My Gleanings

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Jean Aurenche war story regarding Henri Jeanson

In his memoir, "La Suite à l'Ecran", Jean Aurenche tells this story about Henri Jeanson.

"...he [Henri Jeanson] had an immense moral courage that made him capable of just about any kind of provocation. So, when his wife learned that he was imprisonned she absolutely panicked at the idea that he would openly insult the occupiers or actually spit in the faces or do something else that would bring about his liquidation. More than any other loving spouse, she strove to gain his liberation. She moved heaven and earth, and heaven and earth were German at this time.I do not know how she managed it but she succeeded in ferreting out a German officer who was a lawyer in civilian life and was a great admirer of Jeanson's whose articles he had read before the war in "Le Canard Enchaîné" which he received in Germany. Thus it was that a German officer defended Jeanson tooth and nail in a French court smack in the middle of the Occupation and successfully got him acquitted. Claude Marcy, Henri's wife,...told me that this German officer wanted to dine with Jeanson at their home. Jeanson was offended but he eventually agreed on the condition that the German officer not come in uniform. Claude told Henri, "Be wise. Don't provoke him. You've just gotten out of jail. Stay calm." The German arrived dressed in civilian clothes and Jeanson straightaway let fly at him, "So, at Stalingrad, has the thaw set in?"

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