The Role of the French Communist Party During World War II

Student Author(s)

Robert Lampen

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Brigitte Hamon- Porter

Document Type


Event Date



For many French citizens, the Resistance during World War II represents a proud symbol of the country’s willingness to come together and fight for the greater good. During this time many groups fought against the Nazis: men and women, city and country folk, and even conservatives and communists. This research explores the presence and impact of the Communist Party during the Resistance. Before the war, the French Communist Party was actively protesting and fighting Fascist forces. In 1939, however, the Soviet Union signed the German-Soviet Nonaggression pact, and the Party became much more neutral. This research looks into the Party’s use of propaganda, particularly newspaper articles by L’Humanité, and how they reflect the Party’s views and actions during the first half of the war. This research attempts to distinguish the actions of the Communist Party and those of communist individuals during this portion of the war. The establishment and effectiveness of the Maquis, groups of rural fighters who fought against Axis powers, are also discussed.

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