chapter  11
Street noises: celebrating the Liberation of Paris in music and dance
ByRosemary Wakeman
Pages 19

In the Liberation newspaper Combat, Jean-Paul Sartre described the chaos on the Left Bank on 14 July 1944, the first national holiday of the deliverance:

The church bells of Saint-Germain rang out . . . an immense clamour spilled out from the houses and streets. In the middle of the carrefour, a man sang ‘the Marseillaise’. He only knew a few stanzas that the crowd repeated again and again . . . Someone lit a fire at the corner of the Boulevard Montparnasse and, just as July 14 had been celebrated before the war, the crowd danced the farandole around the flames. Suddenly someone screamed: ‘Tanks, Tanks!’ You could hear gunfire and people scrambled for refuge under cars. There were still Germans in Paris. The crowd dissipated into the night and the carrefour was plunged once more into obscurity and silence.2