Pierre Martin – Archives of Service Civil International

Pierre Martin

Pierre Martin (1912-1998) economist, sociologist and life-long militant pacifist, was jailed in 1939, at the beginning of World War II, because he was a conscientious objector. In 1947, he was leader of one of the very first workcamps to take place in Algeria. Later the same year, he went to Palestine on a UNESCO mission to help educate Palestinian refugees. In 1948, Pierre set off from France for India on his bike (!) with the intention of trying to meet the Mahatma Gandhi. Shortly after arriving in North Africa he learned of Gandhi’s assassination, and therefore decided to stay on in Algeria where he developed workcamps, and created the Algerian branch of SCI. In the 1950’s, he carried out a number of workcamp promotion missions for the Co-ordination Committee of SCI, and he became an expert in basic education and development in Senegal. Throughout his life he remained a militant for peace and for nuclear disarmament.