In the fall of 2000 the IISH received several documents from the estate of Sania Gontarbert (1916-2000) concerning the French resistance and the period immediately after World War II. Sania Gontarbert was born in Odessa on 25 October 1916. He moved to France in 1925. As a member of the Centre Laïque des Auberges de Jeunesse, he learned about socialist, Trotskyist and libertarian ideas at an early age. Influenced by the Moscow trials and the Spanish Civil War, he developed Trotskyist sympathies. After being demobilized in July 1940, he settled in Toulouse. There he met Gérard Bloch, who encouraged him to join the clandestine Trotskyist Parti Ouvrier Internationaliste. Because of his political activities, he had to move to Lyon, where he continued his resistance work as the editor of the underground journal Front Ouvrier. After the liberation the journal became the first legal Trotskyist periodical.
In the party now known as the PCI, he joined the opposition to the unconditional defence of the USSR. At the PCI Congress in 1948, the issue gave rise to a rift within the party. Gontarbert established the new movement Union Ouvrière Internationale with Marcel Pennetier, Benjamin Péret and Manuel Munis. Following a subsequent rift, those remaining, who included Jean Malaquais and Serge Bricianer, joined forces with Maximilien Rubel. The resulting discussion group published the Cahiers de discussion pour le socialisme des conseils. Sania Gontarbert helped edit several issues of this publication. Following the death of Maximilien Rubel in 1996, he provided a contribution to the commemorative album Avec Maximilien Rubel ... combats pour Marx entitled 'Pour l'utopie permanente'. Sania Gontarbert died on 30 August 2000.
The bequest to the IISH includes several issues and pamphlets of Front Ouvrier and Fraternisation Prolétarienne. As the publications of revolutionary communists in France, they enrich the fine collection of publications from the French underground at the IISH. The post-war documents include internal documents of the Parti Communiste Internationaliste, some concerning the 1948 congress, as well as pamphlets issued by the PCI after the liberation. Many of the materials concern the Rassemblement Communiste Révolutionnaire, which within the Trotskyist movement turned against the course that the SU charted as a socialist state soon after the war. The RCR called for a new Fourth International. These materials comprise the voluminous stencil file Notre Victoire. La Plateforme Programmatique des Communistes Révolutionnaires.
A political diary covering the period 1979 to 1997 is included in the bequest.