Thursday, April 12, 2012

Raymond Aubrac is dead.

Raymond Aubrac and his wife Lucie, heroes of the French Résistance. Photograph: Sipa Press/Rex Features

Raymond Aubrac, one of the last resisters to the Fascist regime in 1940s France, has died - aged 97.

French journalist Agnes Poirier has written a moving tribute to Mr Aubrac here and I urge you to read it in its entirety but I'd like to highlight this section.

"What is most admirable with Aubrac, whose wife died in 2007, is the fact that he fought all his life against injustice. He and Lucie were always present at protests, speaking out, tirelessly visiting schools, writing columns in newspapers, battling and arguing, with as much passion as reason."

Being of a morbid disposition, I sometimes wonder what I would do if I were confronted with the same monstrous evil Mr Aubrac fought with so much courage. Would I resist? Would I keep my head down and hope to survive? Could I place my family in peril by resisting?

It's thanks to the actions of Mr Aubrac and his comrades that we don't have to face such terrible choices.

For the time being.

To conclude with Mme Poirier

"I have grown up with all of them but what will the next generation feel about this period of our history when the last résistant has passed away? The familiarity and proximity will have gone. It is our role to be Aubrac's living memory and to keep his fight alive."

Also, the film  Lucie Aubrac, about his escape from the Gestapo with the help of his wife Lucie is an absolute cracker.

15 comments:

Melbourne Girl said...

I wonder what Mme Poirier would suggest I prepare for our annual Tour de France meal, upcoming in July? Something Alsatian we are thinking as an homage to the etage we will be watching on that night. But not German cuisine. No sausages and sauerkraut.

Also would there not be current résistants? Not against the Nazis certainly but against other baddies (not the people who don't support farmers and want to eat Big Macs, I mean politically)? Is she talking about some form of nostalgia?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Melbs, Alsatian food is heavily influenced by German cuisine so there's no need to pick on the humble wurst.

Melbourne Girl said...

Hmmm I know but it's not the Tour d'Allemagne.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

The Tour d'Allemagne would be conducted with clockwork efficiency and take in large parts of Poland.

Melbourne Girl said...

Indeed Ramon. Well last night I went through my Larousse Gastronomique and looked up anything that had 'd'alsacienne' tacked onto the end.

D'alsacienne = sauerkraut/cabbage, bacon & pork sausages in various combinations.

I am going to suggest we DON'T do the region. I have nothing exactly against cabbage etc but for a French meal I think not. I'm really not being cabbageist. I eat Brussels sprouts happily!

Mr E said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr E said...

Melbs,
The only thing the people of France and the people of Alsace have in common is a mutual hatred of each other and some would argue a language. The only actual Alsacienne I've met was a man named Lothar, a complete cunt whose French was utterly unintelligible despite being his native tongue, then Maitre D' of the Melbourne Club. Now working as a Shepherd in Germany. Serving Queen Adelaide Chardonnay inappropiately can have negative consequences.

Melbourne Girl said...

Tres interessant, Monsieur E.

Really, he's working as a shepherd in Germany? I LOVE IT.

squib said...

Was he 'intellectually inferior' then?

Melbourne Girl said...

Hah squib, a nice segue there. I see what you did. What did you make of the old 'face-off' between God and Satan?

squib said...

It was comedy gold. What did you think?

Melbourne Girl said...

I was actually embarrassed by the audience. Everyone seems to think Dawkins was a dick for saying [paraphrase] 'why do they titter so?] a la Life of Brian, but I think the audience were dicks for laughing and I was on his side in that and all the other sides.

People are also saying why didn't he debate Pell more thoroughly but I think he might be a little bit of a gentleman and saw quite quickly Pell didn't need anyone to slit his throat he was doing alright on his own. AND people said Dawkins was arrogant. I guess that was all they could come up with.

I miss Perseus and his atheistic analyses - would love to know what he made of it, but possibly he was making tea and filling a hot water bottle.

Mr E said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melbourne Girl said...

What happened Mr E.

squib said...

Yes, what?