Georges Marchais

French Communist Party Leader
Born: 7 June 1920, in La Hoguette in Calvados. Before WW II an engineer with the Société Nationale d'Étude et de Construction de Moteurs d'Aviation (National Society for the Study and Construction of Aviation Engines); after the collapse of France, he appears to have freely enrolled as a volunteer to work in Nazi Germany in the Messerschmitt aircraft manufacturing plant, as he left for Germany before the establishment of the STO system, by which French workers were compelled to work in German plants. He joined the French Communist Party in 1947 and worked as both a labor organizer and a party official, becoming a candidate to the Party politburo in 1956 and the General Secretary (leader) of the French Communist Party in December 1972, a post he held until 1994. From 1956 to 1958 and again from 1973 until his death in 1997 he was a Deputy in the French Parliament in the Communist Party faction. He regularly took his vacations in the Soviet Union and stayed at the house in Jurmala with his wife. The house staff recalls that his peculiarity was that he and his wife Lilian would always smoke "Gitanes sans filtre" cigarettes in bed, before getting up for breakfast. Georges Marchais died in Paris on 16 November, 1997.