Rochet, Waldeck(väldĕk` rôshā`), 1905–83, French political leader. A member of the French Communist party, he was named to its central committee in 1936. He was imprisoned and sent to Algeria when the Communist party was declared illegal at the outbreak of World War II; freed in 1943, then worked with the Free French. For many years a member of the French assembly, he was (1964–72) secretary-general of the French Communist party.
Born Apr. 5, 1905, in Sainte-Croix, department of Saône-et-Loire. Figure in the French and international workers’ movement.
Son of a peasant, Rochet began working at the age of eight; he worked as a shepherd and later as an agricultural worker. In 1924 he joined the French Communist Party (FCP) and was soon elected to the party committee for the department of Saône-et-Loire, where he was responsible for political work among the peasants. From 1932 to 1934 he was secretary of the Lyon federation of the FCP, and in 1934 he became secretary of the agrarian section of the FCP Central Committee and a member of the Bureau of the General Confederation of Working Peasants of France. In 1935 he was a delegate to the Seventh Comintern Congress. In 1936 he was elected a candidate member of the FCP Central Committee. In the same year he was elected a deputy to the French parliament. From 1937 to 1976 he was a full member of the FCP Central Committee.
During World War II, Rochet was convicted in the trial of the 44 Communist deputies (1940), fabricated by the reactionary forces, and sentenced to five years at hard labor; he served his sentence in Algeria. In 1943, after being freed, he became the FCP representative on the French Committee of National Liberation in London. In 1945 he was elected a deputy to the Constituent Assembly and later to the French National Assembly. From 1954 to 1958 Rochet was deputy chairman of the FCP bloc in the National Assembly, and in the years 1958–59 and 1962–64 he was chairman of the bloc. At the first postwar FCP Congress, he was elected a candidate member of the Politburo, becoming a full member in 1950 and serving in this capacity until 1972. From 1959 to 1972 he was a member of the Secretariat of the FCP Central Committee; from 1961 to 1964 he was deputy general secretary, and from 1964 to 1972, general secretary of the FCP. At the Twentieth Congress of the FCP, held in December 1972, he was elected honorary chairman of the party.
WORKSQu’est-ce que la Philosophie marxiste? Paris .
Le Marxisme et les chemins de l’avenir. Paris .
L’A venir du Parti communiste français. Paris .
In Russian translation:
Izbrannye stat’i i rechi (1940 – 1969gg.). Moscow, 1972.
Put’k osvobozhdeniiu krest’ianstva. Moscow, 1953.
“Sorok let Kommunisticheskoi partii Frantsii.” Novaia i noveishaia istoriia, 1961, no. 1.
Truzheniki polei. Moscow, 1964.