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FRANCE-WW2-GENERAL-1 - On The Record WE who love France would like to...
On The Record WE who love France would like to avert our eyes from the Riom trials, where one set of "in" Frenchmen have been accusing another set of "out" Frenchmen of responsibility for a national national disaster. What can be said about Daladier, Gamelin, and Plum except that they were not great enough for their task? And their accusers were thev c r e a t X enough. I Yet in this tragic farce not one, not even the collaborationist accusers, accusers, is prepared to put upon France the guilt for this war. Some last vestige of national pride on the part of Vichy prevents her Dorothy Thompson from rendering a verdict against France on behalf of Germany. And that Is proof that France is still a nation. The problem of defeat, whether for a person or a nation is the problem of how defeat is digested. In a defeated nation the spirit that says "rise again" is never universal. The re - creation of a defeated nation can, and usually does, start with a very small group. One man can be a nation one man out of fifty million if he alone represents what the nation remembers remembers of its past greatness and burn - ingly wishes to become. There was a time when the whole French nation was one woman: Joan of Arc. In the days of Napoleon III the French nation was one man: Victor Hugo. To them the spirit of France repaired. What is France? Is it the beauty of Paris, that most gracious of cities, so clear, so triumphant, and so homelike homelike to all the world? Or is it the valley of the Rhone that continual garden garden in which men seem to have kissed the soil into blooming? Or is it the valley of the Loire a visible history ol chivalry? Or is it the literature of France? The mordant wit of Voltaire, the humane passion of Hugo, the biting The France That Will Live By DOROTHY THOMPSON Exclusivt to The Tribune satire of Moliere, the civilized intellectual intellectual erotic of Stendhal? Or is it the painting of France? Is it that blooming tenderness that only French painting seems ever wholly to have captured the civilized gaiety touched with melancholy of Renoir or Manet, Monet or Cezanne? It is not these. These are emanations of the French spirit, emanations of the specifically French civilization. And the characteristics of this civilization are: Humanism the humanizing of everything, everything, including the very land; clarity, lucidity the glory of the French language; language; light the light of the French sky and the enlightenment of the French mind; wit the wit that despises cant and sham, and always cuts sharp through it, whenever it speaks; gaiety the love of love and the love of life; chivalry, which adores the noble and often has broken a lance for a lost cause. And in everything everything the sense for form, the sense of proportion nothing too much; everything everything enough. So, If we think, who will save France? If we ask, out of what sort of t minds will come a French renaissance, we can only answer: he who is French, those wno are chivalrous, clear, humane, loving, gallant, and honest, with the peculiar French intellectual honesty. I discern this honesty in the speeches of Leon Blum at his trial. It makes him French. French is the behavior of countless anonymous Frenchmen who maintain a witty scorn for their conquerors, not admitting admitting that defeat includes the necessity of admiring the top dogs. The quiet pride of those who refuse to hold their hats before their mouths like serfs, or sing the praises of what they loathe. And the testof who is a friend of France is in the answer to the question: What sort of France do you want to see? Is the medieval mysticism that Petain is trying to wrap France in is that French? Certainly not. Or does the Anglo - Saxon world wish to see a servile France, or an Anglo - Saxonized France? God forbid. Where would we go? We want France to be herself her best self not a copy of us. A nation is its consciousness and its conscience. The true guardians of France are the guardians of its consciousness and its conscience. A lover of France does not spit upon leaders who were only weak. He seeks to find the cause of the weakness, and through clarity to discover the sources of revival. Three writers living living in America who have published books in the last year two of them very recent seem to me more French than anything at present manifesting itself in France. I refer to Antoine de St. Exupery, whose Flight to Arras is a love song to France in defeat; Jacques Maritain, whose France Through th Disaster is written with malice toward none; Raoul de Roussy de Sales, whose The Making of Tomorrow looks out upon the future with that fearless lucidity which we recognize as French. In these books is guarded the consciousness and conscience of France; a France worth fighting for; a France worthy of honor and love. When de Gaulle carried his little legions abroad to fight for France he put upon the banner of a renewed France the Cross of Lorraine symbol of St. Joan. The cross is also the symbol of defeat and resurrection. No doubt do Gaulle remembered that the greatest story in the world did not end upon the Cross but in the Resurrection. Copyright, 1942 All Rljhu Reserved Kildonan It Is By N. B. ZIMMERMAN IT was good to see how men and women of all nationalities rallied to save North Kildonan from becoming Glendale. It means that Manitobans at last are developing developing an historical sense. It is about time. We live in a land that is no longer just "new." Our history goes back to Henry Kelsey, to the LaVerendryes, to

Clipped from
  1. The Winnipeg Tribune,
  2. 19 Mar 1942, Thu,
  3. Page 6

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