Biography and History

In the fall of 1950, Jean-Paul David, mayor of Mantes, Deputy from Seine-et-Oise and Radical Socialist Party politician, created the organization Paix et Liberté in order to expose what he perceived as the communist lies presented to the French public through the posters published and distributed by the French Communist Party (Parti communiste français, PCF). The PCF had developed an extremely successful billboard campaign using the 1949 drawing of Pablo Picasso's peace dove, which he created for the PCF's World Committee of Peace Partisans' conference held in Paris in the spring of 1949. The success of this poster in particular spurred David, with the support of Premier René Pleven, to organize a semi-private, anti-Communist agency. This agency published and distributed posters supplemented by newsletters, brochures, pamphlets, stickers, and tracts that used the words, themes and symbols of the Communist Party to counter their message. In fact, the Paix et Liberté poster titled “The Dove that Goes Bang” redesigned Picasso's peace dove adorning the dove with a tank-turret for a head and a cannon for a beak. The posters also criticized several important figures within the PCF including Maurice Thorez, head of the PCF from 1930-1964, a minister of state under de Gaulle in 1945 and deputy premier in 1947 and Jacques Duclos and Marcel Cachin, both party members. Other posters criticized Lenin and Stalin.

Source: From the finding aid for MC102

  • Paix et Liberté Collection. 1950-1952 (inclusive).

    Call Number: MC102

    French politician Jean-Paul David created Paix et Liberté, a French anti-Communist propaganda organization, in the fall of 1950 for the purpose of waging a poster campaign in direct opposition to political posters published by the French Communist Party since the end of World War II. The organization often used the words and themes of the French Communist Party's posters to ridicule their political agenda.