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The landing in France (Part 1)

RELATED STORIES

Algiers and the death of the two brothers
François Jacob Scientist
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Algiers- I didn't really like it. It wasn't very pleasant. It was extremely crowded. The first FFF, it was something very pure. They were guys that were all- the people that were in London, there were very few, I don't remember how many, 4-5000 or 6000. They were guys that really wanted to do something and fight. From the moment we came across the North African people again, who for the majority had no desire to fight, or who did terrible things. I had gone with one of my friends with whom I'd been to school. We left together. And when we were in Africa, he was more or less, he was Second Lieutenant, he headed a black platoon, and one day, a village stole another village's cows. So terrible drama, they started fighting and my friend was sent over with his platoon to separate them. One guy hid behind a baobab and stabbed him in the heart with an assegai, liquidated. he had a brother who was killed, on the day of the American landing in Algiers by a member of Algiers 5th Regiment Chasseurs who shot him in the back. The two brothers, not bad! Why am I talking about this? Because you found their parents- So, yes, afterwards I found their parents. Yes, who lived in Algiers and where I stayed for two weeks. The thing is that I had had the option. Following the campaigns, we didn't get any leaves for years, two or three years. So we were entitled to one leave and there was the option of going either to Algiers or to Lebanon. And I thought, for some reason or another, that we would probably be going to Lebanon later on and come back through the South of France. So I thought: Lebanon, I'll see it later on, let's go to Algiers. Which was a miscalculation. Lebanon was were I needed to go and not-
Oui, Alger- Je n'ai pas tellement aimé. C'était pas très plaisant. Ça grenouillait énormément. Les FFL du début, c'était quelque chose d'assez pur dans le genre. C'était des types qui étaient tous- Les gens qui étaient à Londres, il y en avait très peu, je ne sais plus combien, 4-5000 ou 6000. C'est des types qui voulaient vraiment faire quelque chose et se battre. A partir du moment où on est retombé sur les gens d'Afrique du nord, qui eux n'avaient aucune envie de se battre pour la plupart, ou alors qui faisaient des coups terribles- J'étais parti avec un de mes camarades avec qui j'avais été au lycée. On est parti ensemble. Et lui, quand on était en Afrique, il était plus ou moins, il était sous-lieutenant, il avait une section de noirs, et un beau jour, il y a un village qui a volé des vaches à l'autre village. Alors drame affreux, ils ont commencé à se battre et on leur a envoyé mon copain avec sa section pour aller les séparer. Il y a un type qui s'est planté derrière un baobab et qui lui a flanqué une sagaie dans le cœur, liquidé. Il avait un frère qui a été tué lui, le jour du débarquement américain à Alger par un officier du 5 ème chasseur d'Alger qui lui a tiré une balle dans le dos. Les deux frères, c'est pas mal ! Pourquoi je raconte ça ? Parce que vous avez retrouvé les parents- Alors j'ai retouvé les parents après, oui. Oui, qui habitaient Alger et chez qui j'étais à Alger pendant 15 jours. C'est-à-dire j'avais le choix. A la suite de ces campagnes, on n'a pas eu de permission pendant des années, pendant deux ou trois ans. Donc, on avait droit à une permission et il y avait le choix entre aller à Alger ou aller au Liban. Et je m'étais dit, pour une raison qui m'échappe maintenant, que nous devions probablement aller plus tard au Liban et revenir par le sud de la France. Donc, je me suis dit : le Liban, je verrais plus tard, allons à Alger. Ce qui était une erreur de calcul. Il fallait aller au Liban et pas.

François Jacob (1920-2013) was a French biochemist whose work has led to advances in the understanding of the ways in which genes are controlled. In 1965 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, together with Jacque Monod and André Lwoff, for his contribution to the field of biochemistry. His later work included studies on gene control and on embryogenesis. Besides the Nobel Prize, he also received the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science for 1996 and was elected a member of the French Academy in 1996.

Listeners: Michel Morange

Michel Morange is a professor of Biology and Director of the Centre Cavaillès of History and Philosophy of Science at the Ecole Normale Supérieure. After having obtained a Bachelor in biochemistry and two PhDs, one in Biochemistry, the other in History and Philosophy of Science, he went on to join the research unit of Molecular Genetics headed by François Jacob, in the Department of Molecular Biology at the Pasteur Institute, Paris. Together with Olivier Bensaude, he discovered that Heat Shock Proteins are specifically expressed on the onset of the mouse zygotic genome activation. Since then he has been working on the properties of Heat Shock Proteins, their role in aggregation and on the regulation of expression of these proteins during mouse embryogenesis. He is the author of 'A History of Molecular Biology' and 'The Misunderstood Gene'.

Michel Morange est généticien et professeur à L'Université Paris VI ainsi qu'à l'Ecole Normale Supérieure où il dirige le Centre Cavaillès d'Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences. Après l'obtention d'une license en Biochimie ainsi que de deux Doctorats, l'un en Biochimie, l'autre en Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences, il rejoint le laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire dirigé par le Professeur François Jacob à l'Institut Pasteur. Ses principaux travaux de recherche se sont portés sur l'Histoire de la Biologie au XXème siècle, la naissance et le développement de la Biologie Moléculaire, ses transformations récentes et ses interactions avec les autres disciplines biologiques. Auteur de "La Part des Gènes" ainsi que de "Histoire de la Biologie Moléculaire", il est spécialiste de la structure, de la fonction et de l'ingénerie des protéines.

Tags: El Alamein, Stalingrad, D-Day, Stalingrad

Duration: 2 minutes, 18 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008