Friday, September 15, 2006

Charles de Gaulle

You probably heard of General de Gaulle, the guy who escaped to England when France surrendered to the Germans during WWII. He organized the resistance and became the head of the government (first right after the war, then from 1958 to 1969). For a lot of French people he is a hero. Not only because he refused to surrender but also because he contributed to making France an independent country (he was rather anti American BTW...). Anyway, I never noticed he had a statue on the Champs Elysées and today I did. I stopped and took a photo , of course!


  1. Is that statue "new"? I don't remember seeing it there before when I lived in Paris. Saw it for the first time in June this year, near the Grand Palais at metro station George V. Was it moved there from some place else? (GG? Haxo?)

    You did a real good job with that shot, too!

  2. I wonder why he was rather anti-American? (I'll have to wiki the general.)

  3. ah, la politique francaise..... ;-P

    i really like the shadow the statue makes against the sky...

  4. you should go there by night, on the other side of the champs élysées, and see the shadow that this statue produce against the grand palais. it's beautiful.

  5. It's very common to walk everyday beside some nice "blogeable" thing and we just don't realize it's there...

  6. So the General is walking down the Champs Elysees. I have never noticed this statue either!

  7. > Michael : you flattering you !!! But yes, it would be my pleasure, why not at this Cajun restaurant in St Paul's area some sunday, brunchtime ?

    > Tomate Farcie : Haxopedia will certainly come later with real and complete information about that statue but, yes, it's a new one, certainly no more than 5 years old, and was -I believe- founded for that specific place.

    > Luggi : I would not say that he was exactly anti-american (Eric, it's been to long since we've argued, isn't it ?!!!) but rather that he considered US interests at his time weren't always France's ones… What's more, to put it shortly, let's say that -among others- he remembered he didn't feel quite supported by Roosevelt during WWII…

  8. My grandfather's greatest pride was that he was baptized in the same church as de Gaulle, just a day or two after Le Grand Charles' own baptism.

    This is a wonderful shot, Eric.

  9. >Luggi, gg: Remember that the Americans were planning to occupy France in 1944, and set up their own government (Amgot). They even printed French dollars then! That is De Gaulle who strongly opposed it, hence the love and hate relationship between the two countries in the post-war era.


  10. Beautiful photo today Eric! He looks very regal :)

  11. We were happy to see the statue last year. I think de Gaulle was a great man. He had to coordinate the resistance from England after Petin created his Vichy which really hurt the French people. I don't think he was anti American but truly disappointed in America's type of support. The photo is excellent. I am going to try to print it.

  12. This is a great shot, Eric. I love the black and white, and the sky looks incredible. Happy Friday!

  13. GG: Thanks! I thought I hadn't seen that statue there before, but as Edullabe said, it's possible to walk by something 100 times and never see it!

    LadyJicky: LOL! :-D

    JM, Johnny Parsons: thanks for the clarification and comments. I always suspected that the reason I've been hearing "French people don't like Americans" so often in the US over the past 20 years came from the Post War era and DeGaulle...

    I was just gonna say, it's kind of ironic that they have placed that statue so close to Franklin D. Roosevelt metro station since apparently that the 2 men couldn't stand each other.

  14. He was an arrogant man that did very little to free France yet he gets all the credit for it from the French.

    When he was allowed to lead a brigade, he arrogantly disregarded orders (he resented being given orders by the Allies....the people who where saving his country) and almost cost a lot of Allied lives.

    Study up on him.....not the hero he is portrayed to be in French history books.

    I guess it goes to show that if we want to know about our leaders....we must read from others' accounts of history....that goes for all countries I think.

  15. Ah, the beat goes on. Remember that France's opposition to W's war was fodder for the jingoist beast that dictates much thought in U.S. today. In 2003, fishing trip in Canada, we stopped in Winnepeg to buy essentials (wine). I was perusing the French wine section, a fishing partner expressed dislike of France because of lack of war support. I said I don't support the war either, so I guess I'll buy even more French wine! And I did.

    Now, even though many Parisians dislike W and his war, I felt warmth, friendship, and welcome when I was there. So, we can disagree and still be civil, even friends. I wish W and his ilk had the brains to comprehend civility like that.

  16. Jeff,

    Don't hold your breath for Bush...speaking of arrogance....he is the epitome of the word. What a national disgrace he is in my opinion!

  17. > Tomate. Well "Haxopedia", as GG calls him, found out that it was made in 2000. But I never noticed it.

    > Luggi. Look at GG's answer. And JM's also. very interesting.

    > Nahal. Yes, you're right. And next year is an election year so the race has started...

    > Anonymous 1. ;)

    > Anonymous 2. Good idea. Thanks.

    > Edulabbe. Yes, that's what I like with this City Daily photo thing.

    > Ladyjicky. He's done it several times for real...

    > GG. Thanks for this enlightment. I hope you'll invite me to the Cajun restaurant for brunch too...

    > Elisabeth. I bet he was proud! Was that in Colombay les 2 églises ?

    > JM. Very interesting. I did not know that at all.

    > Anne. Thank you. I like the effect too. The statue is quite impressive actually.

    > Johnny. How did the photo come out?

    > Candice & Megan. Thank you. Hope youi had a nice Friday too.

    > Tomate. Oh yeah you're right I did not think of the Franklin D. Roosevelt metro station being so close!

    > Ajabear. Well I suppose he had his down sides, like all "heroes". But he had for sure a certain charisma and was very honest. Not so common among politicians...

    > Haxo. GG was right when he said you would come up with the perfect info! Once again thank you.
    And talking about tehe statue of Churchill, I already photographed it in January (18th).

  18. > Jeef. Do go thinking I did not want to answer you, you just posted while I was writing the other comment. Anyway I think I "hear" like a little disatifaction with your President's policy...

  19. A mottled cloudscape is a perfect background for your shot! Love it.

  20. Well..I just like the photo...and the beautiful, September, Parisian sky is so evident! General de Gaulle as he was called in our house after the War was quite a mythic figure...but it was General LeClerc that was really honored! The museum on WWII at Les Invalides is a wealth of information and nostalgia and I highly recommend a visit!

    By the way, Eric...didn't get to compliment you on the September photos! September was the time of my first trip to Paris.."La rentree"..and I can still feel the warm breezes as we would exit the Metro at Reuilly-Diderot and walk to our little apartment in the 12eme! I really think September is my favorite month in Paris...wish I was there!!

  21. Régis, vraiment vous n'aimez pas cette grande silhouette qui se découpe à contre-jour sur le ciel? Toute plaisanterie mise à part, je trouve moi que la photo prise de bas en haut, comme ça, entre la nuit et le jour, le mets très en valeur.

  22. I didn't have time to comment yesterday, but this photo really sparked some very interesting comments. I'll have to read up more about Chuck soon!

    GG - as long as I can bring along my banjo to play some dixieland music at this Cajun place, you're on.

  23. Eric, The photo printed with only one click. I enlarged it and am planning an album of your superb photos. I seem to prefer the photos without too much happening. That is why De Gaulle photo was so fascinating to me.

  24. I'm with ya, jeff, I have some dissatisfaction about our president too. And too true, if two people can be best friends dispite major differences in opinions, be it religion, politics, or pizza, then why can't countries? The world would be a much better place for sure.

    Michael! Oh my, you have a banjo?!? And you can play dixieland music?!? Oh boy, I'd love to see that. You'd get along great with some of my husband's family. They always jam out on some dixie on their banjo's and guitars and stuff on our annual Labor Day weekend camping trip/family!

  25. Eric - No, de Gaulle is from Lille. There is a very good de Gaulle museum there, in the home where he was born and raised, but I have not visited it yet. Interestingly, I come from a family (on my father's side) that was staunchly anti-Gaullist. No one in my family calls the Paris airport "Charles de Gaulle airport." We refer to it as "Roissy."

  26. Hi there - love that statue - you can imagine the striking shadow it thows on the Grand Palais behind it - ybx

  27. When I was 14 or 15, I didn't care a thing about politics, but I loved de Gaulle because he spoke so slowly and clearly that I could understand every word with no problem!

  28. Passante: Oh yeah, that's right, he sure did! Come to think of it, I think they do it deliberately so you won't catch them mispronouncing words like "nuclear" ahem... ;)