Jean Longuet

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Jean-Laurent-Frederick Longuet
Jean Longuet 1918.jpg
Jean Longuet in 1918
Jean-Laurent-Frederick Longuet

(1876-10-05)5 October 1876
London, England
Died11 September 1938(1938-09-11) (aged 61)
OccupationJournalist, lawyer and socialist politician
Spouse(s)Anita Desvaux
ChildrenRobert-Jean Longuet, journalist
Karl-Jean Longuet, sculptor
RelativesKarl Marx (maternal grandfather)
Jenny von Westphalen (maternal grandmother)
Laura Marx (aunt)
Eleanor Marx (aunt)
Edgar Longuet (brother)
The Lafarge's Grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. Longuet and his wife and sons are also buried here

Jean-Laurent-Frederick Longuet (1876–1938) was a French socialist politician and journalist. He was Karl Marx's grandson.

Early years[edit]

Jean, often called 'Johnny' as a boy by his family, was born in London on October 5 1876, the son of Charles and Jenny Longuet. He was their second son, and the eldest who survived to adulthood.[1] The family often visited Jenny's father, Karl Marx, who liked to play with his grandchildren.[2]

The Longuet family moved to France in February 1881.[2] In summer 1882 Karl Marx stayed with the Longuets for three months, being joined by Jean's aunt Eleanor Marx. By this time Jenny was suffering from bladder cancer, and would die a year later. To ease the burden on the family, Eleanor took Jean back to England in August 1882, promising to educate and discipline him. They became close, with Eleanor thinking of him as ‘my boy’.[3] On his return to France, Jean lived for a time with his father's family in Caen to continue his studies.

Political career[edit]

After attending university in Paris, Longuet worked as a journalist and trained as a lawyer. He worked for L'Humanité and was a founder and editor of the newspaper Le Populaire.[4] He was active in one of France's principal socialist parties – the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) – and served both as a mayor and as a member of the French Chamber of Deputies.[5]

During the First World War he was a pacifist, but also supported war credits. At the Strasbourg Congress in 1918 his policy was adopted by the majority of the SFIO socialist party. After the Tours Congress of 1920 where the Communists gained the majority, he supported the minority and joined the centrist Two-and-a-half International (the Vienna Union). He criticized the League Against Imperialism created in 1927 and supported by the Comintern.[6]

Longuet supported pro-Zionist positions at the Socialist International meeting in Brussels in 1930[7] and at a speech to a Zionist group in Paris in 1935.[8]

He also represented India's Swatrantrya Veer Savarkar in The Hague for his international human rights and wrongful detention court battle in which his legal case was argued. He persisted and personally handed over the copies of the memorandum to the members of the court.[9]

Death and family[edit]

Jean Longuet married Anita Desvaux (1875–1960) in 1900. They had two sons: the lawyer and journalist Robert-Jean Longuet (1901–1987) and the sculptor Karl-Jean Longuet (1904–1981). Jean's younger brother Edgar Longuet, a physician, was also an active socialist.[5]

Longuet died after a car accident in September 1938 aged 61. He was buried at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, in the same grave as his aunt and uncle, Laura and Paul Lafargue. Longuet's wife and two sons were later buried in the same grave.[10]


  1. ^ Padover, Saul K. (1978). Karl Marx: An Intimate Biography. McGraw-Hill Book Co, New York. pp. 479-474. ISBN 0070480729.
  2. ^ a b Wheen, Francis (1999). Karl Marx. Fourth Estate. p. 374. ISBN 9781841151144.
  3. ^ Wheen, Francis (1999). Karl Marx. Fourth Estate. pp. 377–379. ISBN 9781841151144.
  4. ^ "Entry on Jean Longuet". Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Retrieved 8 November 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b "Grandsons of Karl Marx lean Left, but differ on heirs of teaching". St. Petersburg Times, 30 May 1948, p 40. Retrieved 9 November 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Glossary of People: Jean Longuet".
  7. ^ ”The sessions which adopted the pro-Zionist resolution was presided over by Emile Vandervelde, Belgian Socialist leader and friend of Zionism. Among the supporters of the resolution were Leon Blum, French-Jewish Socialist; Jean Longuet; Pierre Renaudel; and M. Turati, Italian Socialist leader (”Socialist International Urges Britain to Facilitate Jewish Immigration, Colonization,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 7 August 1930).
  8. ^ “Jean Longuet, grandson of Karl Marx, father of modern Socialist, announced himself as a Zionist in a speech to a Zionist group here” (The Sentinel (Chicago), 30 May 1935, p. 29).
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Confirmed by photograph of grave".

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