August 25, 1944, the liberation of Paris: “the greatest day since the storming of the Bastille” 

75 years ago, the capital was finally free from the German yoke. This historic day will remain, in the eyes of the whole world, the symbol of the renewal of France and democracy.

“There are minutes there, we all feel it, which exceed each of our poor lives.” This August 25, 1944, late afternoon, the atmosphere is solemn at the City Hall of Paris. General de Gaulle, who has just arrived suddenly in this high place of republican declarations, is received by the communist Georges Marrane, on behalf of the Paris committee of the Liberation, and by the Catholic Georges Bidault, president of the National Council of the Resistance (CNR), the successor of Jean Moulin. Paris has just been released in the middle of the afternoon from the Nazi yoke. Everything was done in haste. [ . . . ]

Continue at: August 25, 1944, the liberation of Paris: “the greatest day since the storming of the Bastille” 

Syrian anti-Assad May Skaf actress buried in Dourdan, suburbs of Paris

The actress May Skaf, one of the first Syrian artists to take a stand against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, who died at the age of 49 last weekend in the suburbs of Paris, was buried Friday in Dourdan (Essonne) to the south West of Paris.

Five to six hundred people, including Syrian figures from the world of cinema and culture, attended the funeral Friday afternoon at the cemetery of the commune of Dourdan, where many flags of the Syrian opposition floated. The coffin of this famous artist, who had left her country after a brief detention in 2013, in Jordan, then in France where she lived with her son Jude al-Zoabi, was covered with the green-white-black flag with red stars. “It will be a temporary resting place (…) until we all enter our Syria, democratic, fair and free,” said Jude al-Zoabi a few days ago on Facebook.

“I’m sure May never imagined where her path would take her, she believed in her ideas and took the path that respects her principles, I do not know if she knew she would have to give up her artistic career and to his interests in Jordan, “he said in his eulogy.A whole woman”May has become a star because she refused the glory, she refused to make money and to work with people who exploit her,” he added. 

The actress was found dead in the night from Sunday to Monday at her home in Dourdan. His home was immediately sealed and an investigation opened, but the autopsy found a natural death, due to aneurysm, we learned from his relatives. 

May Skaf had been living in Dourdan since 2015, living in the city with his son, like several other Syrian refugees, according to Mayor Maryvonne Boquet.

Syria has been ravaged by war since 2011. More than 350,000 people have been killed since 2011 in this conflict, which has become more complex with the involvement of foreign countries and jihadist groups in a fragmented territory.

Source: Syrian anti-Assad May Skaf actress buried in Dourdan, suburbs of Paris


The “Sanctuary!” scene from the classic 1939 version of Victor Hugo’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” starring Charles Laughton as Quasimodo and Maureen O’Hara as Esmeralda.

“Hunchback” was the only movie screened at the very first Cannes Film Festival, as the remainder of the festival was cancelled when Adolf Hitler invaded Poland on September 1st, 1939. The bell-ringing scene was Laughton’s response to impending war. The actor later said he rang the bells actually wanting “to arouse the (real) world, to stop that terrible butchery!”

“It is absurd to speak of Laughton’s Quasimodo as a great performance, as if that were some quantifiable assessment. It is acting at its greatest; it is Laughton at his greatest; it is a cornerstone of this century’s dramatic achievement; it is a yardstick for all acting.”
– SIMON CALLOW, NY Times 1988