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French Controversy Flares Over Role of Communist Party in Resistance
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Meisler, Stanley
Date: Oct 25, 1985
Start Page: 5
Section: 1A; Advance Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

According to the accusation, denied vehemently by the party, the Communist leaders wanted their comrades out of the way to make sure that, as liberation approached, the Communist wing of the Resistance would be controlled by native French and not foreign immigrants. This may have seemed even more necessary toward the end of the war when the Communists were in competition with the native French followers of Gen. Charles de Gaulle for control of the Resistance movement.

The French secret police moved against the Irregulars and Partisans in 1943 with great force and efficiency. They arrested many Jewish Communists throughout the year, and, in a sudden series of raids, broke up the Manouchian group in November by arresting 58 Jewish resistance fighters, 29 others of foreign birth, and 21 native French. This wiped out the Jews and immigrants as a force within the Resistance.

There is no hard evidence that the leaders of the party were betrayers but many analysts do fault the leadership of the party for refusing to let the Jewish fighters move outside Paris when it became clear in 1943 that the French secret police were close on their trail. On top of this, the party leadership, following the anti-Semitic tone of Stalin after the war, later tried to erase the role of the Jews and other immigrants from the history of the Resistance. The Resistance would be French, not foreign and Jewish.

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