Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Identity : 12th November

Sarkozy: emotion not commemoration. Henri Samuel, The Telegraph (en)
... In Douaumont, the French choir sung the European anthem - Beethoven's Ode to Joy – but there was no hand-holding: Germany was represented by the president of the German senate, not by chancellor Angela Merkel. Mr Sarkozy's "decentralisation" of the commemoration from neutral Paris to the killing fields of Verdun was apparently not to her liking. The Franco-German motor is in serious need of anti-freeze ...
... "The time has come to honour all the dead, without exception," Mr Sarkozy went on. This phrase did not go unnoticed in France, as it signalled Sarkozy's wish to rehabilitate the 675 Frenchmen shot for deserting or cowardice even though many were too exhausted, injured or traumatised to advance ...
... He has always been fervent about revisiting the past to boost a sense of national purpose. But as so often with this president, his way of doing things irks many French. "Choosing Douaumont over the Arc de triomphe is siding with the victims rather than the victors," historian Antoine Prost told Le Monde. Mr Prost and others accuse the president of inappropriately trying to extract "emotion" from war rather than plain commemoration ..."

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