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Victor Pengam (1883-1920), French anarchiste & antimilitarist

Biographical/historical note :

Victor Pengam

Born January 21, 1883, Brest; died March 5, 1920.

The government's "Notebook B" (listing radicals & antimilitarists), notes of him:

"Anarchist propagandist & most militant of antimilitarists. One of the heads of the revolutionary movement (secretary-general of the regional Union of the Trade Unions of Brest). Charged in court in January 1906 with inciting disobedience among soldiers (dismissed). Secretary-general of the new anarchist trade union of the workmen of the port. Works in the dockyards. Would likely commit sabotage in the event of mobilization (...) Measure to be taken in the event of mobilization: arrest."

— from J.J. Becker, Le Carnet B, éditions Kuncksieck, 1973.

Pengam, himself an orphan, in 1912 became involved with the Pupilles de la maison du peuple & gave up his labor activities.

He devoted himself to the education of a hundred of these pupils at cultural, sporting & musical events & even founded a brass marching band to play on May Day, with such songs as "l'hymne au 17e" & "l'internationale".

Mobilized in 1914, he was wounded & contracted tuberculosis. After the war he opened a co-operative restaurant in the dockyards. Victor Pengam; source Ephemeride anarchiste

His funeral, March 5, 1920, was attended by huge crowds. He now has a street named for him in Brest.

This page created 1/21/2002; updated March 2011

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