Paris (Oct. 15)
Raymond Poincare, distinguished French statesman, war-time president of France and friend and supporter of Jewish causes, died here early this morning. M. Poincare, who was seventy-four years old, had been in ill health ever since he retired as premier in July, 1929, when he underwent two serious operations.
The death of the French statesman deprives world Jewry of another friend in high places. Early last week the bullet of an assassin killed Foreign Minister Louis Barthou at Marseilles.
In the 90′s of the last century, M. Poincare, then an influential French politician, a member of the Chamber of Deputies and frequently included in the cabinets of the period, after some hesitation, made up his mind that the then Captain Alfred Dreyfus was completely innocent of the crime of which he was accused. M. Poincare took his place in the ranks of the Dreyfusards and defended the Jewish officer in a series ### brilliant speeches in the French parliament
SUPPORTER OF ZIONISM
“The Lion of Lorraine” as he was called, was an ardent supporter of the Zionist ideal. He was honorary president of the French Palestine Association, and took a great interest in the development of the Holy Land.
Soon after the armistice ended the World War, President Poincare came to Alsace, which has been restored to France. He was received triumphantly by the Jews of Strasbourg in the Great Synagogue of the town.
In 1923, while he was premier, M. Poincare intervened energetically on behalf of the Polish Jews, when a numerus clausus law severely restricting the number of Jewish students in Polish institutions was about to be passed. As a result of the intervention, the Polish government abandoned its intention of introducing restrictions.
EDUCATED BY JESUITS
M. Poincare was born in the little town of Bar-le-Duc in 1860. He was educated by the Jesuit Fathers and was a brilliant student at the University of Nancy. After his graduation he served in the French army and distinguished himself as a captain in the Alpine Chasseurs, the famous “Blue Devils.”
Later he studied law and was admitted to the bar in Paris. Despite his lucrative profits, he went into politics and was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1887. He remained in the political arena for the next forty years, serving as deputy, minister in various cabinets, president of the Republic from 1913 to 1920, and as premier for several terms after he retired from the presidency.