Papon Trial Finally Winds Up

Le Bosquet d'Alesia
After a hard session of crossing the street, find refuge in the Bouquet.

Next Week; Back to Regular Funny Business

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 6. April 1998:- Today's issue marks the end of the trial of Maurice Papon for crimes against humanity. Some historians have pointed out that justice may not seek the same 'truth' as historians, and in any case operates according to its own set of rules.

This is to explain the apparent confusion of the proceedings of the trial. When it started, it seems unlikely that its participants foresaw how it would 'play' on a day-to-day basis, and if the result has been surprising to some, it seemed a logical outcome to most of those directly concerned.

My complaint - at this point in time - is minor, especially after the amount of time that has passed. As Europe is about to be united, for better, for worse, my quibble seems to be moot. Justice is unlikely to deal with it and historians will probably say it was caused by 'realpolitik.'

At the risk of turning everybody off, just a reminder then - be on guard against being in a situation such as the French faced in 1940.

France Deported Its Citizens

Maurice Papon was found guilty of aiding and abetting the deportation of Jews during the German occupation of France; which constitutes a 'Crime Against Humanity.'

This 'crime' was committed 55 years ago, when the enemy was the extra-territorial policy - a 'War Crime' - of the National-Socialist, or Nazi Party, of Germany.

The German army invaded France and occupied part of it. The legitimate government of France collapsed and a new one known as 'Vichy' was formed for the purpose of collaborating with theterrace la defense invaders. Under German orders, the 'Vichy' government administered France - and was considered France's legal government. Those who opposed this government were declared traitors. One of these was Charles de Gaulle.

Another of the week's stories: empty terraces.

This was the nationalistic behaviour of the time. Throughout the Papon trial there has been a great mention of the 'deportations' of Jews. What has seldom been mentioned is that many or most of those who were 'deported' were French citizens, born in France; processors of French nationality.

As far as I know, the administrative logic of 'deporting' French citizens was never raised. In nationalistic theory, it is not possible to 'deport' your own citizens. To do so, you would have to strip them of citizenship; and as far as I know, not even the 'Vichy' government took this step. If I am wrong, I invite correction. (In Germany, the Nazi government stripped its Jewish citizens of their German citizenship.)

As it is, it seems to me as if there were three 'Crimes Against Humanity' in operation in France during the occupation: the deportation of French citizens, the deportation of French citizens who were Jewish and the deportation of Jews who were not French, but who had taken refuge in France.

Find the link to Friday's The Toqueville Connection: on Metropole's Links Page.

Triple for 'Delacroix' Season:

Delacroix, le Trait Romantique

An exhibition of about 250 drawings, watercolors and engravings, by Delacroix - showing him to be a masterexpo: delacroix of color and line. The exhibition has two parts; the essentials of his engravings, including the series of lithos for Hamlet and Faust, and the other shows off the artist's different techniques.

Delacroix' sketch for the Death of Sardanapale - at the Delacroix et Villot exhibition.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France - Richelieu
Galeries Mansart et Mazarine
From Tuesday, 7. April to Sunday, 12. July. Open daily except Mondays, from 9:30 to 18:30. Entry, 35 francs; catalogue, 160 pages, about 145 francs. 58. rue de Richelieu, Paris 1. Métro: Quatre-Septembre or Bourse. Info. Tel.: 01 47 03 81 10.

Delacroix et Villot

This exhibition accents the copies of Delacroix done by Frédéric Villot, painter, engraver, art historian and friend of the artist. The original and the copies of Sardanapale are shown side by side, for the first time. Other engravings, designs, letters and manuscripts by Villot are also on view.

Musée Eugène Delacroix
From Thursday, 9. April to Friday, 31. July. Open daily, except Mondays, from 9:30 to 17:00. Entry, 30 francs - allows access to permanent collection as well. 6. rue de Furstenberg, Paris 6. Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Près. Info. Tel.: 01 44 41 86 50.

Delacroix, les Dernières Années

For the 200th anniversary of the birth of Delecroix, this exhibition at the Grand Palais brings together 88 paintings and 33 drawings and watercolors, representing the last 13 years of the artist's career. In addition to following themes set in his youth, Delacroix experimented with color and applying it with expression; resulting in a hint of Expressionism to come.

Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
From Friday, 10. April to Monday, 20. July. Open daily, except Tuesdays. Without reservations, from 13:00 to 20:00. Entry: 45 francs.
Entry: Square Jean Perrin. Métro: Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau.
Make reservations at the Paris Tourist Office, major fnac outlets and France Billet: Resa. Tel.: 01 40 13 49 13. No reservations accepted at the Grand Palais; reservations must be made two days before planned visit. Catalogue, 400 pages, about 290 francs.

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