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(1856-1951 ) Marshal,

Politician, war hero of Verdun

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Philippe Henri Pétain was a military and political leader and France´s greatest hero in World War I (1914-1918). He was later condemned as a traitor for having headed the pro-German Vichy regime after France’s defeat in World War II (1939-1945). 
     Born in Cauchy-ó-la-Tour in 1856, Pétain was educated at the Saint-Cyr military academy and the École Supérieure de Guerre (army war college) in Paris. As a general during World War I, he won fame for his successful defense of Verdun against the Germans in 1916. Later, as commander in chief, he did much to restore morale in the French army after a series of mutinies in 1917. He was made a marshal of France the following year. During the 1920s Pétain served in French Morocco. In 1934 he was minister of war, and from 1939 to 1940 he was ambassador to Spain. 
     Following the German invasion of France in 1940, Pétain – then 84 years old – was recalled to active military service as adviser to the minister of war. On June 16, 1940, hesucceeded Paul Reynaud as premier of France and soon afterward he asked the Germans for an armistice, which was concluded on June 22. On July 2, with the consent of the Germans, he established his government in Vichy in central France, and on July 10 he assumed the title of chief of state, ruling thereafter with dictatorial powers over that portion of France not directly under German control. Pétain and his prime minister, Pierre Laval, established a Fascist-oriented government that became notorious for its collaboration with German dictator Adolf Hitler. The Vichy government ruled with Germany’s approval, appointing all government officials, controlling the press, and practicing arbitrary arrests. The government also passed anti-Semitic laws and rounded up French, Spanish, and Eastern European Jews who were deported to German concentration camps.

With the German army occupying two-thirds of the country, Pétain believed he could repair the ruin caused by the invasion and obtain the release of the numerous prisoners of war only by cooperating with the Germans. In the southern part of France, left free by the armistice agreement, he set up a paternalistic regime the motto of which was “Work, Family, and Fatherland.” Reactionary by temperament and education, he allowed his government to promulgate a law dissolving the Masonic lodges and excluding Jews from certain professions.

He was, however, opposed to the policy of close Franco-German collaboration advocated by his vice premier Pierre Laval, whom he dismissed in December 1940, replacing him with Admiral François Darlan. Pétain then attempted to practice a foreign policy of neutrality and delay. He secretly sent an emissary to London, met with the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco , whom he urged to refuse free passage of Adolf Hitler’s army to North Africa, and maintained a cordial relationship with Admiral William Leahy, the U.S. ambassador to Vichy until 1942.

When, in April 1942, the Germans forced Pétain to take Laval back as premier, he himself withdrew into a purely nominal role.


     After the Allies landed in France in 1944, Pétain went toGermany and then to Switzerland. He returned to France after the war to stand trial for treason. In August 1945 he was found guilty of intelligence with the enemy and sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and he was moved to Ile d’Yeu, an island off the coast of Brittany, where he died.

(Ack:worldatwar.net/biography, Brittanica.com)

 

 

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When two Lawyers Meet- H. Daumier

A: ” Sent anyone to Guillotine lately?

caption is mine-b

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Jean Renoir’s A Day in the Country is a story by Guy de Maupassant, which according to Truffaut is the only true cinematic equivalent of the art of the short story. In a few cinematic images Renoir makes the semi-sweet romantic vignette transcend its provincial circumstances. The film begins and ends with a river,a metaphor for ‘the moving finger’ of Nature writing the destinies of two young lovers. Destiny of a girl’s first experience of romance is tearful as the drizzle of rain followed by the river in full spate towards the end. The identical shot bookends the film. It is a kind of Omar Khayyam quatrain in cinematic terms. Indifferent nature must leave the lovers rue over what might have been.
A group of family members spend a day away from the city in the French countryside. An outing to the countryside does something to the jaded spirits of the ironmonger and his family differently. As soon as he gallantly sets down his wife his stolid virtue of the city is changed. It may be as humdrum way of a squeeze surreptitiously to flirt with her. Under the shade of a tree the daughter speaksto her mother of Nature’s effect on her thus introducing the mood for tenderness to which she must succumb eventually. While the men go off to fish, the mother (Jeanne Marken) has a harmless flirtation with a rural “rake,” while the daughter (Sylvia Bataille) has a more serious liaison with a handsome young man (George Saint-Saens). Fourteen years later, the same family vacations at the same spot. The handsome stranger returns, hoping to renew his affair with the daughter; unfortunately, the girl is now married to a dull, insensitive lump. The two former lovers ponder what might have been, then the family heads back to the city. A Day in the Country currently exists only in a 40-minute version
Renoir had planned to film scenes depicting what happened in the years between the two holidays, but he closed down production due to an acute “creative block.” For its American distribution, Day in the Country was bundled together with two other short European films — Joifroi and the controversial The Miracle — as the portmanteau film The Ways of Love.
Truffaut’s review:

Une Partie de Campagne (A Day in the Country-1936) is a film
of pure sensation; each blade of grass tickles our face. Adapted from
a story by Guy de Maupassant, Without using a single line of commentary,
Renoir offers us forty-five minutes of a poetic prose whose truth makes
us shudder or gives us goose bumps at certain moments. This film,
the most physical Renoir made, touches us physically.

* Cast: Sylvia Bataille, Jane Marken [Jeanne], Georges Darnoux, Paul Temps, Jean Renoir, Marguerite Renoir, Georges Saint-Saens, Alain Renoir, Full Credits
Black and white film.
(ack: Hal Erickson-all movie guide)

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George Clemenceau

GEORGE CLEMENCEAU (French) (1841 – 1929)
Statesman.

Clemenceau stood for the principles of the French Revolution – authoritarian, democratic, patriotic; he was a 20th Century Jacobin.
The French politician who had the most nicknames (Le Tombeur des Ministères, Le Tigre, Père la Victoire) and fought the most duels, he began his career as a radical deputy and outspoken journalist in continous conflict with catholics, royalists, moderates and Socialists. His greatest moment came in 1917 when P.M. for the second time, elderly and deaf, he still became the symbol and inspiration of the French determination to win the war. In the peace negotiations he tried to get security for France against Germany. Yet was attacked for not being more successful; he was defeated in the Presidential elections of 1920 and retired. He was an independent character:(In 1919 en route for same ceremony, he met Balfour in the lift. Balfour was wearing a top hat and Clemenceau, his battered deer stalker. A puzzled Balfour:”But they told me that I have to wear a silk hat”. Clemenceau replied:”They told me that too”). And a sardonic wit. (Si, seulement je pouvais passer comme Lloyd George parle).

benny

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pasteur

Louis Pasteur, (1822-1895) micro-biologist, chemist,

Son of a tanner his foray into science set him apart from great many who made discoveries in the world of science, practical application of which made modern science as we know today. His contribution to the wellbeing of humanity would place him far above statesmen, rulers, thinkers and military geniuses the world has ever known.
In the earliest times surgery was done by glorified barbers and they were addressed ‘mister’ than with due consideration to art ( as in the case of physicians) it was often possible that the operations often resulted in medical complications and death though operation was not performed over vital organs of the body. Pasteurs study into germs made him apply a new rule for doctors to sanitize their hands before they performed surgery. Now it may sound very commonplace but it was a daring innovation for which Louis Pasteur’s work had prepared him most admirably.
Pasteur founded the science of microbiology and proved that most infectious diseases are caused by micro-organisms. This became known as the “germ theory” of disease. The germ theory was the foundation of numerous applications, such as the large scale brewing of beer, wine-making and other antiseptic operations. Another significant discovery facilitated by the germ theory was the nature of contagious diseases. Pasteur’s intuited that if germs were the cause of fermentation, they could just as well be the cause of contagious diseases. This proved to be true for many diseases such as potato blight, silkworm diseases, and anthrax.
After studying the characteristics of germs and viruses that caused diseases, he and others found that laboratory manipulations of the infectious agents can be used to immunize people and animals. This treatment proved to work and saved countless lives and naturally it led the innovation I mentioned in the beginning.
One characteristic that marked Pasteur above great many brilliant chemists was his ability to apply the principles drawn from research into practical applications. For instance his contribution to prevent wine from spoiling helped French wine industry. The French economy was heavily dependent on wine exports and he suggested a simple procedure to help it. Boiling the wine would have altered its flavor. Therefore, Pasteur heated the wine enough to kill most of the microbes present without changing the flavor. Chilling prevented any microbes left from multiplying.
To his great delight, Pasteur found that this process could also prevent milks from turning sour and preserve many other foodstuffs as well. Thus he became the inventor of a new process known as pasteurization which brought him more fame and recognition. Besides this Pasteur also developed vaccines for several diseases including rabies. The discovery of the vaccine for rabies led to the founding of the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 1888.
On the discipline of rigid and strict experimental tests he commented, “Imagination should give wings to our thoughts but we always need important experimental proof, and when the moment comes to draw conclusions and to understand the gathered observations, imagination must be checked and documented by the factual results of the experiment. Francis Bacon said this earlier but Pasteur said it more eloquently since he took away the fear of death from everyday life. All of these achievements point to singular brilliance and perseverance in Pasteur’s nature. Pasteur’s name lives on in the microbiological research institute in Paris that bears his name, the Institute Pasteur and continues to be today as a center of microbiology and immunology.(www.famousscientists.org/louis-pasteur)

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outdoor sketching,Beaune

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