Basch, Victor Guillaume

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BASCH, VICTOR GUILLAUME (1863–1944), French philosopher and a defender of human rights. Basch was born in Budapest and studied German at the Sorbonne. He served as a professor at the universities of Nancy, Rennes, and Paris. In 1918 he held the newly established chair of aesthetics at the Sorbonne. Basch became well-known when he championed Alfred Dreyfus. He was a founder of the League for the Rights of Man and its president in 1926. Basch was a socialist supporter of the left-wing coalition known as the Popular Front and a leader of the Alliance Israélite Universelle. During World War ii, Basch was a member of the central committee of the French underground. He and his wife were executed by the Vichy government.

His writings include Essai critique sur l'esthétique de Kant (1896); La guerre de 1914 et le droit (1915); Les doctrines politiques des philosophes classiques de l'Allemagne (1927), and Essais d'esthétique de philosophie et de littérature (1934), as well as other works on literature, philosophy, and political issues.

add. bibliography:

F. Basch, Victor Basch ou la passion de la justice: de l'affaire Dreyfus au crime de la milice (1994); F. Basch, L. Crips, and P. Gruson (eds.), Victor Basch: un intellectuel cosmopolite (2000).