Place du Jeu de Balle
Autumn 1915 : Strolling through the Vieux marché (old market), people watch a stall selling gilded and bronze objects. This trivial sight, almost timeless, indicates that occupation also had its moments of normality. In September 1914, Paul Max wrote: “The days pass by, nothing troubles the monotony of this war period, this day is like yesterday and does not anticipate anything in particular for tomorrow. So it is better to keep living like a brute, without reflecting, and trying not to think”.
The reality of war struck back brutally. In April 1916, the very same Paul Max wrote about the fear seizing him one evening, when coming home he discovers a recently hanged poster announcing the execution of five resistance fighters. “Then we feel our legs tighten, our heartbeat quicken, and the scarce pleasure we have had that evening in watching a few old movies or a bad operetta, disappears instantly”.