Jean Zay

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Jean Zay was a French politician born in Orléans (Loiret) on 6 August 1904 and assassinated 20 June 1944 by the miliciens in Molles (Allier). He was the Minister of National Education and Fine Arts from 1936 until 1939. He was one of the passengers aboard the vessel Massilia that left Bordeaux, France for Casablanca on 21 June 1940 with the intention of forming a resistance government in North Africa.

In 1938, Jean Zay proposed the creation of an international film event in France, which was planned to debut in Cannes in 1939. Because of the war, the inauguration of the Cannes Film Festival was postponed until 1946.[1]

In March 2014 French President François Hollande announced his intention to recognize Jean Zay at the Pantheon in Paris as a leading figure in the Resistance.[2] He was interred there in May 2015.


  1. ^ Hayward, Susan (2005). French National Cinema. Psychology Press. p. 142. ISBN 0415307821
  2. ^
Preceded by
Henri Guernut
Minister of National Education
Succeeded by
Yvon Delbos