Publié le 23/04/2013 par Michael de Montlaur — Divers
During the 1964 summer vacations, we went with our parents to Riva Bella (the beach where my father landed with Commando no. 4 on June 6, 1944). It was my first time there, I was only 12 and I think the “summer camp” was still there (the point where the French commandos met after crossing the beach). There were people on vacation on this beach, and I remember these simple but terrible words from my father:
How can people bathe on this beach?
For him, this was just as absurd as organizing a summer camp in Auschwitz.
Below are several photos taken on June 6, 1944 with comments from Guy de Montlaur (click on picture):
photo 1 : Riva Bella “casino”
photo 2 & 3 : some of the “casino” bunkers
photo 4 : The Benouville Bridge (now Pegasus Bridge) over the Orne Canal
This is no myth, this is a historical fact.
Here is one consequence of this fact:
Guy de Montlaur did not die on June 6, 1944. Ten of his French comrades and seven hundred soldiers fell on “Sword” Beach. The latter were British, Canadian, Polish and European anti-nazis. Guy de Montlaur lived to be a tormented witness of what was no myth…
…as you can see in the photo above and in the picture below:
Although I am neither dead nor illustrious, I also have lost my sense of humor:
Six tourist offices from the Bayeux-Bessin area have recently taken a particularly perverse initiative:
They first talked of a “mythical sector of the landing beaches” as if the landings were a legend and had never taken place. Then they excluded from this “sector” part of Juno Beach and all of Sword Beach. Did they really want us to beg them to join the myth? What did they think? Do they have any brain?
These beaches belong to no one but to those who fell to allow us, the following generations of the XXth and XXIst century, to live freely.
I am proud I encountered some of these men. They were all deeply affected by what they had seen, achieved and underwent. Some never managed or even wanted to tell anything. Their pain was too excruciating. Sometimes they met, mostly on June 6 anniversaries. Not to parade or show off, but just to look at each others. Just to know the complete significance of this look.
Please do not foul their sanctuary.