Monday, November 22, 2004

Ceremonies of Liberation

There were several ceremonies throughout Alsace to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of its liberation. Only one American who participated in the liberation, Paul Stadler, was present at the main event at the Strasbourg Cathedral.

Many of the speeches attempted to strike notes of cultural reconciliation. Some described the final expulsion of the Germans as the moment when rapprochement between France and Germany could truly begin. Raffarin, adding a little bit of contemporary politics, compared the oppression of the occupation with the current religious intolerance against Jews and Muslims:
J'ai pu constater avec révolte que, rompant avec la tradition régionale et nationale de respect des religions, certains extrémistes avaient profané des lieux de cultes et des cimetières de toutes confessions. Souvenons-nous de René Char : le mal vient toujours de plus loin qu'on ne croit et ne meurt pas forcément sur la barricade qu'on lui a choisie.
Here are the links to various articles:
  • Testimonial of Maurice Lebrun, who led a Moroccan division and raised the national flag above the Strasbourg Cathedral.
  • Rembering the Oath of Koufra, taken first by the soldiers of Leclerc in 1941, not to put down their weapons until the entirety of France was liberated.
  • DNA has started day by day articles on the coverage of the liberation.
  • An extensive article on the first village to be liberated, Seppois-le-bas.


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