27 Facts About Pierre Brossolette


Pierre Brossolette was a French journalist, left-wing politician and major hero of the French Resistance in World War II.


Pierre Brossolette ran an intelligence hub of Parisian resistance at the Rue de la Pompe, before serving as a liaison officer in London, where he was a radio anchor for the BBC.


Pierre Brossolette was born in the 16th arrondissement of Paris to a family deeply involved in the fights for laic schools in early 20th century France.


Pierre Brossolette's father was Leon Brossolette, General Inspector for Primary Education; he was the nephew of Francisque Vial, Director of Secondary Education, responsible for making secondary education free in France.


Pierre Brossolette ranked first at the entrance examination to the prestigious Ecole Normale Superieure; throughout his education held the title of "cacique" which was internally attributed to the most brilliant student, ahead of intellectuals such as philosopher Vladimir Jankelevitch and two years before Jean-Paul Sartre and Raymond Aron.


Pierre Brossolette joined the Section francaise de l'Internationale ouvriere, the main socialist party, in 1929, adhered to the LDH and LICA league and entered freemasonry.


Pierre Brossolette worked as a journalist for Notre Temps, L'Europe Nouvelle, the party newspaper Le Populaire and the state-owned Radio PTT but was fired when he violently opposed the Munich Agreement on air in 1939.


Pierre Brossolette was a popular voice on the radio before the war and his chronicles on Hitler's rise led to being blacklisted early in the 1930s by the Nazis.


Pierre Brossolette just had time to produce the last issue of the newsletter Resistance before narrowly escaping its dismantlement.


Pierre Brossolette finally obtained a liaison with London and General Charles de Gaulle when he was hired by conservative Gilbert Renault known as Colonel Remy as press and propaganda manager of Confrerie Notre-Dame, by then the most important network in Northern France.


Pierre Brossolette created the civilian arm of the BCRAM intelligence service, which became the Bureau Central de Renseignements et d'Action, in liaison with the RF section of the British side, Special Operations Executive.


Pierre Brossolette resumed his newspaper work through a series of articles on France's situation, including one in La Marseillaise considered by many to be the doctrinal founding of the Gaullisme de guerre movement.


Pierre Brossolette was a protege of Leon Blum and was considered an up-and-coming star of the SFIO party, running elections on his Troyes base.


Pierre Brossolette assumed cabinet functions during the Popular Front government and as a political pundit on official Radio PTT he was considered the de facto foreign policy spokesman of the socialist government.


Pierre Brossolette was inspired by the British Labour Party, utilising a non-Marxist or, at least, reformist approach.


Pierre Brossolette returned to Paris for a third mission to reorganise the Parisian resistance which was in disarray after successive Gestapo raids, especially by CND's dismantling.


Pierre Brossolette escaped arrest many times and was summoned to return to Britain by late 1943 to introduce the newly appointed CNR chief, Emile Bollaert, to De Gaulle.


Bollaert and Pierre Brossolette were not identified and were kept imprisoned in Rennes for weeks.


Pierre Brossolette was tortured at 84 Avenue Foch in Paris, enduring severe beatings and waterboardings over a two-and-a-half-day period.


Pierre Brossolette died later in the evening at Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital.


Pierre Brossolette's ashes were kept at Pere Lachaise Cemetery's columbarium, urn 3913 according to official cemetery records.


From after the war until the late 1950s, Pierre Brossolette was considered the main leader of the French Resistance, though many were claimed heroes by their political family.


Pierre Brossolette's fame was helped by his media notoriety before the war on Radio-PTT and on wartime BBC emissions, his networking role that made his name or codename known and remembered over almost every Resistance member in northern France and by flattering early accounts of BCRA's chief Passy in his memoirs although he had created, through his independent position and sarcastic wit, many enemies among party leaders, Gaullists, communists and even socialists that survived him.


Later, Pierre Brossolette's memory suffered another blow when the 1981-elected socialist president Francois Mitterrand chose to honour Moulin at a Pantheon investiture ceremony instead of rehabilitating Pierre Brossolette's role.


Pierre Brossolette's ashes were kept at the columbarium of Pere Lachaise Cemetery until his entrance to the Pantheon, which was celebrated on 27 May 2015.


In France today, Pierre Brossolette's name is better known than the man himself or his life achievements, thanks to the great number of streets - nearly 500 out of which 127 in Greater Paris, schools and public facilities bearing it.


Pierre Brossolette was featured in the first series of Heroes of the Resistance by French PTT in 1957.