French President and Prince of Wales comemorate Nazi defiance

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a symbolic visit to London today to mark the 70th anniversary of General Charles de Gaulle's radio broadcast urging his nation to resist the Nazi occupation of France.

The Prince of Wales greeted Mr Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, as they arrived at Clarence House during a day of official engagements to commemorate the historic milestone.

The Prince and the president jointly laid a wreath at the statues of King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in The Mall.

Charles and Mr Sarkozy went on to lay wreaths at the statue of General de Gaulle in Carlton Gardens while Ms Bruni looked on.

The Prince's wreath said: "In special memory of Franco-British solidarity 70 years ago."

On June 18, 1940, General de Gaulle appealed to his countrymen over the BBC airwaves.

His rallying cry came the day after Marshal Philippe Petain's government announced its surrender to the Germans and is widely seen as the founding act of the Second World War French Resistance.

Few Frenchmen actually heard General de Gaulle declare that ''the flame of French resistance must not and will not be extinguished''.

But further broadcasts in the following days led to him becoming so well-known that he was subsequently court martialled in his absence and sentenced to death for treason.

The British Government had originally not wanted to allow him to issue his rallying cry, but the Cabinet was persuaded by Prime Minister Winston Churchill to let him go ahead....
Read entire article at Telegraph (UK)

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