Picpus cemetery and the rothschild hospital
Using the archives to support national standards for students of french
by Margot M. Steinhart, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
| | Goals and Examples
Goals and Examples
Goal 1 : Communication
Communication in French
- Standards 1.1 Interpersonal Communication
Students engage in conversation or correspondence in French to provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
- Standard 1.2 Interpretive Communication
Students understand and interpret spoken and written French on a variety of topics.
- Standard 1.3 Presentational Communication
Students present information, concepts, and ideas in French to an audience of listeners or readers.
- Themes or subjects for discussion
- What is un lieu de mémoire ?
- Why are some lieux de mémoire forgotten ?
- Why did Lafayette become a symbol of Franco-American friendship?
- Are there other symbols of Franco-American friendship?
- What resemblance is there between the Terreur and the German Occupation of France?
- What differences are there between the Terreur and the German Occupation of France?
- How do the French and the Americans present in their history books the American Revolution and the French Revolution?
- Is Picpus worthy of becoming a more important lieu de mémoire for the French, or for the Americans? Why?
Sample Task: After viewing the video “Picpus, Walled Garden of Memory,” identify the places of significance at Picpus and have students explain their interest in touring Picpus during a future visit to Paris.
Goal 2 : Cultures
Gain knowledge and understanding of the cultures of the Francophone world
- Standard 2.1 Practices of culture
Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the cultures of the francophone world.
- Standard 2.2 Products of culture
Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the cultures of the francophone world
- Practice and customs of burial and respect for the dead : the mass grave, gravestones, and funereal monuments
- Concept of guilt and punishment during and after the French Revolution and German Occupation of France during WWII
- Daily life of a prisoner during the French Revolution and WW II
- Medical care and human rights
- Public and private commemorative events and the collective memory
e.g., Mass of June 15 and Decoration of Lafayette’s tomb on July 4
- Final solution or ultimate destination for victims of the French Revolution and the Holocaust
- la Place du Trône >> Picpus
- Rothschild Hospital >> Drancy >> Auschwitz
- The guillotine as death without cruelty (from the French Revolution until 1981)
- The Star of David (l’étoile jaune) as social identity (WW II)
- The revolutionary calendar as means of dating events
- The panel with the names of those buried in the mass grave at Picpus as a public announcement
- The registries with the names of those held at the Rothschild Hospital as examples of secret documents
Sample Task: Illustrate and narrate the last day in the life of a victim of the Terreur or of the day of arrival of a deportee to Auschwitz.
Goal 3: Connections
Use French to connect with other disciplines and expand knowledge
- Standard 3.1 Making connections
Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through French.
- Standards 3.2 Acquiring information
Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through francophone cultures.
Connections of Picpus Cemetery and of the Rotschild Hospital to other disciplines:
André Chénier and Jean-Antoine Roucher (two poets guillotined the same day and buried at Picpus
- Poetry and music
Opera Andrea Chénier, composed by Umberto Giordano (« Come un bel di di maggio »)
- Novel /film /opera
Le Dialogue des Carmélites (play (1949): Georges Bernanos/ opera (1957): Francis Poulenc) – story of 16 nuns who were guillotined for their refusal to abandon the Church and were buried in the common grave at Picpus
- Literature and biography/autobiography
Novel/ musical/ filmLe roman/ le théâtre musical /le film : Les Misérables
- Dora Bruder (1997), written by Patrick Modiano (Gallimard Paris, 1999; ISBN: 2070408485)
Intrigued by an announcement placed in Paris Soir in 1941 by the parents of Dora Bruder, the author searched for 10 years to reconstitute the life of the 15-year-old Jewess 1941. The places that Dora Bruder frequented included a catholic boarding school adjacent to the Picpus Cemetery and the Rothschild hospital. http://www.ac-strasbourg.fr/microsites/hist_geo01/dora/tab2.htm
- Paulette Szlifka Sarcey tells about her life as a résistante in an interview for the digital archive project. She was tortured and taken to the Rothschild Hospital before being sent to Drancy and Auschwitz. One of the 20 interviews of Shoah survivors who passed through Rothschild.
- Victor Hugo (Les Misérables, 1845-1862: novel)
Hugo places Cosette at Picpus in the novel.
- Claude-Michel Schönberg et Alain Boublil (Les Misérables, 1980: musical)
- Claude-Michel Schönberg et Alain Boublil (La Révolution Française,1973. Musical)
- Sir Cameron Mackintosh et Herbert Kretzmer (Les Misérables, version in English, 1985: musical)
- Claude Lelouch (Les Mísérables, 1995: film)
Hugo’s story of Jean Valjean is intertwined with the occupation of France in this film.
- People who were buried at Picpus
People who came to Picpus
- Lafayette and his wife Adrienne
- The poets André Chénier and Antoine-Jean-Roucher
- The Viscount Alexandre de Beauharnais (husband of Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, futur Empress Joséphine)
- Representatives of les Trois Etats: politicians, journalists, poets, workers, clergy and nuns , nobles
People who were interned at Picpus, a mental/nursing home (maison de santé)
- Le Comte René de Chambrun (diplomat, international married to Josée Laval, daughter of Pierre Laval) wrote on Lafayette and Pierre Laval; lived in the château of Lafayette, La Grange) interviewed during the filming of Picpus: Walled Garden of Memory.
- Le Duc de Noailles (descendant of Lafayette’s wife family), interviewed on how Picpus became a cemetery
- General John Pershing on July 4, 1917.
On this occasion: "Lafayette, nous voilà!" was uttered by Lt. Col. Charles Stanton
- Marquis de Sade
- Choderlos de Laclos (Les Liaisons Dangereuses, 1782)
Sample Task: Determine the work and social status (according to the 3 états) of those who are buried at Picpus, based on the “Liste des victimes enterrées à Picpus.” (plaque at Picpus and in book “Les Victimes de Picpus: 1794-1994,” also in the Picpus Digital Archive) Sample Task: Draft an obituary for one of the famous people buried at Picpus.
Goal 4: Comparisons
Develop insight through French into the nature of language and culture
- Standard 4.1 Language comparisons
Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of French and their native language.
- Standard 4.2 Cultural Comparisons
Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of francophone cultures and their own.
- The American Revolution and the French Revolution
- The treatment of nobles in France and of the English sympathizers in the American colonies
- The treatment of Jews in France and Japanese-Americans in the US during WW II
Goal 5: Communities
Use French to participate in communities at home and around the world
- Visits to Paris
- Cultural experiences: Readings, concerts, opera, musicals, music, film
- Presentations of projects derived from the digital archival to the school and to the community
| | Goals and Examples