Born Apr. 24, 1891, in Vire in the department of Calvados; died presumably Oct. 1, 1920. French writer, publicist, and public figure.
Lefebvre was born into a bourgeois family. He was educated as a lawyer. He fought in World War I—a war which he vigorously condemned. In 1917 he was wounded and subsequently discharged.
Lefebvre became a member of the French Socialist Party in 1916. Along with P. Vaillant-Couturier and H. Barbusse, he founded the Association Républicaine des Anciens Combattants in the War (1917). He was a member of the progressive socioliterary association Clarté. As a left-wing French socialist, Lefebvre sought to link the French Socialist Party with the Comintern. He was a frequent contributor to the socialist press. Lefebvre was a delegate to the Second Congress of the Comintern (July-August, 1920). On his return voyage to France, he perished during a storm in the Barents Sea.
Lefebvre wrote a number of pamphlets, including The International of Soviets (1919) and Revolution or Death! (1920). With P. Vaillant-Couturier he published the collection of short stories Soldiers’ War (1919; Russian translation, 1923), a truthful account of the horrors of war and the growth of consciousness of soldiers at the front. Lefebvre’s novel Abraham’s Sacrifice (1919; Russian translations, 1923, 1926, and 1968) depicts the fate of members of the intelligentsia during the war. Lefebvre’s talent as a satirist is evident in his autobiographical book A Sponge Dipped in Vinegar (1921; Russian translation, 1923).
REFERENCESIstorila frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 4. Moscow, 1963.
Narkir’er, F. S. “R. Lefevr” In Frantsuzskaia revoliutsionnaia literatura (1914–1924). Moscow, 1965.
Moussinac, L. “Il y a 70 ans naissait R. Lefebvre.” L‘Humanité, Apr.24, 1961, no. 5180.
F. S. NARKIR’ER