Pierre Jean-Marie Laval (French pronunciation: [pjɛʁ laval]; 28 June 1883 – 15 October 1945) was a French politician. During the time of the Third Republic, he served as Prime Minister of France from 27 January 1931 to 20 February 1932, and a second time from 7 June 1935 to 24 January 1936.
Laval began his career as a socialist, but over time drifted far to the right. Following France's defeat and armistice with Germany in 1940, he served in prominent roles in Philippe Pétain's Vichy Regime, first as the vice-president of the Council of Ministers from 11 July 1940 to 13 December 1940, and later as the head of government from 18 April 1942 to 20 August 1944.
After the liberation of France in 1944, Laval was arrested by the French government under General Charles de Gaulle. In what was widely regarded as a flawed trial, Laval was found guilty of high treason, and after a thwarted suicide attempt, he was executed by firing squad. His manifold political activities left a complicated and controversial legacy, resulting in more than a dozen conflicting biographies of him.
(Taken from Wikipedia)