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Georges Bidault

Bidault, Georges (zhôrzh bēdōˈ) [key], 1899–1983, French political leader. An influential columnist (1932–39), he was imprisoned (1940–41) in World War II and then joined the French underground, becoming its leader. A founder of the Mouvement Républicain Populaire (MRP), one of France's leading postwar parties, he was president of the provisional government (1946), premier (1949–50), and several times foreign minister. Although a strong supporter of Charles de Gaulle in 1958, Bidault opposed the Gaullist policy of Algerian independence and broke with the MRP. In 1962, announcing that he was going underground, he formed the National Council of Resistance within the terrorist Secret Army Organization (OAS); the French government accused Bidault of having become head of the OAS. In exile from 1962, Bidault lived in Brazil and then in Belgium before returning (1968) to France.

See his autobiography (tr. 1967).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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