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Claude Alphandéry, Resistance hero and socially-engaged economist, has died


The Communist activist turned senior civil servant, then president of France’s main financial institution specializing in public housing, had an distinctive profession. The founding father of the France Energetic solidarity finance community died on March 26, aged 101.

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Few males have lived as many lives as Claude Alphandéry, who died on March 26 on the age of 101. At the start, he was a member of the French Resistance, which formed the remainder of his lengthy life. Born in Paris on November 27, 1922, the one son of an early-divorced Parisian bourgeois couple, he was 18 when the German military invaded France.

After taking an intensive literature hypokhâgne course in Bordeaux, he moved to Lyon to attend the celebrated Lycée du Parc. There, he distributed leaflets and underground newspapers and carried out some liaison work. A classmate’s remark about “Jewish scum” accelerated his involvement within the Resistance. “I needed to rediscover my id, show my character and my capability for resistance. (…) After a stressed evening, I made a decision to go away my room and college immediately,” he recounted in Une famille engagée. Secrets and techniques et transmission (“A Dedicated Household: Secrets and techniques and Transmission,” 2015), the final of his 11 books.

He went underground within the winter of 1942 and the next yr turned the departmental chief of the Resistance in Drôme and Ardèche. He ended the battle as president of the Drôme departmental liberation committee and lieutenant-colonel of the French Inside Forces (FFI). Regardless of his younger age, he succeeded in reorganizing networks deeply divided between Communists and people supporting Charles de Gaulle.

“This touches on one of many primary themes of my life: If I am able to something, it is bringing folks collectively,” he recounted in Une si vive résistance (“Such Robust Resistance,” 2011). “This undoubtedly comes from a form of empathy I’ve with folks: My private commitments do not exclude consideration for these on the opposite facet.”

Political views

Those that knew him bear in mind his mental vivacity, his sense of negotiation, his modesty and his everlasting smile, frank and mischievous. Within the maquis (rural guerrilla bands of Resistance fighters), throughout lengthy nights of preventing, he solid his political convictions in touch with Communist fighters, rejecting the “cash powers” of the Third Republic. He was radicalized by his radical-socialist grandfather, mayor and MP of Chaumont, a small conservative city in northeastern France.

He joined the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) in 1946. After the Liberation, he moved to Moscow as the data attaché on the French embassy. With barely sufficient time to study Russian and Marxism, the Iron Curtain fell throughout Europe. He returned to Paris to take the doorway examination for the elite ENA faculty for civil servants however quickly stop. Towards the tide of historical past, this nice romantic returned to Moscow with a twofold challenge: to search out the younger Russian girl he was in love with and to attempt to arrange a French-language weekly. Torpedoed by the Soviet authorities, the journey got here to nothing.

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