Rappoport, Charles

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RAPPOPORT, CHARLES (1865–1941), socialist politician and writer. Born in Doukshty (Dukštos), Lithuania, Rappoport joined the social revolutionary movement in Vilna as a youth. In 1887 he took part in a conspiracy together with Lenin's brother Alexander Ulyanov, to assassinate Czar Alexander ii. Ulyanov was apprehended and hanged. Rappoport fled to France where he joined the Socialist Party and became a prominent Marxist, in opposition to the moderate doctrines of the Socialist leader, Jean Jaurès (1858–1914). Rappoport opposed France's participation in World War I and was present at the left-wing anti-war conferences at Kienthal and Zimmerwald and was arrested in 1917 on charges of making defeatist speeches. Sentenced to three months' imprisonment, his pamphlet Devant les juges militaires, describing how he conducted his own defense, created a sensation. In 1921 Rappoport joined the French Communist Party and edited the Revue Communiste and the official party organ Humanité. Already disillusioned by the evolution of communism in Russia, and shocked by the Moscow trials, Rappoport resigned from the Communist Party in 1938. He condemned the Munich pact and expressed his great sympathy for the Jewish victims of Nazism, regretting that he had not fought more often for Jewish rights.

Rappoport published several works on politics and history including La Philosophie de l'histoire comme science de l'évolution (19252), Jean Jaurès, L'homme, le penseur, le socialiste (1916, 1925), and La revolution mondiale (1921). His autobiography was published in the Paris Yiddish newspaper, Arbeter Shtime.


A. Kriegel, Aux origines du communisme français, 2 vols. (1954), index.