A Bit of Culture!

trendie

Legendary member
6,530 1,123
Knowing T2W as I do, I fear the lulzers trashing this, but I thought it would be nice to have a thread listing inspiring stories, enjoyable plays, great interviews, and biographies of great people.

Obviously, I wont post every episode of "In Our Time", (the latest one being aout Fermats Last Theorem, and recently there was a good one about Hannibal), nor will I post every outing of Afternoon Drama, but I found this recent play very enjoyable.

Its called "What Love Sounds Like" and is a 45-minute play about a blind man meeting a deaf woman in a faith healers office.

Please post up any short stories or culture you would like to share!

BBC iPlayer - Afternoon Drama: What Love Sounds Like
 

Pat494

Legendary member
14,490 1,540
Love to share the story of how I made a billion. Trouble is it hasn't happened yet.

:LOL:
 

Pat494

Legendary member
14,490 1,540
Love to share the story of how I made a billion. Trouble is it hasn't happened yet.

:LOL:

Should I sue :-

the Govt
the BOE
the Fed
or T2W

?
 

Pat494

Legendary member
14,490 1,540
Love to share the story of how I made a billion. Trouble is it hasn't happened yet.

:LOL:

Should I sue :-

the Govt
the BOE
the Fed
or T2W

?

Oh alright let's take trendie, a bit more seriously
I would like to put forward Alice in Wonderland - you would be surprised how relevent it is still .
 

Hakuna Matata

Well-known member
357 209
arriiight read this OBIT. wat a d00d!!

Daily Telegraph said:
ROBERT de La ROCHEFOUCAULD

WARTIME OPERATIVE

16-9-1923 - 8-5-2012

COUNT Robert de La Rochefoucauld, who escaped from occupied France to join the Special Operations Executive, parachuted back on sabotage missions and twice faced execution, has died at Ouzouer-sur-Trezee, in north-central France. He was 88.



Both times he escaped, once dressed as a Nazi guard. Other disguises also came in useful. On the run in occupied Bordeaux he dressed as a nun. In later life he helped Maurice Papon to flee to Switzerland.

With La Rochefoucauld's death, only two French agents of the wartime SOE are still alive.

La Rochefoucauld was born in Paris, one of 10 children of an aristocratic family that lived in old-fashioned splendour on Avenue de la Bourdonnais, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. His mother was the daughter of the Duke of Maille, and his father's family retained a private carriage that was hitched onto trains during trips. An ancestor was Francois de La Rochefoucauld, famous for his maxims.

A sickly child, he attended private schools for the jeunesse doree in Switzerland and Austria where, in 1938, he was taken on a school trip to Berchtesgaden, Hitler's alpine retreat. The Fuehrer patted La Rochefoucauld on the cheek affectionately - at the time a dream come true for the 15-year-old, who along with his schoolmates had attached swastikas to their bicycles.

He was back in France when the Nazis invaded. His father was taken prisoner; the rest of the family took refuge in a chateau east of Paris. Furious at the occupation, La Rochefoucauld protested long and loud until he was warned to keep quiet by a friendly postman, who had intercepted a letter denouncing the young man to the Nazis.

La Rochefoucauld contacted the Resistance in the northern spring of 1942 to find a route to join Free French forces in England. He took the pseudonym Rene Lallier and travelled, via Vichy to the Pyrenees, where he accompanied two British airmen over the Col de Perthuis into Spain. Immediately arrested, the three men spent two months in jail before Major Eric Piquet-Wicks, head of recruiting French nationals for SOE, arrived from the British embassy in Madrid and arranged for them to be released.

At the embassy La Rochefoucauld was invited to join SOE. Once in England, he met General Charles de Gaulle to ask his permission to join British forces. ''Do it,'' came the reply. ''Even allied to the devil, it's for La France.''

La Rochefoucauld began his training early in 1943, learning to parachute and use small arms and explosives, as well as how to kill a man with the flat of his hand. Experienced safe-crackers were brought out of jail to show the recruits the art of breaking and entering. In June he was ready for his first mission.

Dropped into the Morvan with two British agents, he teamed up with a Maquis group near Avallon led by a man who called himself The Pope. After destroying the electrical substation at Avallon, and blowing up railway tracks, La Rochefoucauld was awaiting exfiltration by the RAF when he was denounced and arrested. After a series of interrogations, he was condemned to death.

On the way to his execution in Auxerre, he made a break, leaping from the truck carrying him to his doom, and dodging the bullets fired by his two guards. Sprinting through the empty streets, he found himself in front of the Gestapo's headquarters, where a chauffeur was pacing near a limousine bearing the swastika flag. Spotting the key in the ignition, La Rochefoucauld jumped in and roared off, passing the jail he had left an hour earlier.

He smashed through a roadblock before dumping the car and circling back towards Auxerre on foot in the dead of night. He sheltered with the owner of a grocery store. The Resistance put him on a train for Paris and he evaded German soldiers hunting him by curling up underneath the sink in the toilet.

''When we arrived in Paris, I felt drunk with freedom,'' he recalled.

Taking refuge with an aunt and uncle, La Rochefoucauld spent a month rebuilding his strength before, in February 1944, recontacting SOE. He was ordered to the Calais coast, then on high alert for the expected Allied invasion, to be extracted by submarine.

After a successful rendezvous off Berck, he found himself obliged to stay on board for three days while the sub completed a patrol. Those days of confinement, he wrote, were among his ''worst of the war''. The boat came under depth charge attack, and he noted later, he had ''never been so scared in my life''.

Back in a buoyed London, ''we were invited to the best houses'', he recalled. ''Girls fell into our arms.'' By May he was ready to be parachuted back into France, charged with blowing up the vast munitions factory at Saint-Medard, near Bordeaux, ahead of D-Day.

The mission, code-named ''Sun'', saw La Rochefoucauld infiltrate the factory dressed as one of the workers. Over four days he smuggled in 40 kilograms of explosives, concealed in hollowed-out loaves of bread and special shoes.

On May 20, he linked the charges and set timers before scaling a wall and pedalling to safety on a bicycle.

The blast was heard for kilometres. After sending a message to London (the reply read simply: ''Felicitations'') he enjoyed several bottles of wine with the local Resistance leader, waking the next day with a hangover.

Cycling to Bordeaux to meet a contact he ran into a roadblock, was caught and imprisoned at the 16th-century Fort du Ha. La Rochefoucauld's explanation that he had been out after dark on a romantic assignation was not believed and, in his cell, he considered swallowing the cyanide pill concealed in the heel of his shoe.

Instead he faked an epileptic fit and, when the guard opened the door to his cell, hit him over the head with a table leg before breaking his neck. (''Thank goodness for that pitilessly efficient training,'' he noted). Donning the German's uniform, he walked into the guardroom and shot the two other German jailers. He then simply walked out of the fort, through the deserted town, and to the address of an underground contact. However, he found that his escape line was blocked, as checks and patrols had been stepped up. Then the man harbouring him, whose sister was a nun, suggested that La Rochefoucauld slip into her habit. Thus dressed, he walked through the city, eventually knocking on the door of Roger Landes, code-named Aristide, a bilingual Briton who he hoped would take care of his return to England. But Aristide's orders were to hide him; D-Day was days away.

La Rochefoucauld was consigned instead to a woodcutter, but bored with the work he joined a local Resistance group. Arrested once more, he was taken to a guard post only to find himself in a storm of machinegun fire: fellow resistants had launched an immediate operation to free him. He emerged unscathed. ''I had what I needed more than anything else,'' he said later. ''Luck.''

By August 1944 the Germans had abandoned Bordeaux. In the city La Rochefoucauld found men in glorious French uniform in every cafe. On the streets, others wore holsters. ''It seemed the heroes were two a penny, now that the danger had passed,'' he noted. ''The ostentation made me feel sick.''

He joined the Charly group of the Resistance, harassing the German lines. One night he opened the door of an apparently deserted building, only for a German soldier to open a door opposite at exactly the same moment. In the gloom, each man fired four or five shots at the other, missed, and simply retreated. For him, the incident illustrated the sometimes farcical nature of war.

His final behind-the-lines assault came in April 1945, when he led a night raid to knock out a casemate near St-Vivien-du Medoc, on France's western coast. Paddling up the river, he approached the casemate, killed a guard and blew it up, forcing the Germans to pull back to their final defensive position on the sea at Verdon.

La Rochefoucauld was unable to witness the final victory. On April 19, 1945, he was wounded in the knee after a mine explosion. In August, recovered, he travelled to Villeneuve to rejoin his family. After a month's leave, he turned occupier himself, as ADC to General Roger Noiret.

In Berlin, Marshal Zhukov, then commander of the Soviet zone of occupation, invited Noiret and La Rochefoucauld to a party. After mishearing La Rochefoucauld's name as La Rochezhukov, the Soviet hero, known for his fondness for vodka, kissed La Rochefoucauld, Soviet style, full on the lips.

La Rochefoucauld was demobilised in 1946 with the rank of captain, but immediately recruited into the French secret services. After training near Orleans, he volunteered for a tour of duty in Indochina, leading commando raids against the Vietminh. But his methods, which included launching ambushes dressed as a Viet, were frowned on by senior officers and after five months he returned to France.

Life there bored him, and he travelled, first to Cameroon, for three years, then to Venezuela for two. He returned to rejoin French special forces in time for Suez. He parachuted into Sinai, but the fighting ended before he became involved.

From 1966, he served for three decades as mayor of Ouzouer-sur-Trezee.

In February 1997, he returned to Bordeaux for the trial of Maurice Papon, the former Vichy official accused of deporting 1600 Jews from the city. In his defence, Papon claimed that he had been a Resistance go-between in 1944, a claim that La Rochefoucauld backed. ''He [Papon] was one of those brave men who risked their lives to help the Resistance and the Allies,'' he said.

Despite this, Papon was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years. Freed while his lawyers appealed, Papon fled to Switzerland, where he was found under an assumed name: Robert de La Rochefoucauld.

The former special forces soldier had provided Papon with his passport. When detectives arrived to question La Rochefoucauld, his wife told them: ''Don't try to lock him up. He escapes, you know.''

La Rochefoucauld's awards included Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, Croix de Guerre, Medaille de la Resistance and the DCM. His memoir is titled La liberte, c'est mon plaisir (2002).

La Rochefoucauld married Bernadette (nee de Marcieu de Gontaut-Biron), who survives him, with three daughters. Their son, Jean, inherits the title.

Read more: Rollicking tale of French blue-blood agent
 

the hare

Senior member
2,949 1,283
Sounds exactly like the sort of chap you could rely on to get a secret nazi box out from behind enemy lines.
 

pboyles

Legendary member
8,072 1,302
Sounds exactly like the sort of chap you could rely on to get a secret nazi box out from behind enemy lines.

Indeed, and now we know how.

Over four days he smuggled in 40 kilograms of explosives, concealed in hollowed-out loaves of bread and special shoes.

That'll be on Guy Cohen's next webinar.
 
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NVP

Legendary member
37,536 1,988
Knowing T2W as I do, I fear the lulzers trashing this, but I thought it would be nice to have a thread listing inspiring stories, enjoyable plays, great interviews, and biographies of great people.

Its called "What Love Sounds Like" and is a 45-minute play about a blind man meeting a deaf woman in a faith healers office.

still no comments ?...jees the gang are being polite today ;)
 

Pat494

Legendary member
14,490 1,540
If you are interested in money and good living then may I suggest you take a closer look at Sweden and Switzerland. 2 countries adept at keeping out of major wars and neither now needs a bailout. They minded their own business and now reap the rewards.
Stayed out of the eurocrap zone too. No flies on those guys. Success stories if there was ever one.
 

trendie

Legendary member
6,530 1,123
Goldfish Girl.
Play about a woman, who appears to have lost her memory.
With the help of a man, ostensibly her husband, the play reveals the physical cause, as he helps her piece together
their lives together.
This then leads onto unravelling the tragic emotional event.

Funny, clever, sad. Well-written. Just 2 characters.

BBC iPlayer - Peter Souter - Goldfish Girl
 

Pat494

Legendary member
14,490 1,540
American culture is really Hollywood's offering of sex and violence.

Culture to my mind is anything but S & V.
 
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