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(From Paris, "Parie-Mondial," short wave, May 20, 1940, at 10 p. m. Eastern Daylight Time--by former Prof. Morize).
Good-night America. Sleep Well..
You can sleep well because there are five million Frenchmen between you and the battle. We cannot sleep. Forty million Frenchmen cannot sleep. The battle is raging again on land we have already fought over and freed. what will be the conclusion again after twenty-five years? News--you have more than we have; you have the true as well as the false. I can visualize your newspapers, with their screaming, sensational headlines. But be cautions, patient and judicious. It is part of German tactics to confuse public opinion. Here we know few details of the fighting. After eight months, the wild best let loose has launched his masses of machines against neutrals who, like you, had faith in treaties. But there was no ocean to protect them. They were valiant but helpless. They were in the way. It pays not to be too close. They were murdered. Bombers, tanks, and machine guns force ahead into France.
The battle has been raging for almost ten days and ten nights. At this very moment men are dying to save France. We know that the tide must be stopped. When, where, at what cost, we cannot say. We know it will be done. Whatever sacrifices are necessary, we are ready to pay the cost.
A few weeks age in a message to you, my American friends, I weighed my words to avoid tactless remarks which might be interpreted by susceptible listeners as propaganda. Who cares about propaganda tonight? Now, I wish my words might reach very American ear. Crimes, murders, horrors, are being committed. You know it... Louvain, which American money rebullt after the last war, is once more in ruins. Peasants, whose village you generally once rehabilitate, are again fleeing before the same invader. People of Belglum and France are being killed.
Let's not discuss the battle, Let us wait and pray.
For three days I have been away on a special mission. I have seen with my own eyes the flood of haggard refugees... visions of old, things I thought I would never see again. Along these roads, of distress and misery I have seen dozens of cars with bullet holes and shattered windows, cars fired on by German planes. On Saturday night I talked with an old man and his ten year old son fleeing in a car from a town in the Ardennes. They had left by the roadside his wife and daughter who had been gunned through the roof of the car. I saws blood on the cushions. Too horrible for words? No, I want to bear witness. I saw a women watching her dead baby in a wrecked truck. I heard a small child ask, "Mama, where are we going? Home? NO, the house is ill broken... la maison est toute cassee." I want to bear witness. I talked with two women who had been chased like rabbits by a plane so close that they could see the flaming machine-guns. I want to bear witness. There is more that I could say, but I won't
We are resolute and confident, and with reason to remain so. The wall may have weakened, but is is not broken. We have been through worse crises and survived. Once more, the wall will hold.
This has been a beautiful May day in Paris, with the horse-chestnut trees in blossom, and a rosy sunset over the Tuileries. Tragic splendor. Paris in magnificent. No nervousness, no panic. Paris waits in sad eagerness,. dramatic but sober expectation. The nation knows the danger, but knows, too, that it is fighting its won battle and the world's we are confident that the battle will become a victory. Goodbye, my friends. I do not say good-night. Tonight we cannot sleep.
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