Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • US rights group sues government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

France

Paris celebrates 65th anniversary of the liberation

Video by FRANCE 2

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-25

As Paris marks the 65th anniversary of its liberation from Nazi occupation, a website set up to record commemorative plaques on the walls of the French capital is breathing new life into the memories of those who suffered and resisted.

AFP - "Guillois Michel fell here for the liberation on 20 August, 1944".
  
"France Bloch-Serazin, deported resistance member, executed in Hamburg, February 12, 1943."
  
As Paris marks the 65th anniversary of its liberation from Nazi occupation, thousands of commemorative plaques on the walls of the capital keep alive the memory of those who suffered -- and those who resisted.

 

On Tuesday, as President Nicolas Sarkozy attends ceremonies marking the liberation, city workers will place flowers at the every one of those plaques.
  
Guillois Michel died at 38 Avenue de l'Opera, as the plaque at that address records. The plaque for resistance fighter France Bloch-Serazin is at 1, rue Monticelli, in the south of Paris, where she once lived.
  
Now a website, initially set up to simply record the plaques, is breathing new life into the memories of those who died to liberate the city.
  
Francois Tanniou, who is passionate about what he calls "the duty to remember", started the website (www.plaques-commemoratives.org) in 2004 to record all the plaques in Paris connected to the occupation and liberation.
  
The website had 600 plaques when it was launched, said Tanniou: but thanks to private contributors who sent in photos of others, it quickly grew.
  
Half the plaques relate to the week of the uprising in August 1944; the fierce street fighting and the arrival of General Philippe Leclerc's 2nd Armoured Division, which helped liberate the capital. 

 

Relatives of those who had died also wrote in, providing personal details of resistance fighters who had died in the battle to drive out the Nazi forces -- or had been captured, deported and executed.
  
"He will never know how proud we are of him," writes one man of his grandfather who died in a camp in Austria after being deported for belonging to the resistance.
  
"Thank you for preserving the memory of these acts of courage," writes the grand-daughter of another victim.
  
Today, thanks to those contributions, Tanniou's website has registered some 1,060 plaques accompanied by photos and comments from relatives.
  
The Paris authorities meanwhile, continue their work.
  
While most of the plaques were put up shortly after the war, new ones have appeared on the walls of private and public buildings around the city -- once the buildings' owners have agreed and the council has voted it through.
  
In 2001, the city authorities decided to honour the memory of the 12,000 young Parisians deported simply because they were Jewish.
  
More than 300 plaques have since been put up on the walls of schools that stood at the time of the occupation -- like the one on a primary school at 11 rue Vivienne in the 2nd Arrondissement, in the heart of the capital.
  
"To the memory of the pupils of this school deported between 1942 and 1944 because they were born Jewish, innocent victims of Nazi barbarism with the complicity of the Vichy government. We will never forget them."

Date created : 2009-08-25

COMMENT(S)