Marcel Bleibtreu
Marcel Bleibtreu was a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

 activist and theorist.

Bleibtreu was born during his family's refuge in Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

 from wartime bombing, Marcel Bleibtreu because a radical thinker as a child. After studies at the lycée Condorcet, he studied medicine in Paris, and graduated in 1947. He joined the Groupe Bolchevik Léniniste, the Trotskyist organisation, in September 1936. By 1944 the GBL had merged with two other Trotskyist currents to form the Internationalist Communist Party
Internationalist Communist Party
The Internationalist Communist Party was a Trotskyist political party in France. It was the name taken by the French Section of the Fourth International from its foundation until a name change in the late 1960s....

, (PCI), the French section of the Fourth International
Fourth International
The Fourth International is the communist international organisation consisting of followers of Leon Trotsky , with the declared dedicated goal of helping the working class bring about socialism...

. Bleibtreu led workplace cells of the PCI around Puteaux-Suresnes-Nanterre under the pen-name Pierre Favre. In November 1944, he became an editor of the party's journal, La Vérité. He was named general secrtary of the PCI in 1946, and led the party's growth after its post-war legalisation.

In 1952 he and Pierre Lambert
Pierre Lambert
Pierre Lambert was a French Trotskyist leader, who, for many years acted as the central leader of the French Courant Communiste Internationaliste which founded the Parti des Travailleurs.He was born in Paris to a family of Russian Jewish immigrants...

 played a key role in the split in the PCI with a minority composed of co-thinkers of Michel Pablo
Michel Pablo
Michel Pablo was the pseudonym of Michalis N. Raptis , a Trotskyist leader of Greek origin.- Early activism :...


In 1954 the Algerian War of Independence
Algerian War of Independence
The Algerian War was a conflict between France and Algerian independence movements from 1954 to 1962, which led to Algeria's gaining its independence from France...

 escalted. The PCI naturally supported independence. However, Lambert and Bleibtreu started to disagree over tactics in Algeria. Lambert supported the MTLD of Messali Hadj
Messali Hadj
Ahmed Ben Messali Hadj was an Algerian nationalist politician dedicated to the independence of his homeland from France...

 while others, along with Bleibtreu, supported CRUA (the fore-runner of the FLN). Lambert was able to win a majority in 1955, expelling Bleibtreu and its comrades. The expelled group took again the name Goupe Bolchévik-Leninist and publish the review 'Trotskysme '. The GBL later joined the New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

, within which Bleibtreu created the Revolutionary Socialist Tendency, a founder member of the UGS and the PSU. Bleibtreu became a member of the political committee of the PSU, then also its general secretary until he left that party in 1964.

Bleibtreu's militancy engaged art as well. He organized in Paris, in 1967, an exhibition named "Art for Peace to Vietnam", a method which he would use again, in 1993, in Athens against the embargo in Iraq.

Bleibtreu supported the development and the coordination of the 'Base Committees' in 1968, endeavouring to reduce the disagreements between the Trotskyist groups, from where his nickname of "Jean XXIII of Trotskyism" comes, following a famous appeal he made in the large lecture theater of the Sorbonne
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

. Bleibtreu was a militant in various associations, in particular in S.O.S Children of the South, and the coordination for the lifting of the embargo imposed on Iraq, which he directed.

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