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Author photo. Georges Bidault (seated), 29 June 1948 / Photo © <a href="http://www.bildarchivaustria.at">ÖNB/Wien</a>

Georges Bidault (seated), 29 June 1948 / Photo © ÖNB/Wien

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DBF (1) France (2) FSFM (1) history (1) memoir (1) politics (1) postwar (1) resistance France (1) WWII (1)
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Georges Bidault was born in the city of Moulins, France, to a prosperous family. He served briefly in the French Army in the final years of World War I, then studied history and geography at the University of Paris and became a teacher.
In 1932, he founded the leftist Catholic daily L'Aube ("Dawn”), for which he wrote a foreign affairs column until 1939.
At the start of World War II, he joined the French Army again, was captured by the Germans, and released after a year of imprisonment. On his return to France, he joined the French Resistance and became one of its leaders. He was discovered by the Gestapo but managed to avoid arrest. After the war, as a supporter of Gen. Charles De Gaulle, he served several times as Prime Minister and foreign minister.

A skilled negotiator, he was chief of the French delegation at the founding of the United Nations in 1945 and won a prominent role for France. However, he broke with his wartime friend De Gaulle to oppose Algerian independence in the 1950s. In 1961, Bidault went underground and then fled France to continue his opposition and was charged with conspiracy. He moved from country to country, causing De Gaulle great political embarrassment, before being taken in by Brazil. He returned to France in 1968 after an amnesty over crimes involving the war in Algeria was declared. He founded a right-wing party called Mouvement pour le justice et la liberté (Movement for Justice and Liberty) but lived in relative obscurity for the rest of his life.
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