Archive for the ‘French Resistance’ Category

Belmondo or Baker? or Both?

Joesphine Baker loved to create a stir: I’m sure she’s having a high time with her being awarded a place in France’s Panthéon. Here’s something I wrote as prep for the B2.

Pourquoi donner une place au Panthéon à quelqu’un qui n’était pas français? De plus, cette personne n’a pas autant contribué à la culture française.

Pourquoi Joséphine Baker a-t-elle une place au Panthéon ? Autre que l’évident ? Vrai, elle était membre des Folies Bergeres, mais cela lui vaut-il une place au Panthéon ? Sa position d’interprète lui permet d’avoir accès à des personnes qui intéressent le Deuxième Bureau. Cela lui a permis d’être recrutée comme agent. Le fait qu’elle soit une espionne aurait pu lui coûter la vie. Elle a été honorée pour son service à la France pendant la guerre. Son service en temps de guerre l’a encouragée à se battre pour les droits civils aux États-Unis.

Bebel était un excellent comédien aux rôles varies. Je crois que l’un des meilleurs. Il a définitivement une place dans l’histoire du cinéma français et peut-être mondial. Mais a-t-il au moins fait son service national ? Je n’en suis pas sûr cela.

Baker avait deux amours: “Mon pays et Paris”. C’était pour la France qu’elle risquait sa vie.
La peine pour ayant été un espion est la mort, surtout pendant la guerre. Bebel a risqué sa vie en faisant des cascades dans des films.

Oui, si le critère est d’être un grand interprète, alors Belmondo mérite autant que Baker, sinon plus, une place au panthéon. Belmondo est définitivement le meilleur interprète des deux. Baker allait au-dela en risquant sa vie pour la France. Ça mérite une place au Panthéon.

Why give a place in the Pantheon to someone who was not French? Moreover, this person did not contribute as much to French culture.

Why does Josephine Baker have a place in the Pantheon? Other than the obvious? True, she was a member of the Folies Bergeres, but does that earn her a place in the Pantheon? Her position as an interpreter gave her access to people of interest to the Second Bureau. This allowed her to be recruited as an agent. The fact that she was a spy could have cost her her life. She was honored for her service to France during the war. Her wartime service encouraged her to fight for civil rights in the United States.

Bebel was an excellent actor in various roles. I believe he was one of the best. He definitely has a place in the history of French and perhaps world cinema. But did he at least do his national service? I’m not sure about that.

Baker had two loves: “My country and Paris”. It was for France that she risked her life.
The penalty for being a spy is death, especially during the war. Bebel risked his life by doing stunts in films.

La Marseillaise: ‘The Greatest National Anthem in the World, Ever’ – BBC News

I was looking up versions of La Marseillaise to post when I pass the DELF B2. And in the spirit of BREXIT, I post this clip that came up.

To pirate or not to pirate–that is the question

Series 7 of Un Village Français aired last year.  France 3 divided it into two parts the same way they did series 6, which is really annoying on several fronts.
UVF 5a
The first being that we find out what happens at the end of Series 5, which ends with an outdoor production of a play being raided by the Gestapo. It is safe to assume that things didn’t work out too well for our thespian members of the Maquis who decided that the show must go on from the picture to the left below.

I imagine Mueller having his troops give them a standing ovation before machinegunning them on the spot.UVF1

But, it’s taken a couple of series to learn their fate.  Not to mention find out what happens to the rest of the inhabitants of Villeneuve.

But there is a big drawback in that it seems this series is hard to find.  Although I did come up with a pirated copy of Series 7. And the subtitles are available at  I don’t feel right buying the pirated copy, but I also don’t like having to pay as much as the “official” English releases can cost.

I can only imagine that France 3 will again release all of Series 7 on DVD after all the episodes have aired.  That will be sometime this autumn.

Not sure I can hold out that long.

(Actually, this is available on a couple of streaming services which specialise in the type of non-US, furren language programming I like: e.g., and Amazon. I’ve signed up for a couple of these services since I don’t watch broadcast TV. I prefer to be my own programming director)

Further info: the First half of Series 7 has been released on disc.  MHz combined the first two series into one making the rest of them a number lower (i.e., 3 is 2, 4 is 3, etc.).  The first half of series 7 has been released as series 6.

Who needs guns?

Ok, I know people in the US like to knock the French, but they did resist the Germans.  I’m not sure how similar other resistance and partisan groups armed themselves, but this turned up while doing research to learn more about the Maquis and FFI after watching Un Village Française

The following is from this page

 Everyday tools, turned weapons

PictureAmerican OSS and British SOE agents familiar with popular british weapons like the sten, helped train the french forces of interieur (more organized french offensive), as well as the parisians of the french resistance. Fast learners, the french took their battle to the streets no official contact just some slam bam and run attacks here in their, lowering the enemy moral, and making them more hesitant. Guns weren’t the only weapons the maquis used everyday people took up what they knew, wood axes, kitchen knives and even walking sticks became weapons. The ruthless Vichy helped Germans track down more jewish and communist citizens, so you can say they was a little extra incentive to band together and take back what was rightfully theirs. Brothers, Sisters, husbands and wives, neighbour v. neighbour, everyone with reason to pick up arms didn’t there was as much bloodshed in the city as german v. FFI as there was French v. French, weapons the same tools used just months before for hunting game and birds, used for freedom and liberation, the same used for murder and oppression. Weapons of vichy was there hope that one day this will as be over, that you will just wake up and all it was, was a bad bad dream, one word Hope, hope in their hearts, and a rifle in his hand, and a man or woman, is undefeatable, for no task big or small will stop him(or her), or his(her) dream from becoming a reality

Anyway, despite what gun nuts would like to promote, resistance was not limited by a lack of weaponry.  And having weapons also didn’t guarantee success.

Just ask the Germans!