Reynaud, Paul


Reynaud, Paul
born Oct. 15, 1878, Barcelonnette, France
died Sept. 21, 1966, Paris

French politician and premier (1940).

After serving in World War I, he served in the Chamber of Deputies (1919–24, 1928–40) and in cabinet positions (1930–32). As minister of finance (1938–40) and premier (1940), he called on France to resist Nazi Germany. After the German invasion, Reynaud resigned rather than conclude an armistice; he was arrested and kept in captivity (1940–45). He returned to the Chamber of Deputies (1946–62) and helped draft the constitution of the Fifth Republic.

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▪ premier of France
born Oct. 15, 1878, Barcelonnette, France
died Sept. 21, 1966, Paris

      French politician and statesman who, as premier in June 1940, unsuccessfully attempted to save France from German occupation in World War II.

      Reynaud was a lawyer and served in the army during World War I. Afterward he represented his home district (1919–24) and then a Paris constituency (from 1928) in the Chamber of Deputies and was minister of finance, of colonies, and of justice between 1930 and 1932. Out of office until 1938, he was almost alone in calling on France to resist Nazi Germany and to prepare for combined tank-air warfare, as recommended by Colonel Charles de Gaulle (Gaulle, Charles de). Appointed minister of justice (April 1938) Reynaud protested the appeasement of Germany by Great Britain and France and resigned from his parliamentary bloc when its leader congratulated Adolf Hitler after the Munich (Munich agreement) Conference (which allowed Germany to occupy large sections of Czechoslovakia). From November 1938 to March 1940 Reynaud was minister of finance, in which post he sponsored austerity measures to put the French economy on a war footing.

      In World War II Reynaud became premier on March 21, 1940. He made de Gaulle undersecretary of state for war and, as France was collapsing under the German onslaught that May, he urged French resistance and maintenance of the alliance with Britain. But Marshal Philippe Pétain, a World War I hero whom Reynaud had made vice-premier to strengthen his cabinet, and other ministers preferred armistice with Germany. Unwilling to be party to an armistice, Reynaud resigned on June 16; arrested shortly thereafter, he was kept in captivity for the duration of the war.

      After the liberation Reynaud was a member of the Chamber of Deputies (1946–62), held office in two governments (1948, 1950), and twice tried to form cabinets of his own (1952, 1953). He presided over the Consultative Committee on the drafting of the constitution of the Fifth Republic. In 1962, however, he denounced de Gaulle for trying to circumvent that constitution by inaugurating a presidential regime elected by direct vote.

      Reynaud's major publications are La France a sauvé l'Europe (1947; revised as Au coeur de la mêlée, 1930–45, 1951; Eng. trans., In the Thick of the Fight, 1930–45) and Mémoires (2 vol., 1960–63).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Reynaud, Paul — 1878–1966    Reynaud was Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Minister of War of France until 16 June 1940. He had succeeded Edouard DALADIER as Head of State on 21 March 1940. One of his first acts was to meet CHURCHILL and on 28 March to issue… …   Who’s Who in World War Two

  • Reynaud, Paul — (1873 1966)    political figure    Born in Barcellonette, Paul Reynaud was the prime minister of France when the German invasion occurred in 1940. Elected to the Chamber of Deputies as a member of the bloc nationale in 1919, then again from 1928… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Reynaud,Paul — Rey·naud (rā nōʹ), Paul. 1878 1966. French politician who served briefly as premier (1940) but was replaced by Philippe Pétain, who surrendered to the Germans. Imprisoned by the Vichy government, Reynaud later served as finance minister (1948)… …   Universalium

  • Reynaud, Paul — (15 oct. 1878, Barcelonnette, Francia–21 sep. 1966, París). Político y primer ministro francés (1940). Después de participar en la primera guerra mundial, fue miembro de la Cámara de Diputados (1919–24, 1928–40) y ocupó diversos cargos… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Reynaud — (Paul) (1878 1966) homme politique français. Président du Conseil (mars 1940), hostile à l armistice, il céda la place (16 juin) à Pétain, qui le fit interner puis déporter (1940 1945). Reynaud (émile) (1844 1918) inventeur français. Il créa à… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Paul — /pawl/ for 1 3, 5; /powl/ for 4, n. 1. Saint, died A.D. c67, a missionary and apostle to the gentiles: author of several of the Epistles. Cf. Saul (def. 2). 2. Alice, 1885 1977, U.S. women s rights activist. 3. Elliot (Harold), 1891 1958, U.S …   Universalium


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