Among the influential people of the Normandy landings, there is one person who is closely related to China, that is, Charles de Gaulle.
In the year 1964, the 20th anniversary of the Normandy landings, he declared that France would establish an official relationship with China, which shocked the west. During the Normandy landings, little is known about how General De Gaulle was involved?
Our reporter interviewed Yves de Gaulle, the grandson of Charles de Gaulle, and also the former curator of De Gaulle Memorial Hall.
63-year-old Yves de Gaulle is the grandson of the former President of France, Charles de Gaulle. He’s used to work for the Ministry of Finance in France. While Yves de Gaulle was not born during the time of the Normandy landings, he has learnt a lot about the historic event from his family and his own research. Yves said, on June 4th, 1944, the night before the Normandy landings of the allied forces, Prime minister of England, Winston Churchill invited De Gaulle to London to meet with him.
At the time, France was still under the control of Germany, when De Gaulle established his provisional governance.
"General De Gaulle was in combat since 1940, not only for the rebirth of the defeated France, but also for France to join in combat once again. The day before the landings, the Commander in Chief of the allied forces, General Eisenhower and General De Gaulle met with each other to talk about the details of tomorrow’s landings." said Yves De Gaulle, The grandson of the former President of France, Charles de Gaulle.
The military forces of the provisional government led by De Gaulle would also take part in the landings.
Yves said, in the final hours before the landings, his grandfather was acting differently.
"That night, dinner really took a very long time. It did not end until the midnight. My father was a little bit astonished, because usually they did not spend that long having dinner. He was wondering what was happening. And finally, at one minute past twelve, my grandfather said, well, the allied forces are landing in Normandy, and here went the liberalization of France. That was a moment that was so meaningful for Europe. And that is a day which ought to be symbolic." said Yves De Gaulle, The grandson of the former President of France, Charles de Gaulle.
Like the French, Normandy is a special event for Mr. Yves. It is a reminder of the war, but also it is a reminder of the peace and reconciliation.
During the nineteen sixties, French and Germany reconciled. In the year 2004, the 60th anniversary of the Normandy landings, The Chancellor of Germany Schroder, as the head of government of the vanquished nation, for the first time participated in the memorial activities of Normandy. A referendum at that time showed that more than 70% of German people supported this action.
“We German are all aware of who launched this war. We know that we should take responsibility for the history. Those who died did not die in vain. We should say thanks to all of you, for you are the reason we can all live in peace and liberty today.” said Gerhard Fritz Kurt Schroder, The former Chancellor of Germany.
Yves said, his father was right there at the time - a significant moment in history, and marking a new beginning.
"As a vanquished nation, Germany not only took part in the commemoration of the success of the Normandy landings, but also admitted the role it played in that period of history and what responsibility it should shoulder. Likewise, any nation, any nationality, should not try to cover up its own history, because no matter how hard they try to cover it up, there will be one day when the dark side of the history will be uncovered, which would definitely benefit nobody at all, including other nations related. In my opinion, to remember what has past, face the truth, and admit what has been done is to show responsibility." said Yves de Gaulle, The grandson of the former President of France, Charles de Gaulle.