Monday, 5 January 2009

Cafe du Croissant Paris

If you find yourself in the second Arrondissement in Paris near to Metro Bourse you might like to take a detour to the Cafe du Croissant (146, Rue Montmartre, Paris 75002). It was here that on the 31st of July 1914 just before the outbreak of war that the French Socialist party leader Jean Jaures was assasinated.

Jean Jaures was a pacifist and had been desperate to prevent the outbreak of what would be the first world war. He'd encouraged General strikes by workers in Germany and France aimed at forcing their governments to negotiate a settlement. Alas his efforts were in vain. He was assasinated by Raoul Villain a French nationalist who was controversially acquitted for the murder after the war.

A journalist of The Manchester Guardian was present at the cafe at the time of the assasination he reported on 1st August 1914:

"At about half-past nine, when we were just finishing dinner, two pistol shots suddenly resounded in the restaurant. .....we saw that M. Jaures had fallen sideways on the bench on which he was sitting, and the screams of the women who were present told us of the murder.....M. Jaures was shot in the head, and the murderer must have held the pistol close to his victim. A surgeon was hastily summoned, but he could do nothing, and M. Jaures died quietly without regaining consciousness a few minutes after the crime. Meanwhile the murderer had been seized and handed over to the police, who had to protect him from the crowd which had quickly collected in the street. At that hour in the evening the Rue Moatmastte [sic] is filled with newsvendors waiting for the late editions of the evening papers."

If you do stop by at the Le Croissant hopefully your stay will be less dramatic than poor old Mr. Jaures.


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Black Suits said...

Where I can find that restaurant?