One of the leading French socialists, Leon Blum was born April 9, 1872. He was elected a deputy in the national legislature in 1919. Blum was Jewish, and that created some political problems for him over the years, but his gentility and commitment to democracy and peaceful change enabled him to succeed politically despite the prevailing anti-Semitism. Blum became prime minister in 1936 and again in 1938, and he was responsible for a variety of left-wing, social welfare measures. Openly sympathetic with the Communists in the Spanish Civil War, Blum was arrested by the Vichy government in 1940 and deported to Germany, where he was imprisoned. After the war Blum served as president of the Council of Ministers from 1946 to 1947 and generally advocated independence for Vietnam. On March 30, 1950, Leon Blum died.