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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  January 18, 2011 12:00am-1:00am PST

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>> rose: welcome to our program. tonight on dr. martin luther king's national holiday, we remember the civil rights leader with the historian john hope franklin and journalist tom brokaw. >> i have a dream. my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. i have a dream today. >> rose: and then this evening we look at the overthrow of a dictator in tunisia with two tu indonesians, taoufik ben amor of columbia university and malika zeghal of harvard. >> the big debate is do we go for a parliamentary system in which the prime minister emerges from this or presidential system
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like the one we have. and this is going to be a debate but that is what democracy is. this is the exciting part. >> in the end, the tu indonesians did it on their own. i think that's better for the future of tunisia because it shows the people who have decided to go through this riots and demonstrations and in the end revolution. >> rose: we conclude with author alan riding. his book is called "and the show went on: cultural life in nazi occupied paris." >> france seemed to be the capital of this notion of the engaged intellectual and i thought that really the moment see-to-see whether this premise was valid, the premise being that artists and intellectuals and writers enjoy enormous
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prestige during the good days and therefore in my view they have very special responsibilities during the bad days and how did they live up to it. >> rose: remembering dr. king, a look at tunisia and a historical examination of nazi occupied paris when we continue.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: today in the united states it's a national holiday in honor of dr. martin luther king, jr. dr. king changed the course of american history and was a powerful force in the stlaept lead to the passage of the historic civil rights legislation. across the country today and over the weekend there were events commemorating dr. king. president barack obama and first lady michelle obama participate in a service project in washington. >> rose: michelle and i and the girls were extraordinarily proud that each year on martin luther
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king's birthday this is how we celebrate is making sure we're giving a little something back to the community and i hope that all that projects that are taking place across the country on this day are getting similar attention because this is part of what america's all about. and after a painful week where so many of us were focused on tragedy it's good for us to remind ourselves of what this country all about. this kind of service project is what's best in us. >> rose: tonight in memory of dr. king, we bring you a conversation from 2008 with the late historian john hope franklin and the television journalist and author tom brokaw. today marks the 40th anniversary of dr. martin luther king, jr.'s death. he was just 39 years old. early his career, dr. king became a vital leader in the civil rights movement. >> and i've seen the promised land. >> rose: in 1955, he led the montgomery bus boycott and in
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1957 he helped found the southern christian leadership conference. in 1963 his efforts led to the march on washington where he gave his seminal "i have a dream" speech. dr. king's work led to the passing of the civil rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 19 a 65. he received the nobel peace prize for his dedication to ending segregation and racial discrimination at the age of 35. >> my eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord! i thishgs sunday, the history channel premiers a new look at dr. king's life. it's called "king." it's narrated by tom brokaw. >> gandhi liberated india from british colonial rule by leading a movement of non-violent resistance. king adopted his methods and soon his boycott stretched from weeks to months. the bus company and downtown businesses starting losing money. the white community grew increasingly agitated. king was arrested twice,
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threatened. and then, on january 30, his house was bombed. his wife coretta and nine week old daughter were inside. >> when he rushed home not knowing whether or not i had been injuredtor baby had been injured my father said to me "well, coretta i came to get you and the baby." and i said to him "well, dad, i can't go. i want to stay here with martin because i feel this is where i should be." >> he said we'll just have v to keep praying for strength. the strength to keep going and fight what they're trying to do. that was preach. all the time. is we can't stop. >> despite the dangers he faced, king held fast to the boycott and his non-violent philosophy, a revolutionary strategy that stunned even his followers. >> it was a place of murder, a place of mayhem. non-violence in the face of this
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mayhem, that would be a miracle i would love to witness. and i witnessed it. >> king's tactics paid off more than a year after the boycott began. the supreme court outlawed segregation of public buses. the boycott was over and a new movement had begun. >> and the negro citizens of montgomery are urged to return to the buses tomorrow morning on a non-segregated basis. (cheers and applause) >> rose: joining me now is tom brokaw. also joining me from north carolina john dr. hope franklin, the esteemed historian. i am pleased to have them as we take this time to celebrate this anniversary of dr. king and look at civil rights and race in america. john hope franklin, tell me where we are in your judgment in terms of the mutual that began with martin. >> the movement extends back to the early part of the 20th
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century with the founding of certain organizations, particularly the civil rights organization the national association for advancement of colored people. but by the time king came to the scene in the 1950s and '60s, we have turned the corner and we were in another stage of the advancement of the rights of all people in this country. we retire there had for a while between 1950, let's say, and 1968 and the movement took off with a new burst of enthusiasm and energy with the leadership of martin luther king, jr. during this time. >> rose: tom brokaw, you just have completed a two-hour film. tell me what you learned about the man. >> well, what i learned about him in the retrospect is that he
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was a larger and more important figure than we realized even at the time and we thought so much of him at the time. i think he was almost perfectly cast for the role that was... that he was thrust into. he was just 26 years old when he began to lead the montgomery bus boycott. vernon jordan says they went to him and said "we need somebody who's college." somebody who'd been to college. and he had this great spiritual commitment and great moral commitment and he had the philosophy of non-violence which became the driving force, really of the movement and that was critically important because for the rest of the country with network television news just coming online they were able to see the courage of those young demonstrators and their dignity and the dignity of their leaders in the face of unspeakable violence and insults and the worst kinds of injustices and they stood their ground because they believed so strongly in what they were doing. that was a brilliant stroke on
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his part, and they stayed with it. they developed strategy kind of on the run. it was not just dr. king but andrew young and abernathy and harry belafonte in new york. >> rose: but he is the person that made sure non-violence taught began di was the operative tactic of civil rights. >> and he was mature beyond his years, charlie. what we tend to forget is how this movement grew out of the church and how it grew out of that very strong baptist church culture that existed in the south and the strength of the black middle-class family, if you will, or in the poor families as well who went to the church and they responded to what they were hearing there and he used the pulpit of the church to spread the word not just about the gospel, but about the need for negroes-- as they were called then-- to take a stand on behalf of their rights.
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>> rose: where was he moving at the time of his death? he was in memphis to give his name and support... >> he was struggling at the time of his death. you know, it was 1968, the movement started in the late 1950s. by 19678 this country was in considerable turmoil because of the war and the counterculture within the civil rights movement itself. there had been the emergence of a new generation, stokely carmichael and others who wanted to be far more militant. john lewis was driven out of the student non-violence coordinating committee by stokely car michael who described him as a "christ-loving fool." so he was trying to maintain his position and he had moved by then to economic justice and they had started the poor people's campaign in washington. it was not necessarily going well. they were beleaguered by weather and a lot of other things and he went to memphis the first time, it didn't work out very well because he didn't plan for it
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very well. then he went back the second time to make a stand. so it was a difficult time for him. it was a time that... he was not killed at the apogee, if you will, of his influence. he was... >> rose: because there was a transition going on in a sense? >> it was a transition going on and he was maintaining his leadership in it and trying to shift the attention from just racial equality to economic justice. and he'd also come out very strongly against the war earlier, a year earlier. and for a lot of people they thought that it was inappropriate for him to do that. but he said... and even some of his closest advisors thought he ought not to have done that. but he felt very strongly and he went to riverside church in new york and made a statement against the war. >> rose: john hope franklin,s where the civil rights movement? does it exist? we have seen the passage of time and presidents and leaders.
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>> oh, it exists. you know, one of the things about the movement is that we've become accustomed to it, therefore we don't see the drama the way we saw it during martin luther king's life. but it exists. it doesn't have a former organization that one points to and says "there it is." there are many movements, many activities that can be subsumed under the general title of the civil rights movement. equal rights women's rights, all kinds of struggles for rights for various groups of people as well as for the entire population. thus i think it can be said that the civil rights movement does exist. i would go so far as to say that it's flourishinging. one of the things that we usually associate with the
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movement like that is one person. now, we don't have martin luther king or any one resembling him at the present time. but we have people. we have people in multiple numbers and therefore they can be regarded as leaders in the civil rights movement and followers in the civil rights movement if they're not as dramatic and not as impulsive as we think the leaders were. >> rose: tom, can you argue-- as you have talked about in your book-- that those young african american members of state assemblies and lieutenant governors and mayors are the direct descendants of martin luther king? >> well, i'm very struck as i... i wonder whether dr. franklin agrees with me, as i go across the south i see what i call
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metaphorically the grandchildren of dr. king. they're in the law firms and the editors and editorial writers in newspapers that were traditionally all black. i suppose one of the most striking moments that i've mean? the last year or so is that i was at old miss visiting one of my friends who had left old miss curtis willke, a famous newspaper reporter, because of its racist attitudes, has gone back now because of the chancellor and state working harder at race relations. and i met the president of the ole miss alumni association. she's an african american woman. now, that's a real statement, charlie. >> i was on the campus of the university of mississippi just a few months ago and it was in such great contrast to what i had seen there back in the 1960s. it's a different world. >> i heard him speak at duke and i remember we all left the auditorium and went back to different places and i went back to my class, a class of american
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history and we sat and talked about the speech and what we all had heard and the sense of-- as tom was talking about-- literary reference, the sense of passion, the sense of people being moved by words, some of the things we have seen in the political campaign we're undergoing now. what were his last four or five hours like? dr. king. >> you know, in the 24-hour period he had gotten... the plane was delayed getting him to memphis, there was some question about that and he was not feeling well. heed that flu. so the saturday night before there was a big service in which they expected him, like 11,000 people showed up at this big church in memphis and ralph abernathy preached for an hour and they called dr. king back at the hotel at the lorraine and said "you've got to get over here, these people want to hear you." >> rose: (laughs) >> and apparently ralph abernathy, his great friend, gave a great, great speech and
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then dr. king arrived. and he gave that speech that is probably his second-greatest speech which is after "i have a dream" and he talks about having seen the promised land. is there's something to be said for longevity but i may not be with you for a long time but i have seen the promised land. and at the end of this powerful speech-- i don't want to give it away because i want people to watch it and i could never duplicate it-- you see him collapse into the arms of his aides who are standing behind him. and he comes out the next day feeling a little better and he talks to andy down in the lobby of... pardon me, in the courtyard of the hotel and andy has the a gospel singer with him and reverend king gives him some directions about what he'd like to hear that night and a shot rings out. and he's dead instantly. >> rose: dr. martin luther king, jr. died of an assassin's bullet on april 4, 19678 at age 39.
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he had a short life but a large legacy. and for that reason, this country honors him on this day. we'll be back. we continue by looking at tz. on friday it became the first arab country to unseat an autocratic leader through popular revolt. a new unity government was formed less opposed to legal opposition. it excluded the outlawed islamist and communist opposition. in response, thousands of tunisians spilled back into the streets demanding the ruling party be completely abolished. across the arab world, governments and citizens are watching closely what happened next. joining me now, two tunisians, taoufik ben amor is a senior at arab studies. and malika zeghal is a professor of contemporary islamic thought at harvard university. i am pleased to have both of
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them on this program. what happened and what caused the overthrow of this autocratic leader? >> charlie, i think there are two main factors that can help us explain what happened in tunisia. first, the social economic aspect. tunisia is a small country that has been described as the miracle of the middle east in terms of social economic development. in the last decade there was a growth of 5%, but in the last two years, it came down to 3%. there is a lack of economic opportunities for young tunisians, the unemployment rate is around 20% and in some regions around 40%. so that's one element that started this whole revolution, especially when mohammed azizi
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set himself on fire. he had been trying to sell vegetables and fruits in his town outside in the street using his cart but he never was able to get a permit and he didn't have the money to pay the under the table to get this permit and he was harassed by the police and he ended up in this suicide setting himself on fire and starting from there the protest started and went way beyond the usual bread riots because it became very quickly a political protest and it generalizeed into all the regions of tunisia and people started to demand representation, to demand
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liberty, to demand work and national dignity. there was one slogan that was repeated over and over which was "work, freedom, national dignity." and so those two factors, social economic demands and political demands have come together and have led to this extraordinary moment in the middle east which has led to the departure of president ben ali who had really established a dictatorship in tunisia. >> rose: and he has taken refuge in saudi arabia. >> yes, he is. yes, he has. >> rose: was there a political element to this? was it a popular... popular revolt without political leadership coming from a political party? >> yes, this was a spontaneous
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movement. it caught all sectors of tunisian society, especially the youth. and, you know, the way i looked at all the protests on videos, there were videos posted on the internet everyday coming from cell phones was really that the whole people of tunisia, the nation, was demanding political reforms and the symbols that were visible on the streets during the protests were very important to... are very important to underline. for instance, the flag of tunisia was very much different present. the national anthem sung all the time by the demonstrators and there was a sense for a desire for a second liberation. as you know, tunisia was occupied by the french and gained its independence in 1966. this is for a second liberation.
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it's really a new moment where tunisians recover their independence from a dictatorship. >> i would go even further than that, charlie, because i think that people have been unable to participate in the democratic process even from the times of the french occupation that in fact the regime of the ex-president and ben ali who follows him were in a way a continuation of this deprivation from participating, from developing a civil society. there was such an incredible vacuum of power even to the point where a lot of people were very concerned about what the is going to happen there. all of these parties have been either exiled, leaders have been put in prisons and so whatever mechanism of opposition to the government that could actually
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emerge now to create a new civil society is in most of the times not completely present. >> if there was an overthrow of a government you have a new unit government that contains members of the old government in important positions. >> exactly, exactly. >> rose: what does that say? >> exactly. it says a lot of things. and people... most popular opinion now is totally opposed to that. >> rose: to the unity government >> to the unity government. >> rose: will it stand? >> i think not. if i don't know if malika's agrees with me but i think the prime minister's days are counted. this is mohammed ghannouchi who's currently the... because he's seen as part of the old regime, part of the old structure that people want to put aside. so my feeling is that probably would the next step and maybe some other personality will
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emerge. >> rose: some of their argument is that those most responsible for the corruption in the past have been removed. >> right. >> rose: is there any... does that have credibility to you? >> it doesn't have enough credibility. people are totally aware of who of the opposition was given which ministry which they think are actually not significant. so the minister of interior... the important ministers, especially the minister of the interior is still the same. >> rose: and defense and... >> defense and foreign affairs, yes. >> rose: those are all the same? >> these are freedom the old regime. >> rose: sos where the army in all of this? >> well, the army, you know is interesting because it has become extremely popular because it has supported the demonstrators against the police in particular and against the bloody repression. the head of the army had refused to fire on the demonstrators and
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has been ousted by ben ali, he's now back and the army is extremely popular. the problem is that it's stretched. it has only 12 helicopters. it's very difficult for the army to fight against the militias, the political police, and on the other thoond protect the tunisians and reestablish order. and i agree entirely with fufic ben amor. the government has been in power for ten years and he is is symbol of even more than that, of the failure of politics in tunisia, of the decor of the theater of politics. and i think a lot of people in tunisia are against his presence in an interim government. >> rose: mohammed ghannouchi was a close ally of mr. ben ali, was
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he not? >> yes, of course, he was prime minister and he... today in paris he has intervened saying that he was in conversation with ben ali and that he didn't know about all the... of the political power in tunisia during the regime of ben ali and that has infuriate add lot of people. i was in consideration with some friends and scholars in tunisia when he declared that and this infuriated many people who had participated in the demonstration. >> he also added that he... in his capacity as prime minister he... all he did was actually to take care of the economy. he did not share with the former president his visions for the country and its direction which was sort of a way of trying to absolve himself from that responsibility. i was only a technocrat in that sense, i didn't... you know, i
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didn't steer the country politically with the president. >> rose: what's been the reaction of the french government? >> the french government and probably malika can speak better than me on this. but it's been actually a lukewarm sort of... >> rose: endorsement? >> not a very convincing position from the beginning. we didn't know what sarkozy or the government was going to stay about ousting ben ali. later he wanted to land in france, obviously french government said no. but i think people are going even deeper than that. people now are asking the question of, you know, where was france that in a way the general message in europe and the u.s. about arab countries is raising the red flag of islam as terrorism and all of that. but nobody's really talking about those totalitarian governments. that if you hear about human rights it's generally coming from small n.g.o.s or independent efforts.
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but you don't hear sarkozy in an official announcement denouncing ben ali and his government for the impression that they were perpetrating in the country. and so people are aware of that. and i think people are at this stage where frankly they do not care very much what sarkozy thinks. >> rose: although, i mean, there's a moment... >> i... >> rose: go ahead, malika. >> yeah, i would add that, in fact, france-- which is a very close ally... which was a very close ally of the regime of ben ali-- supported ben ali for some time until i think the day he fled. the foreign and european affairs minuter? france declared in parliament in public on television that france could send its security forces to help repress the tunisian
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demonstrators. and so, of course, this is a reaction that shows the lack of political intelligence on the part of the french diplomacy. i mean, i would go much further than tu if i can ben amor. for tunisians, it's something that's not acceptable. on the other hand i'm thinking that, well, it's also a way for us to make... to underline that in the end the tunisians did this on their own. they did it by themselves without any support and i think maybe that's better for the future of tunisia because it shows that it's the people who have decided to go through this... these riots and then demonstrations and in the end revolution. >> rose: do you both believe that what happened in tunisia may be contagious? >> i think so.
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i think we're starting to actually see its effects on the region. there's something about what what mohammed aziziz-- the guy who set himself on fire-- came to symbolize. it was not an act of terror. this guy did not blow up some offices or anybody but he actually set fire to himself which is actually sort of an ultimate sacrifice that in a way people, we've heard recently, that there were a dozen cases of people who set themselves on fire, five of whom in algeria. so this has become almost a symbolic way also of making a claim for all of those poor people. all of these people who are unemployed. >> rose: and the driving force is for democracy and anti-corruption. >> exactly. exactly. >> yes, definitely. >> those are the two main
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points. >> rose: and the end of corruption. >> exactly. >> yes. yes. >> rose: what should the united states do? if anything? >> well, i... you know, it's an interesting question. the united states has intervened in afghanistan and in iraq to they say... bring democracy and i think here we see the example of the people who have don it by themselves, as i said. and so i think the reaction of barack obama has been appreciated in tunisia but i don't think the united states will do anything but maybe, i don't know, give advice or expertise if elections are going to be held. but other than that i don't see what they should do. i don't think they should intervene and it seems that...
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>> rose: i wouldn't think that intervention is on the agenda for the united states, would you? >> well, i don't think so. i think they've been quite cautious. they've probably intervened at some point during those negotiations. i don't know. there are rumors about that but i can't... i have no way to confirm that but you know the wikileaks played a very important role because the cables of the american ambassadors were denouncing the regime of ben ali and in particular its corruption and therefore it pays an important role. i think the u.s. can encourage towards a transition which was democracy. this was, i think for the moment all they can do but another point that is important here because they excused... the islamist movement cannot work
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any more. during the demonstrations we didn't see any islamic slogans. it didn't seem that the youth was interested in muslim politics or defining politics with an islamic foundation. i think what is interesting here is that we... the tunisians wanted really representations and the opening up of opportunities at the economic level, people want to found a new business. they want to build a future and this regime was not giving them the opportunity to do that. >> rose: and i would... >> and i would add, also, malika that i do not see a major difference in the united states from that of france, from what's happening. the u.s. has been and is supporting a lot of this similar government where there's probably total tyrannical rule. and it took wikileaks for us to
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discover that's totally not public. is. >> rose: which is that a united states diplomat has been in private cables protesting and making arguments on behalf of anti-corruption. >> exactly, but nothing really formal that's coming from the government to denounce... >> rose: although in this case president obama did... prized the courage of the demonstrators and urged... >> yes, yes. which the french government didn't do and before even the departure of president ben ali, the ambassador... i'm sorry, the tunisian ambassador in washington was summoned in washington and there were declarations from the u.s. administration about the necessity for restraint on the part of the government and they've also intervened against the censorship of the internet, facebook, etc.
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and so these are very formal, of course, it doesn't mean anything on the ground. but i think for tunisian this is can make a difference. and i'm saying that because of... particularly in contrast with the french reaction which has been really in support of the regime to the end. >> rose: what about this? the idea of a popular election that might be held in 60 days. is that feasible? will the unity government fall before that's possible? what's likely to happen? >> well, what's likely to happen is that if the population accept this is interim government we have to see what will happen in the coming days if there will be more demonstrations or not. then they could hold presidential elections and when the president is elected he could dissolve the parliament
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and then legislative elections could take place. some people are against this scenario and would like to see drafting constitutional assembly first and some scholars and intellectuals have said do we really need a presidential power? do we really need a presidential regime? we've had two presidents so far and, frankly, it has not worked. they have monopolized in their hands all the political resources and especially for ben ali the economic resources, do we really need a presidential regime? so there are a lot of discussions going on right now. there is an established committee for political reforms and one of the top professors in the country is at the head of this committee where you still have to see what he will do so, you know, institutionally it
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seems that things are getting done. so we'll have to see how tunisians in the street react to that. >> exactly. and i think the main thing that they're expressing right now is they do not trust the party that was in power. >> rose: is in power? the government or the party that was in power. >> the party that was in power. but the remnants of which are still... and this government of unity that they have now. so i think this is actually main thing they see. and past that, as mali a said, the big debate is do we go for a parliamentary system in which the prime minister emerges from or... or presidential system like the one we have. and this is going to be a debate but that is one what democracy is. this is the exciting part about the process that for the first time people are actually
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participating or going out... >> rose: feel they have a stake in the future. >> exactly. >> yes, yes, it's quite extraordinary, yes. >> very... an amazing event, actually. >> rose: thank you very much. great to have you here. tu if i can ben amor is at columbia university and malika zeghal is at harvard. alan riding is here, he was the european cultural correspondent for the "new york times" for 12 years. previously he served as the "times" bureau chief in paris, madrid, rio de janeiro and mexico city. his new book is called "and the show went on: cultural life in nazi-occupied paris." i am pleased to have him on this program for the first time. welcome what did you finally conclude about how you define collaboration and how you define resistance? >> well, in the world of culture it was very difficult in a sense to resist. you have the choice of saying "i
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will do nothing. i will not publish, i will not perform, i will not create, i will simply boycott" shall we say. the problem was that a lot of people unless you were lucky you have no leave the country and continue working a lot of... surrealists came to new york, many of them, and they were able to continue somewhat here. but unless you were able to get out of the country you actually had to work. in many cases faurp dancer or a violinist in an orchestra you had to find a way of surviving so if you were called on... say a play was going to be put on again, you go and perform it. so it was that collaboration. i think that was more of a form of survival. i think the area of where collaboration becomes clearer is when you go out of your way associate with the occupier. the german embassy had a great sense that germans would come from... german intellectuals would come and then the german ambassador who was a very clever man would invite french intellectuals so they'd all be seen there and photographed
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there. >> rose: that's collaboration? >> because it's giving a very bad example because if it's in the press and people, the public in general... going back to you looking towards artists and intellectuals, if you're seeing they're hanging out there in the german institute or embassy, they're going to reach the conclusion well, it can't be such a bad thing to do. now much worse, of course, are those are who were in many cases genuine fascists, many of them journalists, some of them shot after the war. and these were people who in many cases were fascists between the wars in the '30s that were convinced early on supporters of mussolini then, much more convinced supporters of hitler. and ray ran newspapers and they denounced people. they denounced jews, communists, people who were in hiding and they, of course, were severely punished after the war. so that's more than collaboration, that's active participation. >> rose: but your central point here "and the show went on" is that artists and intellectuals
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are held to a higher standard. >> i've tried to do that and i think other people did. one of the journalists who himself was an important writer, he was shot afterwards, after the war. and there was a big petition.... >> rose: they had defined him as a collaborator? >> he was. he was an editor of a newspaper that was saying "why haven't they picked up so and so who can be found in such a place?" jewish intellectuals or others and there was a big petition published... signed by people who were in some cases in the intellectual resistance and refused to pardon this man on the grounds that writers had special responsibilities. they had to be judged in a different way. it's interesting this notion because it's sort of... it remains to this day the notion
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that intellectuals and writers have special privileges. if we look to them, we expect them to be providing explanations and guidance that perhaps other parts of society are not providing. >> rose: where was andre morrow during the war? >> already from the '20s and '30s he was a gung-ho romantic figure. he was in the spanish civil war, he created what he called an air force. they were flying from france. during the war he spent most of the occupation? in the south of france writing. he was invited early on to participate in some of the resistance groups and hi said there's no point in fighting until the americans arrive. in fact he joined the resistance in early 1944. d-day was june '44, paris was liberated august '44. he joined in early '44 principally because his brothers had been in the resistance all along and had been captured and
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subsequently were killed so he then got involved and then he did stay involved and after the liberation of france he stayed in the army and was involved also in the continuation of the war into germany. >> rose: was any aspect of culture life in paris during the occupation that suffered more than others? was there any kind of pecking order about culture life? >> well, i think that the ones who were most exposed were writers. in the area of music, for example, you had lots of german orchestras coming over. music was perhaps the only area where the germans could influence french culture naturally because it was understandable and it was also appreciated. i mean, the berlin philharmonic comes over with this handsome young man and everyone wants to hear him in so in the area of music and cinema the germans... geshls liked cinema and he wanted the french movie in the street to continue. he didn't want it to have impact in europe but he wanted good films to be made in france to
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keep the french entertained and not thinking about the occupation. the area of writing was the most inevitably because you actually had to say what you thought. if in your opinion the opposition, if you were trying to put out one of the clandestine newspapers or the area of poetry... poets in the opposition, in the resistance probably had most impact because it was very simple to write a poem. one sheet of paper, you could copy it, leave in the a cafe and some of them... there was one writer who would write four line little poems and leave them everywhere and people would copy them. so that was a way of being subversive. there obviously... it obviously wasn't going to defeat the germans. >> rose: we know about the art sent back to berlin and other places. was that mainly jewish... art that was owned by jews? >> almost entirely. the big museums of france, particularly the louvre, was almost emptied excement for its... >> rose: they shipped it out into the countryside. >> this was done by the french
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beforehand. most of it went to a chateaux and some of the other big chateauxs and the germans in general knew where they were. it wasn't that it was hidden in chateauxs, it was protected from being bombed because they thought paris might be bombed during the moment of the occupation. but the germans didn't... one of the things gehring had his eye on and even hitler, almost all the left was in the great jewish collections. >> what percentage of that has been returned? >> i would say most of it. over 90% was returned that were... it's a well-known story of the american soldiers helped off by other... from other western countries who went out looking. but most of it was returned. >> rose: let me talk about figures that we know starting with picasso. >> picasso chose to stay in frons. he was in a tricky situation in a sense that he had tried just
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before the occupation... the war's already declared in september '39 and in april under what was the phony war, a war but no war, he applied for french nationality. franco, his enemy, was already in power in spain and so he was feeling nervous and he applied for french nationality. it was refused by the french police saying he was an anarchist. when he arrived in 1903 he stayed with spanish anarchists and the french always kept this done and they went back and looked... they're almost like the germans in terms of keeping papers, they find his records and they refused. so he was quite exposed. he was offered asylum in both mexico and the united states and refused. some would say he refused because he had wives he had to deal with and mistresses. the fact of the matter is he returned to paris and at that point he had the mistress with
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whom he had a child and he had dora mar the artist. is it was just only two at that particular moment and later in the occupation replaced dora mar. he... germans would visit him... visit his studio, some of the germans who were there like the great german writer he was a civilized german, a good german and others would visit. francois giroux told me groups of germans would sometimes come and look around the studio and picasso would tell them follow him around in case they left anything. they would then subsequently find something incriminating. then there's the famous story where francois said that it's true that the germans coming in and seeing drawings or sketches of the famous painting of technique, the basque town that
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has been bombed in the luftwaffe in the spanish civil war and they said did you do this? and he said no, you did it. >> rose: (laughs) >> there's so many great stories you have to ask yourself whether they're true or not. >> rose: kamm knew was a true resistance fighter. >> only at the end. kamu spent most of the time in north africa. he was in france when... when paris fell he went to lyon and at the end of 1940 he lost his job and went back to algeria yah where he was unwell but then thels he continued to write and it was from algeria that he sent the most famous book of that period "the stranger" which he sent first to a friend of his in lyon and then malveaux managed to get it to paris and it was published in paris when he was still in algeria. he came to franz because his health was very bad and was in
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the mountains after a while. he only moved to paris at the end of 194. so his period of resistance, shall we say, active resistance was only six or seven or eight months long. now, again, the contradictions. camu had a good war. he was the editor of one of the great resistance newspapers at the end of the occupation but he also published books that were approved by the germans. so where do we draw the line? >> rose: so in the end where do you draw the line? what conclusions do you reach? >> i think the end of the book, the conclusion i reached seeing what happened after the war, you could say did the artist and writer and intellectual of this type, was he damaged by this experience? after all half of them were then punished and some were shot for being evil by those who had come out on top at the end of the war. what happens afterwards?
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the strange thing is that you could say that this figure of the committed intellectual survived and it survived person son phied by sartre. and that's when you see the dangers of the intellectual. because the intellectual and writer is selling utopia in many cases, selling versions of life which supply all the answers. and you had... while sartre never became an outright... never a member of the party, nonetheless he was such a fellow traveler you had to say how could this man who's so intelligent be associating himself with the regime that was so evil? and already even in the '70s you had quite a lot of intellectuals were who were embracing mawism and were they ignorant or absolutely fascinated by the ideas? and perhaps shall we say the sort of naughty little idea i leave there is that the french are a bit more vulnerable than
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others because the french love ideas and theories and there's no greater theory than something that ends withism. whether it's mooism, stalinism, monarchism, anti-semitism. moo. all the utopias that aren't all our problems and they... fortunately they no longer try to tell us that. >> rose: did france ever recover in terms of its cultural life? >> i think that's obviously after the second world war is when new york... >> rose: certainly in the art world. >> but also in many other worlds and you think that line of if you're going to make it in new york... if you can make in the new york you can make it anywhere. >> and between the wars it was to make in the paris. that's where everyone went. >> rose: did you run across stories of interesting german generals who were different because they were lovers of culture and therefore they did things to protect or...
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>> there were surprising germans. the german ambassador was a man who had had lots of experiences in france in the '30s. he'd been heading the german side of a french german committee and he'd known a lot of intellectuals, a lot of right-wing intellectuals and when he came to france in 1940 he brought with him a lot of french... a lot of german civilians-- some nazi, some not-- who had a lot of experience with france. who knew french culture well, who knew french writers. one of them who ran this german institute. he'd been in charge of student exchanges. he'd been living in france and they all spoke fluent french. so they were able to infiltrate the cultural world very easily. it meant the cultural world felt comfort comfortable being with them because there was a young man who was the chief literary gerhard heller, he studied french literature and for him it was a marvel.
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instead of being on the eastern front there he was in paris dealing with writers whose work he had read and he was able to talk to them. and did a lot of bothing after the war. he wasn't punished, he boasted specifically about the fact that he was sent to read "the stranger" camus book and found it was extraordinary and immediately ordered more paper be made available so that more copies could be printed. so you have all of this and other people said well, he wasn't such... his own account is rather more self-serving. >> you can't to live in snars >> i think i will. >> rose: the book is called "and the show went on, cultural life in nazi occupied paris."
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