Tag: Spirituality


Decolonization II

I was a student during the Indochina War. I trembled with all of France during the siege of Dien Bien Phu. The French army was stuck in a basin surrounded by hills occupied by Viet Cong “rebels” who could attack at their pleasure. The siege seemed to last forever, it was heroic. France was anxious,…


Decolonization

World War II had weakened colonial powers, decolonization was inevitable. The ensuing conflicts set off a reaction against all forms of oppression. Simply, people wanted to be free. It was an evolution of History. The two empires of the time played a role in the movement. Curiously, the Soviet Union, which in principle should have supported the…


Cold War, III

The United States never had imperialist ambitions. Although president Monroe declared the Americas under the hegemony of the United States, the country still preferred to remain within its own borders. It was Europe that requested intervention in two world wars and subsequently provided this imperial role. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, the heir…


Cold War, II

I lived through the Cold War, in the Paris of my youth. For us, America was a friend, the good empire, our protector. It was the United States that had gotten rid of the Nazis, it was the United States that would protect us against the Soviets. They were a sympathetic country, democratic; they desired…


The Cold War, I

The United States and the Soviet Union were considerable powers before World War II. Despite the decisive role the United States played in the first World War, and despite the international influence of communism, both states were principally focused on domestic matters. The United State was busy with the crisis and aftermath of 1929, and…

France

In 1948 we left Spain, crossing the Bidassoa bridge on foot while dragging our luggage to catch the train to Paris. There were still, on certain streets, slabs of wood that had been installed at the turn of the century to damped the sounds of the large wheels of the horse drawn carriages. I remember…


Spain : My Religion

In Malaga, I was thrilled and exhilarated during the Holy Week. The nightly processions of grand, flower covered thrones, shining with candlelight and carrying statues. The Virgin, with her poor, tragic face, yet covered with diamonds and jewels, and the bloodied Christ, adorned with luxurious brocades. Then there were the pointy hats and colorful dresses…

Spain

In 1944, my grandmother, our host, informed us that she no longer had enough money to support us. In reality, the war had interrupted all international financial transfers. We now had to find another refuge. Everyone left in different directions. My mother took me to Malaga, in Spain. Franco was ruling. After his victory over…

Royalty during the War : Between the Allies and the Nazis

We were relatively safe in Morocco, owing to its Spanish dependency and the neutral position of Franco. The same could not be said for the members of our family who were scattered throughout Europe. Like everyone, royalty suffered during the war. The real drama for most of these dynasties was having family members and loved…


World War II

In the meantime, and as expected, Italy attacked Greece. The Second World War began and would last five years, during which time countless inconceivable disruptions and upheavals would occur. I was too young to remember the war, except for the large maps at home on which my aunt Isabelle would mark the movements of the…