Saturday, September 15, 2012
British Heroism in the Clouds: Britannia's Heroes of the Skies, From World War I to the Troubles in Ireland
Friday, September 14, 2012
2 Stories From World War II: Life (and Death) in a French Camp and One Woman's Escape from Occupied France
Le camp des Milles, une ancienne tuilerie-briqueterie de 15 000 m2 désaffectée, ouvrit en septembre 1939, d'abord pour interner les "ressortissants de la puissance ennemie", autrement dit majoritairement des Allemands et des Autrichiens réfugiés dans le Midi pour... échapper au régime nazi. A l'été 1942, ils furent plus de 2 000, dont une centaine d'enfants, à être déportés à Auschwitz, via Drancy (Seine-Saint-Denis).In Le Monde, Renaud Lavergne tells us the story of a woman whose family was taken to a French concentration camp during World War II while Julia Holland recounts the story of her mother Rosemary, a former Telegraph journalist who was one of the first women to escape from internment in France.
Les Milles est le seul camp français encore en l'état aujourd'hui. Son histoire est désormais reconstituée, ouverte au grand public qui découvrira, notamment, comment de nombreux artistes et intellectuels y furent internés, parmi lesquels le peintre Max Ernst ou l'écrivain Lion Feuchtwanger.
… Ce matin du 4 août , donc, la police fait irruption au Terminus des ports. "On nous a donné une heure pour rassembler toutes nos affaires. On nous a dit qu'on nous conduisait dans un endroit d'où l'on nous enverrait en famille dans un autre lieu jusqu'à la fin de la guerre. Puis on nous a jetés dans un camion, et j'ai reconnu le camp des Milles, devant lequel nous retrouvions parfois mon père. Comment aurais-je pu penser cela ?...", dit Miriam Altman, toujours "estomaquée", soixante-dix ans plus tard que cette rafle ait été menée "par des policiers français ayant suivi les ordres des Allemands, alors que ceux-ci [qui n'occuperont la zone sud qu'en novembre] n'étaient pas encore là ".
Julia Holland on her "mum’s wartime story":
She had become an au pair in France just months before the outbreak of the Second World War. Trapped in Paris, she watched the victorious German army parade down the Champs Elysees. Later imprisoned by the Germans, she was one of the first British women to escape from internment in Nazi-occupied France. Her arrival at Waterloo Station, determinedly clutching a pineapple, was front-page news.
… The journey to the prison camp at Besancon lasted for two days. Conditions onboard the trains were horrendous. There were no toilets or running water. One group of Irish nuns were so desperate for water that they “refreshed” themselves with eau de cologne until a little old nun managed to spill the lot.
In November 1941 my mother escaped through the barbed wire with her friend Frida. They had no false papers, very little money and no contacts beyond a possibly sympathetic dentist. With the help of ordinary people who put their own lives at risk, they slowly and secretly headed southwards on a train to Marseille and near disaster: “As we disembarked at the station we could see a group of officials ahead carefully checking the passengers’ papers. The beginning of a long queue was forming. We joined it, not looking at each other, knowing that this was the end. There was no way our papers were going to fool this sort of official check.” (You’ll have to read the book to see how they got out of that one...)
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Hold me down or I shall get very cross!
• President Hollande: Well spoken!
Without realizing it, Plantu echoes all the criticism that has been leveled at the United Nations by America's conservatives over the years and over the decades…
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
"God is dead." - Nietzche.— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) September 5, 2012
"Nietzche is dead." - God.
"Let's take a vote." - DNC
E-nough's Damien recaps the entire Democratic National Committee Convention in 25 Tweets… of which here are two…
New: Bill Clinton: Please don't judge Obama by the standard he [Obama himself] set. ow.ly/dvdtZ— Byron York (@ByronYork) September 6, 2012
If you believe the French weekly Le Point, Thomas Hollande, the 27-year-old lawyer and son of President François Hollande and his former partner, Ségolène Royal, blasted his father’s current partner in an interview for “putting private life in the public domain” by backing a political opponent of his motherreport Steven Erlanger and Maïa de la Baume from Paris.
If you believe Thomas Hollande, on the other hand, there was no such interview, just a conversation with a young woman who twisted his words.
… According to Le Point, Thomas Hollande said his father was “stupefied” by a Twitter posting from Valérie Trierweiler, his partner, publicly supporting Ms. Royal’s opponent in a legislative race. Ms. Trierweiler was said to have been angered when the president issued a public statement of support for Ms. Royal. Ms. Trierweiler’s action, highly criticized at the time, was seen as damaging to the elder Mr. Hollande’s effort to be a “normal president,” without the emotional swings and personal complications of his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy.
Ms. Royal lost her race, but it was doubtful whether she could have beaten her popular local opponent in any case.