|Éduard Herriot (1872-1957)
Edouard Herriot, the son of an army officer, was born in Troyes, France on 5th
July, 1872. After graduation he taught in Nantes and Lyons. A radical liberal,
Herriot became mayor of Lyons in 1905. During the First World War Herriot held
ministerial office under Aristide Briand (December 1916-March 1917). Herriot was
elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1919. He soon became leader of the Radical
Party. During the dispute with President Alexandre Millerand, Herriot helped
organize the Cartel des Gauches, a left-wing coalition of Radicals and
In the elections of June 1924 the group won a majority of the seats and Herriot
became the new prime minister. One in power Herriot attempted to improve
relations between the European powers. He recognized the Soviet Union, accepted
the Dawes Plan and agreed to evacuate troops from the Ruhr. He also advocated
the formation of a European Union. Herriot lost power in April 1925 and a second
ministry in July 1926 only lasted three days. He also served as minister of
education. Herriot was arrested by the Vichy authorities and handed over to the
Germans. He was interned in Potsdam until liberated by the Red Army on 22nd
April, 1945. Between 1947 and his retirement in 1954, Herriot was president of
the National Assembly.
Edouard Herriot died in Lyons on 26th March, 1957.
Among his books, it is necessary to mention "Madame Récanier and her friends",
"Beethoven's life", "Within the Norman forest", and "Lyon no more exists".