Friday, May 30, 2008

On May 30

On this day in ...
... 1992, by Resolution 757 of the U.N. Security Council, an embargo "of any commodities or products" was imposed on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) as a sanction for its failure to end fighting in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
... 1907, Germaine Tillion (left) was born in Allègre, France, to a mother who was a writer and a father who was a judge. An anthropology student at the University of Paris and other schools, she went to northeastern Algeria 4 times in the 1930s on missions to study Berbers and other groups. She would become, in the words of the French daily Libération, "a pioneer in anthropology and a visceral opponent of all totalitarianisms." On August 13, 1942, the Gestapo arrested her for having helped form the French Resistance to Nazi occupation. She endured 3 years at the Ravensbrück concentration camp for women in eastern Germany (a camp about which we posted here in last year's Women at Nuremberg series). At the same camp her mother, Emilie Tillion, perished in a gas chamber on March 2, 1945. In the post-World War II period she condemned torture of Algerians by the French and violence on both sides of the conflict. "As a Gaullist and a Catholic, she worked on several occasions as a 'middle man' between French authorities and Algerian activists." A leading intellectual, Tillion was the author of many works, among them France and Algeria: Complementary Enemies and Ravensbrück. Tillion was honorary director of the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris when she died on April 19 of this year, at her home in Saint-Mandé, France. Tillion was 100 years old.

1 comment:

Naomi Norberg said...

You don't mention that she wrote an operetta, almost musical comedy, while in Ravensbruck. I saw it last year when it was put on for her 100th birthday. Incredible.