Saturday, October 07, 2017

La Croix Rouge Suisse accueille des réfugiés français en gare de Bâle / [The Swiss Red Cross Welcomes French Refugees at the Basel Railway Station]

Image not from the movie. Des rapatriés à la gare du Bouveret en 1917-1918. Carte postale de la collection de Christian Schüle.

CH/DE 1917, ?, photog: ?, prod: Alexander Gottfried Clavel-Respinger, 35 mm, 282 m, 17’37” (14 fps); titles: ENG (flash), source: Établissement de Communication et de Production Audiovisuelle de la Défense (ECPAD), Paris.
    Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone: Grande Guerra 100.
    Grand piano: John Sweeney.
    Teatro Verdi, 7 Oct 2017

Jay Weissberg (GCM 2017): "It’s estimated that 2 million French men and women became refugees during the Great War; among that number were approximately 500,000 civilians in German-occupied territories who were repatriated through Switzerland. In addition to these figures were the 68,000 sick and injured prisoners of war from both sides accepted by neutral Switzerland to wait out the conflict in various facilities. French prisoners even had their own weekly newspaper, the Journal des Internés Français, supported by the French Ambassador to Switzerland and published between 1916-1918, complete with advertisements such as “French internees passing through Geneva, have your meal at Restaurant Dumont. Under the management of Mme. Dumont in the absence of her husband, fighting at the front.”"

"Unsurprisingly, the Red Cross was deeply involved in the care of these men, looking after their medical needs and ensuring that food, letters, and packages were properly delivered – the Basel train station even had an “infirmary” for damaged parcels. The city’s location on the frontier with Alsace made it a crucial transition point, hosting the Commission on Civilian Hostages and Prisoners (Commission des Otages et Prisonniers civils) as well as the Office for the Repatriation Committee (Bureau du Comité des Rapatriés). Though many refugees and POWs were received with true compassion by the Swiss, not everyone was welcome; historian Gérald Arlettaz has written thoroughly on the difficulties faced by refugees whose politics or ethnicity were considered “problematic,” resulting in considerable countrywide unrest.
" Jay Weissberg

AA: Moving footage of refugees being received at the Basel railway station, including little children. Long takes. Giant transportations. Flash titles.

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