Pierre Villon

Roger Ginsburger (later took the pseudonym Pierre Villon) was born in France in 1901. A member of the Communist Party, Villion went into hiding on the outbreak of the Second World War and edited the clandestine newspaper L'Humanité.

The Communist Party had been banned by the French government after the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact in July, 1939. Most communists in France, without the support of the Soviet Union or the General Charles De Gaulle and the French government in exile, were unwilling to become involved in the resistance movement. This changed when Adolf Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa in June 1941.

After the German invasion French communists now became very active in the fight against German occupation. As they had been working in secret since 1939 they were ideally suited for clandestine activities. In its newspaper, L'Humanité, Villon called for a "National front for the independence of France." Soon afterwards Villon established the resistance group, Front National.

In 1942 entered into talks with Jean Moulin about the possibility of uniting all the resistance groups working in France. After much discussion Moulin persuaded the eight major resistance groups to form the Conseil National de la Resistance (CNR). This included the Front National, as well as Henry Frenay (Combat), Jean-Pierre Lévy (Francs-Tireurs Partisans), Liberation (Emmanuel d'Astier), Comité d'Action Socialiste (Pierre Brossolette) and Armée Secrete (Charles Delestraint).

Villon remained loyal to the Conseil National de la Resistance until the D-Day landings when he attempted to organize a general insurrection against the German Army occupying France.

After the war Villion was appointed to the Central Committee of the Communist Party. He left the Central Committee in 1970 but remained a deputy until 1978. Pierre Villon died in 1981.