Maîtres mots

  • Il y a longtemps que notre pays est beau mais rude.

       --Newspaper editor Olivier Séguret, 25 January 2012

    The USA are entirely the creation of the accursed race, the French.

       --Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), writing to Nancy Mitford, 22 May 1957

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French Freedom of Speech

Today the cheminots are:


  • "À nous de vous faire préférer le train!"
    "Voyager autrement"
    "Avec le SNCF, tout est possible"
      --Former ad slogans of the SNCF (French national trains), each in turn quickly dropped

Fun French words

  • spoiler

    (to spoil the ending)
    Etymology: back-formation from English spoiler, or telling the end of a movie or book to someone who hasn't seen or read it yet.

    --bon , alors je te spoil ou pas? j'en suis au tome 3...nan, t'es sympas je dirai rien.
    --si tu spoiles, je ne t'emmène pas au musée de la vie romantique !
      --Conversation I saw on Facebook

Who's en colère today?

  • Private sector

    Martine Aubry, Parti socialiste mayor of Lille, snubs Prime Minister Valls who is technically in the same party (haha! For now)

    Lawyers in Corsica

    Employees of the fancy hotel Royal Monceau in Paris

    Truck drivers, furious over a new tax for using the Paris Périphérique or ring road, threatening to block the city. Take this one seriously folks-- in France this always works.


    Public sector

    SNCF (French national trains, toujours eux) workers on RER B, announcing (yet another) strike Thursday 9 October; also workers on the TER in the Alpes-Maritimes, on strike Tuesday 7 October; also workers on the TER on the Côte d'Azur Monday 6 October

    Hope you don't have to take the (government-subsidized) SNCM ferry to Corsica any time soon. Management has announced they're firing up to 1000 workers; a strike is sure to result.

    Firemen in Normandy, on "unlimited" strike

    Garbage workers in Rouen. This one could last up to two weeks, sources say

    Public school cafeteria workers in Brittany

    Public bus drivers in Bordeaux

    Hospital workers on the west coast of France

Go back to school in Paris!

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« The 75-year-old Daddy | Main | CPE: Rêve générale--the General Dream »

Comments

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Thank you for this insight. I have always wondered about the everyday people caught up in the hysteria. So sad to lose one's life - to death or to cleaning up after it.


Interesting.

Liebe Rosmarie! Thanks. What is your book about?

Interesting entry, although I'm surprised you claim the Hitler Jugend took all German children, because they didn't.

Hello,

My name is Shane, I am currently doing a project on Truemmerfrauen for my University. I find this topic very interesting. If you could return an email to me, i would greatly appreciate if you could answer a few questions, which you would know from your Mothers stories.

Any help would be greatly needed
Shane McCaul
Ireland

Shane, Everything I know is in the post above, sorry.

Hello,

I need some information about the "trümmerfrauen" for a school project.
Could you send me an e-mail to my address telling me what do you know of this topic?

Any help would be fantastic!
Thanks,

Andrea (from Barcelona)

Read the comment right above yours.

Thank you for sharing this story and the beautiful photos.

http://www.bluefat.com/ThePotatoWoman.html

Can you direct me to the provenance of the 4th photo posted on your entry?

I am doing a body of artwork about trummerfrauen and related material. I am a bit shocked that the mass rape of women is not connected to the story of trummerfrauen, many of whom had been raped prior to (an during) their often forced labor. Instead, it seems as though they are lionized, with their abuse supressed.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Hello Heide,
The fourth photo is of an Aufbauhelferin in Berlin, as you can see from the photo info if you save the photo. The sculpture is by Fritz Cremer and here is more info about them: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Berlin,_Mitte,_Aufbauhelferin_und_Aufbauhelfer_von_Fritz_Cremer.jpg
Hope this helps.

Regarding the rapes, I have been reading about World War II most of my life, but the mass rapes tended to be mentioned only in passing until quite recently. You got the feeling a lot of the writers thought it was to be expected in wartime. In the past, women were also very often or even usually ashamed to say they had been treated so. Times have changed.

I feel sure that my babysitter (linked story) was raped by Russians, like most women in Berlin when the Russians arrived. It explained why she felt they were "animals." It is indeed shocking. But it wasn't something she and I would have felt comfortable talking about then. Things are different now.

My mother would have been 88 this year.

She was a Truemmer-Frau, and she told us many stories of her life then. I was just a teenager, and now I am 71m, living with some memories of my childhood in WWII.

I want to write about those women and their children and their grandchildren. Thank you for your blog.

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