René Cavanhie

Born in La Sala (Occitanie, France) on 25 March 1922, the anarchist writer and resistance fighter René Cavanhie was also known as René Cavan. In 1942, under the Occupation, he went underground and orchestrated the smuggling of people out to London via Spain. Later he set up an autonomous resistance group in the Lot department. After a brief involvement with the MUR (United Resistance Movements), contact with which was lost following a German raid on Figeac, his group then joined the FTP (Franctireus et Partisans: ‘Partisan Snipers’) in late 1942. His home was burned down by an SS column as a reprisal. When talk started of militarising the groups, he resigned from the resistance. He joined the Anarchist Federation (FAF) once it was refloated in 1945 and served on its Self-Defence Commission. Settling in Vincennes, his home was listed among those to be kept under police surveillance. From 11 to 19 November 1949, he served as International Relations secretary and took part in the International Congress in Paris. He served on the CRIA (International International Relations Commission) and wrote for Le Libertaire using the pen name Cavan. Later, he wrote for Louis Lecoin’s paper Liberté and for May Picqueray’s Le Réfractaire. Author (in French) of, among other things, Révolution au paradis (Revolution in Paradise, 1958) and Poèmes et chansons anarchistes (Anarchist Poems and Songs, 1983). In 1974 he was awarded an international literary prize. As a student of philosophy he published Les esprits frappeurs de Vailhauquès (1988) [a debunking of a “psychic phenomenon” in a small French town.]

From: Translated by: Paul Sharkey.