tv Les Parisiennes CSPAN November 13, 2016 8:30am-9:50am EST
having viewed the talk some 20 times -- [laughter] declined number 21. but is going to use this time to view the collections within the museum. very good use of his time, something he's going to enjoy. many of you will remember joanna norman spoke to us on our 35th anniversary celebration lecture, some of the keynote of that, and to test your memory even further you may recall that my telling of that came about. i'm not going to retell the story. i is what you do know that it was through the generosity of spirit and introductions that mark made we were able to contact the curating staff and arrange joanna's the parents. so i know you want to probably say hello to him. he will be in the rotunda with john after this.
and thank you for accepting our invitation to come to memphis. now, i have a question for you. how did you form your impression of paris during the occupation? occupation? think about that. was it -- allen first, or perhaps hannah, kristin hannah's latest a book called the nightingale? all fiction for sure. reality may have prepared you even better. some of you may have relatives or friends who told you about that experience and you remember they're telling these bits and pieces. but those were fiction, and there is so much more to the story than what you can read in a novel. just as when writing her biography, anne did a massive
amount of research, films, books, diaries, ma letters, ma official documents. all the things that go into making a well researched nonfiction book about this period. she even talked to men and women who are still alive today to tell their stories of their experiences and those of their loved ones. but this is her story to tell. and i'm going to resist the temptation to go any further. she's well-prepared to write it. she studied history at the university before going off to rome to be a foreign correspondent. came back to england to be a bbc reporter and professor. and then went on to write eight books, acclaimed biographies of mother teresa, churchill, as well as the one about wallis simpson called that moment.
today she's going to talk about "les parisiennes: how the women of paris lived, loved, and died under nazi occupation." we are happy to have you back, anne. please welcome her. [applause] >> goodness, me. thank you, gail. that was a very generous introduction. i'm very touched. i can't tell you how thrilled i am to be here for the third time. very, very exciting for me. i'm going to assume amongst an intelligent audience as you are that you will all be recently familiar with this history of world war ii, it specifically the occupation of paris by the nazis. so you'll know that there are three principal men in this
story, hitler, patent and the goal. i'm going to tell you as little about them as i can possibly manage. [laughter] this is unashamedly a women's story. it's a story of how women manage to survive in the dark days of the nazi occupation and it encompasses women such as jewelers, housewives, tadej, dancers, singers, and really all the women who found themselves in this situation and their myriad responses to the occupations by an enemy. so the real question is why hasn't it been addressed before? why has it taken so long for historians to examine this diverse range of responses to the enemy? this picture helps to understand
because it was taken in 2015. that's last year. last year president hollande, and let us not into the purity of his motives, decided it was time to read very two of the most famous women resistance in the pantheon. that's france's secular temple to the grace and good, and it has carved on the pandemic outside to the great men of france, a grateful fatherland. so not surprisingly perhaps, into last year, only one woman was buried there in her own right, mary curie. but actually what you see in this picture, the trickle or draped over a coffin is not actually the bodies, who was the
niece of the general, not the daughter. now, the families decided to actually the great detection and so long ago they didn't want their bodies disturbed. so actually they agree to some soil from their graves being carried to the pantheon. nonetheless, it was a pretty major change in how e-mail -- had been viewed. and thus bozell looking at why it's taken so long, there are many reasons, and explain them as look at the individual stories, but i think the main reason is that female heroism so we didn't fit the myth that general de gaulle constructed when he returned to paris in the summer of 1944. among the other reasons are women's natural modesty, if you like. they did want to talk about the
awful times that you lived through. they wanted to push it behind them. they wanted to spare their children. they wanted to establish some kind of normalcy in their life, perhaps get married and have children. they also found that they were struggling in a deeply patriarchal society to be recognized. and here you see women demonstrating before the war for the right to vote. women in france did not have the right to vote until 1946. women could not theoretically wear trousers. too masculine. women could have their own bank accounts, they couldn't have a job without the permission of a father or a husband eric so that's really a key out of the of the background of this book, but i really have to say this is not women's history.
this is mainstream history. this is the history. the other piece of background but i think it's important to understand is a france's complicated relationship with its jewish population. france was the first country in europe to emancipate the jews in the wake of napoleon from 1806 onwards. and so jews flooded from eastern europe to france because this was the country of the enlightenment. you know, they felt that they would have a homeland in france. and that, because of the large numbers of jews in france, many french had a complicated response to the jews in your number, as you'll know from this case, of course.
they didn't always find it. so this picture explains what is known as the french paradox. and by that i mean that only quote-unquote approximately 76,000 jews were deported during the war them out of the total population on the eve of war of 330,000 jews. its approximate a quarter. what one has to explain is on the one hand why with a 76,000 deported, that wasn't the action of fdicia sovereign govern. french and buses. the germans not only didn't have the manpower, they were far too preoccupied prosecuting a war. but how come so many survived? the reason for that is the response of many good individual
french catholics, protestants to all sorts of religions. so it's understanding that paradox that is the other piece of essential background to this book. and i just want to show you the blue represents come as you probably realized, the jewish population before the war, and the yellow represents what remain. so if you look at poland, of course it isn't much yellow to show after the war. but if you look at france, arguably they did not do badly. so the other thing i just want to touch on before i launch into the individual stories is a quest to answer a question that i was often asked, what rights do they have to tackle this problem when i didn't live through the war?
anywhere in britain we had no experience of occupation. well, long answer is a short introduction i studied french history at the university. i've always been intrigued in this story. my father drove a tank on d-day plus one into normandy, and i grew up in a francophile family. but the shorter answer to why i decided to tackle this, it has to do with my book about wallace simpson because she was rather fall of the jury as you may know. and so party a data lots of wonderful cartier images of the jewels she bought and when it was published i had a phone call from head who said to me, but the duchess of windsor was a great -- why haven't you included that? actually is not a book about jewelry. it's a biography.
and he said to me, well, why don't you come and spend a day in paris at the workshops and the showrooms and i'll try and change her mind? so what girl can refuse a day in paris at vancleave and our pal? sure enough i would. and destroy that i learned there was about this woman who you see, born right show -- rachel. she changed her name to try to the she married a racecar driver. her mother was a star and chand it into a stale. at the vancleave family were both a jewish. they tried and failed french. they tried to assimilate but they were really the johnny-come-lately of the platform. they were constantly trying to
compete with cartier and to come up with newer settings, the ministry settings, more exotic stones. into 1938, rachel inherited his company from her father. and in 1940 when the germans occupied, all jewish companies had to the island by area and or a christian, she decided to area knives the paris branch but i could to take a heavy suitcase full of stock down to vichy, the spot where they already had a boutique, and to continue the company from vichy because she thought i know all the government leaders of air, their lives, mistresses and children all my friends. i'll be fine there. i'll just keep the company going in vichy. and she particularly believed
that because she knew the bottom of the prime minister, that actually she would not only be fine and the company would flourish, but she would be protected. as i learned that day in paris, in fact she suddenly felt exposed, and in december 1942, she threw herself out the window and committed suicide. and it was hearing that story that hooked me into wanting to understand more, at all sorts of levels. i wanted to know what it was that suddenly triggered a confident successful a young businesswoman to feel that she had no future. i wanted to understand why it was that jewelry and clothing and cinema and theater, and find a name, find life generally, could flourish in wartime, at the same time as other people
were dying and starving and hiding in fear of retaining their lives. and it was this light and dark that really was what propelled me into the story. and i hope you will see some of that as i now go through the individual stories. so in 1939 on the eve of war, many in paris believed that there could possibly be a war. and it was going to be war, that the french would win very swiftly and the germans would be defeated. they have that's baked in their life. so this surrealist circus ball enormously extravagant with elephants and ponies and jugglers and acrobats which went
on until the small hours. i just want to draw your attention to address because it's relevant to the story. can you see the embroidery? the butterflies to the sequence, address is by the american designer who quickly came back to america advocate is -- but the significance of her dress is that when the germans occupied, hitler wanted to take the region needs lock back and sterile -- lock, stock and barrel back to germany. you can't just take the designers because of a whole army of women behind them i knew the designers depend. and by that he meant the women who are specialists in beating, embroidery, in these skills were
terribly important to the contour industry, it probably say that only the jobs of the lives of 25,000 women by keeping the industry in france. so from then on it was a very important to find ways to cut your industry to exist and to survive. and even the germans played along with that because he knew that actually it was important for german lies to buy close their and to keep the population quiet and happy. you will see how that plays out in the course of this talk. just one other thing. the very beautiful woman at the bottom, then 17, was wearing a very early christian dior gown but before he had his own label. he worked at the time. so the other thing that changed in paris in 1939 at the outbreak of war was that the french were
terrified would be a chemical that, a gas attack. so everyone was issued with gas masks and the designers quickly caught on and made very expensive luxurious cylindrical shaped bags to hold a gas masks and. you can see one of them here. just as an indication of how terribly fashionable they were, in latin america where there was no war and no threat of war, these cylindrical bags became obsolete -- because if that he was wearing them, and everyone had to be as fashionable as their sisters. the shops build shelters very quickly, but just look at that woman's soup stockings. because if the women couldn't wear trousers, they had to find stockings. which is not acceptable to go out there like it. so of course silk stockings ran
out very soon and then there were mashed which could be mended a few times and then when there was nothing else, consequently learned how to apply iodine to the legs. if you had a particularly straight and are a kind friend you could paint a straight line up the back to imitate the scene. typically on the eve of war, many women get married, or divorced, and they told me how to did a boring trade in engagement rings on the eve of war, because many parisiennes when they decided well, if i make is going off to the front, he may be killed. at least i can claim a pension if i have an engagement ring. said many engagement rings, but this particular woman in a wedding dress is not only one of my real hair winds in this story, but i think her story is really emblematic of so many
parisiennes women on the eve of war, unable to find fulfillment, according to the law. that actually put a far greater role in society than the law allowed them, once more took over their lives. so she was married at 19, almost an arranged marriage. she came from -- her family had been in france for a long time. her husband was an antique dealer who like many parisiennes meant that a number of mistresses and women friends, and he did really see why marriage should change any of that. so on the eve of war, we find her deeply unhappy. she's even visiting a psychiatrist to understand
herself, why does she feel so unfulfilled. they had a child who was 10, a child was looked after by a governess. so she really had very little to do, and i'm pleased that you that she found fulfillment during the war, the oil did she join the resistance and play a major role, as we will hear, that she also when she moved had a passionate love affair with a communist trade union leader. [laughter] who was the leader of the sailors union. it didn't end happily, but we will come to it in due course. the other woman was a jewish polish refugee come and go represented those of jews in france who didn't have french nationality, ago absolutely terrified. she and her family knew only too well what fate awaited them.
and chatty funds -- a fiancée in london who begged her to come to london and their him, and she declined because she said i have elderly parents. i have to stay with them. in fact, her mother was dying of cancer. so she was cast at the beginning of the war to finding visas for the family group that comprise simply three of them. by the end it had swelled to 12. and for the next 18 months she went to every council and consulate that some kind of power to grant exit visas, and she was constantly propositioned in terms of being invited to have sex or hand over her jewelry. and she tells his story very amusingly in her unpublished memoirs, but eventually she found a council who is able to
grant 12 exit visas to her family, and they spent the were actually in an internment camp in jamaica. so it wasn't an easy war for her, but on the other hand, they survived. so in june 1940, as i'm sure you will know, the french were defeated very swiftly. it was a classic blitzkrieg. so the germans occupied paris, and a number of changes on those, almost immediately, the flags with swastikas. those of you who know pairs you must recognize this as the gardens where the french suddenly had to start growing vegetables. it were a number of other changes. the germans introduced a curfew which varied between 10, 11, 12, depending on a quietly the situation was. they change the exchange rate,
obviously favorably to the germans. so although the terms of the armistice involved a large amount of money being paid over and goods being supplied or looted, it also became very difficult for french people to buy anything because they were so expensive. that there's something else about this picture. it's eerie emptiness. because 2 million men were taken as president of war, and many other men left if they could come young men of fighting age, to join de gaulle in london. so paris became a feminized city. you didn't see young men of fighting age on the street. it was the women who on a daily basis had to decide from now on how to interact with their german occupiers. and so you see women on a bicycle because private cars also disappeared.
there was no fuel. and just look at the woman there with her large turbine. because that's the other thing. shampoo soon disappeared somehow were women meant to look smart if they couldn't wash their hair? they made a virtue of necessity, and the turbine became very fashionable. at the bigger the better, and if he did not big move for air you stopped the turbine with old newspaper. so paris she and women from the start decided -- parisiennes women decided from the start that being status was -- bordered on resisting the germans. remaining fashionable was terribly important for them. they were not going to be ground into the dust. the germans of course though economic affairs was a prized posting. of course, it was better than being set to the eastern front.
but you see one of the reasons why it was so exciting. when hitler came to pairs the only came once either way, but he recognized it was a jewel. it was a prized, that's what it was capped out an open city and he wanted everything to carry on just as it was. that was the illusion he was trying to create. he made this comment -- chairmay german should have the chance to come to paris at least once. and as you see, this is only one of the delights in paris. this particular booklet that you're looking at was privately printed. they were photographed. it was never published but it was a guide to officers, and probably there were only about 100 of these efforts reduced. and i was told about one that
existed in an erotic bookshop. and i was told that if i went there i simply couldn't go on my own. you have to make an appointment. so i went with my husband who you heard referred to earlier. he thought doing research with me was absolutely wonderful. [laughter] and i could arrange some more research for him after this. but there is a very serious point to this picture, because the germans recognized that although the military defeat had been easy, perhaps two of the kinds of defeat in store for them that the prosecutes might have. i think finally before we leave this, you can hardly see the small print which says -- in other words, it's the choice, but the choice for the main. there was no choice for the women. and i think if any group of women has really not have their
story told, it's the french prostitutes. and many of the brothels actually doubled as resistance houses. it wasn't all the fun for the german men. of course, there were lots of german female soldiers who came. formally they were not as auxiliaries but their french sisters often call them great. that's when they're being polite. when they were less polite they call them officers of mattresses. [laughter] as you can see here, for them harris was a delight. they could finally find the products that are already disappeared off the shelves in german shops. and any other photograph which is -- you can see how initially the first wave of german soldiers were handsome, charming and polite. as long as the nazi soviet pact
was in existence, the communist at the hands tied behind their backs and couldn't resist the. so to begin with, everything was calm. there were no random assassinations and no reprisals in the first year, but that didn't last for long. the theater was one of the jewels that hitler wanted to keep, and it's the french national theatre and it's barely stopped for more than a few days. but this woman is another one of my heroines. she was not jewish, decided almost immediately that she couldn't possibly perform in a country that didn't allow jewish actors and that did not allow the work of jewish playwrights to be performed. so she laughed which was not really giving up a job is
getting a her life pension. she followed the fate of this man, who was her lover, george. george was the politician who actually churchill had hoped would come to england, not the lanky tall been that nobody had heard of, de gaulle. but george said he couldn't come. he couldn't leave france because he was jewish and you would be accused of cowardice and desertion. so sure enough he was arrested and went from one prison camp to another. she was not only visiting him in the camps and taking food, she was looking after his orphaned daughter. but when he was in camp at the end, she wrote him a letter begging him to marry her but he declined because he said he knew what his fate would be
anti-deepwater to share sure enough when is transferred from one camp to another. in addition to all of that, because after the war, de gaulle came and wanted to lay a wreath on his grave. she fire off an angry letter saying how dare you, when you did nothing during his lifetime to help them escape or to give them -- when he really needed it and you could've done something. so hell hath no fury i suppose. the other woman who i interviewed, i interviewed her when she was only 100 companies you see in this picture. she still alive today at 102. she acted at the the, the frances throughout the world. it's just interesting to look at the different choices that women
made. she insisted by leaving probably after every performance thing she had to get home to her children and be home before the curfew, she never had to have come accept a drink with any of the german soldiers in the audience. but it really was obligated choice, if he were a performer. and i think she has particularly suffered because it's so visible. they performed on stage to a sea of gray green uniforms as you see in this picture. but just to give you an idea of how complex it was, look at the other picture of a group of artists, including edith in germany in front of the brandenburg gate.
rigal was a dancer at a childhood ambition to dance. she was accepted in 1939 and they said weight in paris and we will come by and pick you up. but, of course, more made that impossible. so she was trapped in paris and she was taken in by a nightclub that was particularly pro-resistance. they trained for their style of dance. but she was very successful and they gave her a false identity. she was told that she had to go to germany in 1943. it was one of the sponsored tours distinctive french prisoners of war, but the whole idea was to proclaim for the world what a benign occupation the nazi occupation of paris was, and how everything was preserved and happy in paris.
but even though she had not wanted to go because she was jewish, she was told that she didn't go not only would she blow her own cover but she would make a very dangerous for those of her friends at home. and edith piaf has often been accused of collaboration because of his trip she made the she argued she had herself photographed with german soldiers so that she could cut out the images, the faces of the german soldiers and use them to create false identity cards for french prisoners of war. i don't think it can be proved at this point either way. but certainly performing was complicated. and here you see the french wagnerian soloist, and you can imagine this photograph is not going to speak well for after the war. if you can hear, this is just a clip, i don't know i if it can o
because i think it's so provocative. you understand as a wagnerian and that's a german -- herself argued, that her voice matured at a particular time and all the years she put into training and gabrielle picture out of young student for having a very, very special voice, and even hitler, i'm not sure he was a particul particular, said she was the finest he's ever heard. but in 1938 when she sang, the french were only too happy to claim her because of course at that point it was wonderful to have a french soloist who was singing bogner for the first time. but during the war she continued to saying at the upper house in paris. and here you see with a very young herbert who came over.
she also had german friends and a german lover. so after the war, of course she's going to pay a heavy price for being seen on stage and arguably for collaborating. the germans believed that opera was their own invented art for. they spent 6.5000 francs on tickets for the operating for years of the occupation alone. so to perform on the stage in front of all these germans was never going to be easy to argue that you were not in some way contributing to the solution of a benign occupation. so she was sent to prison for about three years, and then she was sentenced to a new crime of -- public humiliation. obviously, she was stripped of
their citizenship. her house was taken and she was sent into exile. by the time she came back in the 50s, she was a humiliated performer. she couldn't it work on the stage. she taught singing but really her career was totally finished, and a few years after that she committed suicide or not only artists who had to make a choice, a decision, but if you ran a business, your decisions all the time. because the germans insisted that any jewish business has to hand over to a christian owner. and as you see in these leaflets, there were many shops that were emptied and waiting for someone to taken over. and icy many letters signed by a good french housewife, i could run this business if you allow me to.
but someone like chanel who is not jewish so shouldn't have to give up but she chose to close down her boutique on the eve of war. she said war, it was not a suitable time to continue running their business. and she opted for a much easier life in the ribs with her much younger, and some german lover. i don't actually believe she was a traitor. she certainly, it was not -- she did, however, behave badly in trying to regain ownership of are very lucrative perfume business. because in the 1920s in order to fund the business she had taken the money as an investment from the jewish -- brothers. she thought now's my chance during the war, i can claim it back. but actually the brothers were a step ahead of her and had
already area and iced it. so she wasn't able to do that. but she continued fighting and to after the war and her lawyer was married to the daughter of the prime minister and he was a very astute lawyer, and in the end she was given a larger share of the perfume this is really because it was easier to grant her that and a major so immensely wealthy, but she never needed to work again. buying stocks of joy demanded a lot of capital. and this woman you see here, suzanne, was one of the most talented jewelers of her generation, and wallis simpson was a customer of hers, of course. she never signed a peace.
she said my style is my signature. i don't need to cite them. but in order to buy the raw materials, the man who invested in her company prewar was the man you see. he also fell in love with suzanne your so during the occupation, although she tried to buy the company back, she was betrayed and accused of false. he was arrested. you've sent to the holding station for jews before they're shipped to auschwitz. where he was killed but not before he wrote one of the most poignant letters that i think i have in my book where he says he's so sorry for all the
trouble that he's caused suzanne. but he doesn't regret staying in paris for as long as he did because it shortened the time that he was away from her. so in understanding the question that i oppose right at the beginning, why does jewelry portion time of war? why is it that women want to buy items of jewelry at such a terribly difficult time for so many others? there are a number of reasons, and although from looking at the file cards of then please comment serving not only -- of van cleef. it was totally the german soldiers were buying companies also the french. i begin to understand this when i went into discuss with the archivist who showed me these objects. in order to any jewelry made
during the war you have to take in the exact weight of metal for the object you wanted created because there just were not supplies. in fact, it was something in platinum, you had to taken one and half times the weight. so she said many women were so aggrieved at the way they believed their husbands had let them down, that humiliated them, have forced them into this situation that they would sometimes take in the family silver, the family cutlery inhabit meltdown into a new evening bag for them to wear, to show that they were absolutely on the top of fashion. these evening bag for particularly shocking because inside they had compartments for powder and lipstick, and prewar for a wellborn parisiennes woman
to make up in public was absolutely unacceptable. so what these women were to claim was not only that they knew exactly what was the most fashionable kind of evening bag, but they're going to do something really shocking i open it up and putting their makeup on in public. and here's another way that parisiennes women try to remain fashionable. it would have their mesh stockings minted invented until they couldn't be mended no more. when there was no leather and they would be reduced to wearing cork shoes, they would cover their shoes in fabric. and here's an example of real economic collaboration. generally, i don't actually word that like the word collaboration. it was the word invented by marshall when he agreed to terms of the armistice. but i think for women in paris
most it was a question of being complicit, pollution or doing a deal. but this is a real economic collaboration because it's a question of keeping the factories going, getting work to the designers when they were no longer any import of cotton and wool. what on earth are you going to make these new close out of? so they came up with a fabric which was totally synthetic, we call it right on today, but they gave it a pretty name. they called it fibranne and actually fibranne was made from cellulose, from pine trees which the germans provided and then the french design is created something that you see your pics on the catwalk they looked wonderful but it was a disaster if you washed it. it shrunk to half its size. [laughter] and here's another way that they tried to find work for the
designers. between something called day of elegance on a bicycle. there was a competition for the designer who came up with the best outfit for women to wear on their bicycles. they could've our countries. actually what you see are what we would probably call divided skirts. of course, they were treasures but probably with a flap over. but the women to look very pretty winning them. and once rationing was introduced, many women out of didn't have enough coupons for a whole dress but at least they could buy lingerie, so it made them feel better. and then the government in terms of introducing compulsory wearing of a yellow star, if you were jewish. and this -- i think if any picture during my research, that has really made me think how
would i behave, it's probably this picture. because i find the look of shock of those women important, i find the fact that these two women in the front are holding hands probably gives them courage. and i do quote a story in my book of a man who crossed the road to liberally and shook hands and said, i want to behave like a good catholic, and i want to shake your hand and show you that i don't approve of this. wearing a yellow star of course was one of the choices that jewish women had to make, should they go into hiding, should they not register, or do they just decide actually does nothing to be ashamed of, i'm going to wear it? it would lead to the arrest. and irene, the russian born
author, did wear a yellow scarf that she didn't identify as jewish. she didn't feel jewish. she felt deeply french. she loved friends. she studied it and she wrote in french. but she should a very good example of the french paradox that i talked about at the beginning. because her publishers were no longer able to pay her, as a jewish writer, so she moved out of paris to a village in burgundy with her two children and her husband, and she devised a scheme whereby the governess was paid. paid. she pretended to cover some funny stories and a governess paid her. that lasted for a bit, but then she was arrested, and she was arrested by two french policemen. but the reason i say it's the french paradox is because she gave to her children a suitcase
with the manuscript in it. the manuscript which we now know as sweet france. those two were looked after by writing a french individuals. they were passed from individuals in the resistance to conference and to schools, and eventually in the 21st century, that notebook that they carried around was published as sweet france says. i think it is a masterpiece and i think unquestionably we've lost a great writer. but i just wanted to show you this still from the film, because i think what it shows is how terribly clearly they understood the difficulties for women coming face-to-face with the german occupiers, particularly as in a book when the germans -- which is trying to show was that not all germans were beasts.
some of them were cultured and civilized men who really did not want to be doing what they were forced to do. irene was rounded up in 1942, and she died shortly afterwards of typhoid. in operation spring wind, operation spring wind was part of the big round up in 1942 where most of the jews were rounded up in paris. it's known as vel d'hiv. it's this really at the french were responsible for. the french gave the germans more than they asked for, and particularly the germans had not asked the children. among the 4000 children, there was one as young as 18 months in
this round up. and it was unbelievably unsuitable for a few hours, let alone for five days, which some of the jews rounded up were left there for that length of time. so it's this particular episode that is often known as france's shame. because for so many years they were unable to accept responsibility intel finally in 1995, jacques chirac it except french responsibility for the crime. and what you see here is the monument after that. the curbside represents the bench where the jews were left to try and set with hardly any facilities for toilets, and no food. so after the round up in paris
in 1942, there was hardly anybody who did not know somebody who had been taken. and that's when the resistance really got going and when the women decided that they may not be able to register with a resistance, a network, but there were things they could do nonetheless, which were equally courageous and dangerous. and you see the woman putting leaflets under the door. that was terribly important both to show the outlet landing was underway i was being planned, but it was dangerous because if you put under the wrong door and you could be traced, you would certainly be arrested. one of the reasons why women were not recognized afterwards and not given the same amount of awards and medals is because de gaulle maintained they had
not been registered, or the french worthy -- and official resistance group. so they probably had not carried weapons, therefore they have not fought in combat. they were not combat. 100 my book a show as many women as possible who actually did have weapons, and this lovely young smiley woman actually cycled around normandy with explosives strapped to her chest, and she made bombs on her kitchen table. she survived, and then our daughter in london who has said to me, i just wish my mother had told her stories. so that's another reason why many of these women have not had there are no deeds recognized. they just didn't talk about them. so now back to the woman you saw
at the beginning in the wedding dress. and here she is in her long vast suit which she wore the day she went to meet the leader of the senate union. she wrote that you actually went armed with a copy of karl marx's book under her arm as well. they fell passionately in love, and he charged her with a particular act, to go to vichy because he said we need money in the resistance, and you understand jewelry. thatcher world. is a diamond. we don't know how we got a hold of it, but here's a diamond, tries to sell and bring back the money. so odette went to visit her friends, and try to give her much more money down the diamond was worth -- renee. it was a few days after that
that she threw herself out of the window. odette went back and she and peter were betrayed and picked up shortly after that. and on the way to prison, they held hands and they declared undying love, when the war is over of course we are going to get married and everything will be wonderful. and that sustained them both during their time in different camps. he was sent to the front lines, which he did survive just come and she was sent to a different camp which she survived, but only just. so i've been talking a lot about vichy and i just think it needs one word of explanation. because it's so hard to understand how all this could be going on in paris, but in vichy where they made the laws come it was vichy with the statutes
against the jews were created. but vichy at the same time as declaring that paris was a debauched capital come and go in vichy was the purity, they were trying to undergo a social revolution at the same time. a social revolution alongside the deeply anti-semitic laws come and actually declared the lotto for vichy chippy not better day -- so what you see in this poster, they're actually persuading women to stay at home, not to work, but to release the men if they still have a husband at home, and sent him to work in a german factory on behalf of the nazis. once the loss against the jews were created in vichy, it was a
small step towards erecting, after the arrest houses or apartments were often looted. by 1943 it was evident that the allies invasion was underway. they were preparing it. nobody quite knew when. so churchill decided to send back to bolster the french resistance women who were generally by and large they been born in pairs, they volunteered, they were highl highly idealistc women, and he sent them back as part of the special operations executive. they were not spies. they were there to try and help the resistance. many of them were wireless operators and the new that the life expectancy was lovely only six weeks if they were a wireless operator. and among the 39 female
operatives, most were killed. and this picture of the princess, half american, half indian, with such an idealist but she was a musician. she wrote children's fairy tales. if you look at this picture you think how unsuitable. she was, in fact, incredibly brave, but she was murdered and do.the liberation comes in the summer of 1944 and the women are very keen to play a part in whatever way they can. and there is of course joined in the liberation, and this man who see getting married was a czech refugee called robert maxwell, as he renamed himself. he became a british newspaper baghdad, but he came to paris
briefly and fell in love with the parisiennes teacher. being the clever men he was he was able to get her wedding dress from a downed parachute. but the other side of the liberation is this. as i've been telling you the stories of many heroic women, of course there was collaboration and a lot of black market activity as well. ..
and some of them had slept with chairman in order to acquire a crust of bread for their children. many of them are paraded them i make it worth tattoos of has on therefore had. some of the women returning, they felt they just wanted to merge into normal society as quickly as possible like this woman, join the resistance, went to ravens broke, immediately wrote an account of that, which is probably the first account and then she came to england, married an englishman, had children and never wanted to talk about it again. the other women in uniform you may be aware of the companies seen a film called the monuments men or she is played by kate blanchet heroically trying to
seduce george clooney but it's much more interesting than not in always longed to be a curator and she couldn't be a curator so she did curate this job. when the germans are leading now, she positioned herself and took a note of all the paintings that passed through which helped her after the war locate many of them thanks to her arduous, as did u.s. work out why would she not recognize. probably because she was a and in english woman translator. it doesn't fit the macho male model. women were punished genuinely.
the film not yours who supported her father. her father was executed. he ran a newspaper, pro-german newspaper and has german lovers. but she died of tb before completing her sentence. she was visibly living the life -- she had many german rents as well as benefiting from the black market things to her father's sect committees. she was always unpopular with resistance groups and admittedly would stop her. really very popular even know they had a german mother and famously said my heart is
french, but my heart is international. she was always going to be forgiven because she was so popular. the other woman you see here is the reverse of the coin giving evidence of the tribulations she had faced. this woman is a good example of how women try to make ends meet after the war. contest or rotc, her husband was killed and so she had no money, but in order to stand in the apartment and she took in was jacqueline bouvier and was
complimented on her style. she only said it's a two night years in paris. the other women who came to paris in 1949 for the ways of diplomats and bureaucrats. i'm sure you're recognized this julia child and shumate parisienne cooking famous. so they decided as soon as the allies landed that they wanted to establish the detroit industry because they recognize during the war the casual american close have started to make headway so first of all it was the miniature which designs
that traveled the world to claiming it is french for it is nothing end in 1947 came up with of course reinserting reigns of fabric. i'm not sure it was there because it meant women back to the home where of course it then they were certainly not designed for women who wanted to lead an active working life. that one of the shows who'd been in the resistance of gavin's booking shows her when she came out of ravens broke. why did she never tell her story? she fell in love with a married man who was not only married.
he had children but the traditional meant that she couldn't get a divorce. after the war she continued living within in sin to talk about resistance work. i'm really thrilled to give voice to her now. the new look was not popular with everybody. the shortages in paris were really severe after the war and it was deemed so unsuitable for ordinary women who are still struggling but of course on the ball produced this brooch that the woman is now freed and are able to vote in national elections in 1946. i want to finish with this to
remind you how so many of these women started the war with their fashion lagasse mass coulters and how they finish the war building roads in ravens for. if i was never in doubt, which i often was and how i would define what defines a true parisien, it is certainly not simplistic view that is being simply superficially looking stylish at all times. the woman on the left here listening to ravens broke and never understood why she was unfair because she was not jewish and she was divorced from her former house then. she couldn't recognize that it
was because of the name she carried that she was picked up by the germans and she died in ravens broke. the other woman who looks like a skeleton is actually my hair when, who tried to escape and was caught and beaten and tortured and sent back and looked like this. i've gotten to know her daughter and granddaughter who were neighbors of mine in london as i discovered and they told me that it was announced that saturday is all prisoners were two deeds, she decided if she had to build roads it was more to that the fact into her hands. the sad part of her story as after the war a tragic part, during many sad part. after the war she met up again with pierre and told them that
actually she was going back to her husband who made an arrangement and accommodation of living together or this date of their child and shortly after committed suez type. -- suicide. with all this sadness to contend with, how on earth did so many in paris managed to exist and convince themselves to put this behind them and life after all offered so much promise in the future to be a beautiful life. this is how appeared can we have it a bit louder?
speenine i wanted to ask how did sweet feng shui you found it those around her suitcase or children had all these years. >> it is fairly iraqi list. probably there is an author who is writing an introduction to the other works. she was well known before she'd written many other novels. i don't think any of them are as good. looking at this work which the daughters thought initially was just a diary, this other author translated it and they recognize that it was two parts of what was project did of a five-part symphony. there's just so many tragic
aspects to do because if aaron was writing to her publishers say you and i recognize that this point that if i had anything postwar it will be a posthumous fame. but it was the daughters nodded. or you could sail those good individuals french. well, you know it's going to ask a question i will say one more thing because there is one woman that i can't talk about all the women in the book and i'd love to and i feel so privileged to have given voice to them. i was asked in one of my talks if i noticed shame on the part of some of my interviewees. and of course there is every interview began with the word as if you're english and you're never going to understand what
it was like. actually the one women who i got to know really rather well who is so the opposite of shameful because she told me her story and said i couldn't use her name. not because she's ashamed of what she did, but she doesn't feel she did enough. she's in her 90s and i probably had about four or five interviews with her. in the course of getting to know her she was moot into sheltered housing and during that removal process, she discovered a box of her red cross uniform and the daughter helping her move said why did you never tell us? she said i didn't do much. it turned out she had had her red cross nerd who'd gone to that tel aviv and all she was able to do with ladle out food. she fell she hadn't been able to make a difference to all the people in side as she had just
bought it out of her memory. secondly, we found latter is french canadian and american downed pilots because that is one of the things that so many of these women had escorted them from one safe house to another without being formally registered in a resistance group. i actually saw the proof, the evidence that she had saved the lives of some of these pilots have been written back to her in the 50s for her actions. the third thing i found when she moved her pamphlets from an organization which was then inserted just do it resistance organization and she was one of those cycling around on bicycles and had to deliver these leaflets into lesser boxes. when she saw them, she remembered how terribly dangerous it was because if you put it into the wrong letter box
that someone you, you would be arrested. three separate actions and yet she would let me use her name in my book. yes, shame on the part of some people and not everybody even agreed to see me at all. but i just prefer to focus on the ordinary women ,-com,-com ma ordinary women in extraordinary times who undertook heroic acts. [applause] i know many of you are anxious to acquire anne's book which has just been released for publication in the united states. luckily for you will be selling them upstairs at a discount as we always do and and will be signing them. as you go upstairs, if you are
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