With heavy hearts and profound respect, the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) extends its deepest condolences to the Pôle de Renaissance Communiste en France (PRCF) and to the family of the esteemed Comrade Pierre Pranchère, who passed away on the night of Friday 29 to Saturday 30 December 2023, at the venerable age of 96.
A life of resistance and commitment
Born on 1 July 1927 in Brive, Corrèze, Pierre Pranchère’s life was a testament to his resilience and his unwavering commitment to communist ideals.
His journey into the world of political activism began remarkably early, at the age of 15, when he joined the French resistance during World War 2. This decision set the course for a life dedicated to fighting for national independence, social freedoms, and against the tyrannies of fascism and Nazism.
Pierre was an active member of the Francs-Tireurs Partisans Français (FTP-F) from 1942 onwards, demonstrating exceptional courage and commitment in the liberation of France from the Vichy-Nazi regime, for which he was awarded both the Volunteer Combatant’s Cross and the War Cross.
His involvement in critical battles and operations was a defining aspect of his early years, showcasing his dedication to the cause of emancipation for the French people. Later in his life he was active in keeping the memory of the antifascist resistance alive, acting as secretary general of the Maquis de Corrèze collective.
A life in politics
After the war, Pierre Pranchère’s political journey continued with vigour. He became a prominent figure in the communist movement in France. His political career was marked by significant milestones, including his tenure as a member of parliament under the Fourth Republic (1956-58) and later as a member of the European parliament (1979-89).
During this time, he was known for his passionate advocacy for workers’ rights, social justice and antifascist policies.
Pierre was instrumental in countering narratives that sought to criminalise the actions of resistance fighters during the war. His voice was critical in the debates about the legacy of communism in Europe, where he consistently opposed efforts to equate communism with fascism.
Aside from his political endeavours, Pierre Pranchère was a devoted family man. His close relationships with his wife and daughter were a source of great personal strength and comfort to him, as were his lifelong friendships with fellow comrades, who shared not only moments of political struggle but also of deep personal bonding.
His departure marks a significant loss in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him, including his beloved wife Marcelle, his daughter Nathalie, and a circle of devoted friends and comrades such as Léon Landini, Jean-Pierre Hemmen, Hermine Pulvermacher and Georges Gastaud.
Pierre’s life was a beacon of dedication to the causes of communism, freedom and justice. His passing is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by those who dedicated their lives to fighting for a better world.
His unwavering commitment to his ideals, his courage in the face of adversity, and his tireless work in the political arena have left an indelible mark on the history of French politics and the global communist movement. His life’s work, and particularly his commitment to the revival of revolutionary politics in France, will continue to inspire future generations to carry on the struggle for a peaceful world free from exploitation and all its associated inequalities and injustices.