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About The New Combat

COMBAT was a French newspaper first published underground
by the resistance network Combat during the Nazi occupation.
Albert Camus was the chief editor from late 1943 until the newspaper was sold in 1947.

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The movement that became Combat was founded in 1940 by Henri Frenay, a French army captain, shortly following the surrender of France. His first co-conspirator was Berty Albrecht (a woman).

Together they built the most influential of the French resistance networks (a story told in a great film, Army of Shadows). By the time of the Normandy landings, 250,000 copies of Combat were circulating from fifteen underground presses throughout France.

Frenay’s memoir, The Night Will End, is in English. Albrecht was arrested, tortured and murdered by the Gestapo in 1943.

The Medal of Resistance, awarded by De Gaulle after the war

IN 1946, Combat, now a Paris daily, published a serial essay written by Camus upon return from a depressing first trip to the Americas.

"Neither Victims nor Executioners" reflected fears on the continent that the Russians and Americans would soon start another war. It also clarified Camus’ position in the heady world of French activist-intellectuals as a man on the outside of all doctrines looking in, at home on neither the Left nor the Right — and yet speaking for

so many of us in Europe who are not of any party, or ill at ease in the party we have chosen, who doubt that socialism has been realized in Russia or liberalism in America, who grant to each side the right to affirm its truth but refuse it the right to impose it by murder, individual or collective.

Albert Camus at the Combat newspaper offices after the war

Camus at the postwar Combat offices, 7th from left

THE NEW COMBAT was a logocentric political magazine published in New York from 1991 to 1995, now reborn, after a fashion, on the web.

The idea, for each issue, was to focus on two issues of the day, with enough angles and history to allow consumers bemused by TV news to come to grips and, thus, be citizens.

The Gulf War. Constitutional Privacy. The shadow government behind the Iran-Contra affair. Police brutality from Rodney King
to Tompkins Square. The Soviet mind across decades of dissolution foreshadowing our own. The dissolution of Yugoslavia and the
siege of Sarajevo. The fierce, urgent need of our besieged civilization to be rid of Reaganite reaction.

Interesting times, now and then. It seems that history, rather than end in Berlin in 1989, began to set the world afire anew. Stabilities of an entirely new kind continue to tear our worlds apart.

THE OLD New Combat had no material affiliation with Camus'
old newspaper, which ceased publication in 1974. But in 1990, as the Americans mustered to launch the Gulf War, "Neither Victims Nor Executioners" struck a chord — not only the author's conditional pacifism, but also his anxious place outside looking in.

For the Right was still Reaganism, behind which the owner-operators of the U.S.A., having realized that globalization was the ticket, had renewed the class war of the 19th century.

And the Left was so confused by feelings and theories of Identity Politics as to abandon its Universalism.

The Right, in short, was central to the problem, and the Left had surrendered hard won ways and means to grapple with it.

Camus in that milieu seemed all the more sane.

And nothing much since has changed.

............................... Sola Resurgit Vita