War, he joined the Resistance and organized clandestine trade union committees.
Jean-Pierre Timbaud was executed by the Germans on October 22, 1941, along with 26 other Communist hostages detained in Châteaubriant, in punishment of the October 20 execution of Feldkommandant Karl Hotz, commander of the German troops in the Loire-Inférieure region, who was assassinated in Nantes by Resistants. Guy Môquet, 17 years old, was also part of the executed communist hostages, as well as Charles Michels, a Communist deputy of the XVe arrondissement of Paris. Some say Jean-Pierre Timbaud died crying out “Long life to the German Communist Party!”, while Léon Blum declared during the Riom Trial that he had sung the Marseillaise before the firing squad. Louis Aragon also stated: “The name of Timbaud among the Châteaubriant hostages was to be my direct reason, my individual reason to accept the clandestine duty which fell on me.”
Jean-Pierre Timbaud’s name has been given to a street of Paris (it was also the name of a street in East Berlin, but the street was renamed after the reunification of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany).
- Lucien Monjauvis, Jean-Pierre Timbaud (Editions Sociales, 1971)
- Fernand Grenier, Ceux de Châteaubriand (Editions Sociales, 1971)
- Louis Aragon, Le Témoin des Martyrs (1942)
- Lettres de fusillés 1941-1944
- Le Procès de Riom: Eloge de Jean-Pierre Timbaud et des combattants de Stalingrad, Léon Blum’s statement in favor of Timbaud during the Riom Trial (French)
- Biography on Timbaud (French)
- "Berlin: Jean-Pierre Timbaud indésirable", in L'Humanité, September 22, 1990 (French) (search for "Jean-Pierre Timbaud" on L’Humanité’s English website for translations).
- On 1936 strike organized by Timbaud, in L’Humanité, July 25, 2006 (French)
- "Châteaubriant, assassinat politique de 27 ôtages", in L’Humanité, October 20, 2001 (French) (with the list here of the 27 executed hostages)