Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Another Image

From "France in 1938":

The French delegation left for the Munich airport almost exactly twenty-four hours after arriving. Once again, a well-programmed crowd offered cheers, and Ribbentrop provided the escort. During the flight Daladier sat silent and morose, worried about the reception he would receive at Le Bourget, about how the French would react to his having betrayed Czechoslovakia and France's promises. As the plane circled for landing, he and others saw a massive crowd awaiting them. Expecting jeers, hisses, rotten fruit, and maybe worse, Daladier declared stolidly: "They are going to mob me, I suppose. ... I appreciate their feelings," and insisted on absorbing their wrath by being the first off the plane. But as he stood dumbfounded on the gangplank, thousands surged forward carrying flags and flowers, shouting "Hurrah for France! Hurrah for England! Hurrah for peace!" Daladier turned back to Léger and cursed, "The God-damned fools!"