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Christian Pineau

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Christian Pineau

Christian Pineau meeting with David Ben-Gurion in Israel, January 1959

Christian Pineau (French pronunciation: ​; 14 October 1904, in Chaumont-en-Bassigny, Haute-Marne, France - 5 April 1995, in Paris) was a noted French Resistance fighter.

Pineau was born in 1904 in Chaumont-en-Bassigny, Haute-Marne, France. His stepfather was the writer Jean Giraudoux, who was married to Pineau's mother. Later, Christian Pineau would say that it was Giraudoux who gave him his love of writing.

A World War II French Resistance leader and a close ally of Charles de Gaulle, Pineau was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 and survived Buchenwald concentration camp.

Pineau represented the Sarthe department as a Socialist in the French National Assembly from 1946 to 1958. After the war, he served as a minister in French governments, 1945–1958. He was minister of supply in Charles de Gaulle's government (1945) and minister of public works (1947–1950) in various governments.

He was finance minister for a short time in 1948. Pineau was designated as prime minister of France by President René Coty after the February 1955 resignation of Pierre Mendès-France, but the National Assembly refused to ratify his cabinet by 312 votes against 268; his prime ministership lasted for two days between 17 and 19 February 1955.

As foreign minister (February 1956 – May 1958), Pineau was responsible for handling the Suez crisis and for signing the Treaty of Rome on behalf of France. With Guy Mollet, he visited Moscow. In October 1956, he signed the Protocol of Sèvres with Great Britain and Israel on behalf of France.

Pineau was a lifelong advocate of European integration.

Pineau is buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris.

Bibliography

Pineau wrote several political books and memoirs:

  • La simple vérité, regard sur la période 1940–1945 (the simple truth, a view of the period 1940–45), Editions Julliard
  • Khrouchtchev (Khrushchev) Perrin, 1964
  • Suez, Robert Laffont, 1976
  • Mon cher député, Julliard, 1959
  • Le grand pari, l'aventure du Traité de Rome (with Christiane Rimbaud)

He also wrote children's books:

  • Plume et le saumon (Feather and the salmon)
  • L'ourse aux pattons verts (The she-bear with green paws)
  • Histoire de la forêt de Bercé (Story of the Bercé forest)
  • La planète aux enfants perdus (The planet of lost children)
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Ramadier
Minister of Supply
1945
Succeeded by
François Tanguy-Prigent
Preceded by
Jules Moch
Minister of Public Works and Transport
1947–1948
Succeeded by
Henri Queuille
Preceded by
Paul Reynaud
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs
1948
Preceded by
Henri Queuille
Minister of Public Works, Transport, and Tourism
1948–1950
Succeeded by
Jacques Chastellain
Preceded by
Antoine Pinay
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1956–1958
Succeeded by
René Pleven

References

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