the return to the fields of European workers

French farmers should be able to find part of their seasonal foreign labor. The government’s announcement Thursday (May 7) to open borders to seasonal workers from the European Union, even outside of Schengen, is a relief for the profession. A total of around 276,000 seasonal workers are needed for the May and June harvests, according to the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FNSEA).

→ LIVE. Coronavirus: France enters its third day of progressive deconfinement

“Many farmers have relied on foreign labor for thirty-forty years, explains André Bernard, vice-president of chambers of agriculture. In Paca, 28% are North Africans, mainly from Tunisia and Morocco, 27% are Europeans, mainly Spanish. “

15,000 contracts signed for 290,000 applicants

The coronavirus crisis and the closing of borders in Europe had prevented foreign seasonal workers from coming to France, threatening the harvest of strawberries, cherries, apricots, peaches and grapes. In collaboration with the Ministries of Agriculture and Labor, Pôle Emploi and the National Association for Employment and Training of Farmers (Anefa), the FNSEA notably launched the “Arms for your plate” platform last March .

The goal: to connect farmers and “volunteers” to make up for the shortage of labor. If 290,000 people answered the call according to the platform, 15,000 contracts were finally signed on the 45,000 needed in March, announced Christiane Lambert, president of the main agricultural union on Franceinfo.

“You can’t improvise as a farmer”

“Only 30% of those who came stayed,” says André Bernard, vice-president of chambers of agriculture. A figure he explains by the lack of experience of the local workforce, coupled with a lack of training at the start of their new contract. “Seasonal workers from abroad come from agricultural backgrounds”, he continues.

Same observation for Dominique Chargé, president of the Agricultural Cooperation, which brings together some 2,600 agricultural cooperatives. “The“ arms for your plate ”approach was very interesting and we must honor the French volunteer workers. But you can’t improvise as a farmer, it’s a painful job. It is important for us to find this specialized and experienced workforce that we usually use. She is available and ready. ”

Strict sanitary measures

The arrival of foreign workers must, however, be governed by a health protocol. “We call on all employers to act responsibly”, warns Jérôme Volle, vice-president of the FNSEA. We are currently discussing with the Ministry of Health on the modalities of physical distance, protective equipment, barrier gestures or the adaptation of housing. ”

→ READ. Numerous volunteers for the “army of agriculture”

Among the constraints feared by the profession, a compulsory quarantine was notably mentioned during the discussions. Fourteen-day confinement could be applied to European nationals who are currently outside the Schengen area. A measure judged “Extremely penalizing” by the president of the FNSEA. “We need these workers very quickly, adds André Bernard, it’s a matter of days. ”

And to continue: “In addition, it will be necessary to monitor the workers’ state of health: carry out regular temperature checks and measurements, as well as organize treatment by the village doctor or by nearby hospitals if there is suspected cases of Covid-19. For proven cases, some farmers have already planned to leave a shelter available for the sick so that they can isolate themselves. “

A warning for the profession

Daniel Sauvaître, arboriculturalist and secretary general of the interprofession of fresh fruit and vegetables (Interfel), is concerned about these additional instructions: “The Covid-19 crisis has redistributed the cards. For example, there will be less housing available this year, the campsites being closed. ” The coronavirus crisis and the lack of manpower should therefore serve as a warning to farmers, he said. “For the next few years, we will have to think of a way to attract and favor locals. “

To do this, André Bernard plans in particular “Long-term training for unemployed local workers. We have to mitigate these migratory flows and imagine a system so that the wealth that we create benefits French workers more. “ Finally, Dominique Chargé suggests valuing agricultural professions through remuneration: “The crisis questions our ability to have our own workforce for our food sovereignty. Achieving food self-sufficiency means giving back importance to manual labor in France. “


“Champs-Élysées, history and perspectives”, the fields of possibilities

In the photos, the Champs-Élysées gardens are deserted. No wonder in this period of confinement. Except that the photos of the Pavillon de l’Arsenal exhibition devoted to the famous avenue were taken well before this strange spring … With its 24 hectares, the green spaces of the Champs-Élysées are three times larger than the Parc Monceau but attracts thirteen times less audience!

→ DOSSIER. Culture at the show: our selection by confinement time

It must be said that “the most beautiful avenue in the world” has lost this status in the eyes of Parisians. Only 5% of the passers-by who come to stroll there live in the capital, the axis being mainly frequented by tourists and … cars! This was not always the case on this royal road imagined by Le Nôtre in 1664. Extension of the central alley of the Tuileries garden beyond the fortified enclosure, it symbolizes the domination of the monarchical power of Louis XIV over the whole kingdom.

Today it remains a high place for the legitimization of power with its military parades and presidential enthronement conveyed, but also for its protest, from sans-culottes to yellow vests …

Evils of Modernity

It also reflects a vision of progress which sees nature, fields and marshes in this case, being domesticated by man. A design that comes to confirm the successive arrangements of Jacques Ignace Hittorff and Adolphe Alphand in the XIXe century. Caught up in the evils of modernity, the Champs-Élysées must reinvent itself to find the favors of Parisians.

The architect Philippe Chiambaretta, author of the study carried out for the Champs-Élysées Committee, an association bringing together the economic players on the avenue, makes here a number of proposals to reduce the inconvenience caused in particular by atmospheric and noise pollution: reduction two-lane instead of four currently, creation of bicycle paths and playgrounds, silent floor covering, electrification of the car fleet, and pedestrianization of Place de la Concorde.

Moving a little quickly on the hyperinflation of land, the architect, who advocates partnerships with the private sector to finance his development ideas, may forget that a neighborhood also lives because it is inhabited. It is still necessary to have the means…


Swastikas, Hitler greetings … Nazi death camps suffer a denialist offensive



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Swastika, selfies with Hitler greetings or denialist inscriptions in the guest books are one of the many provocations increasingly alarming those responsible for memory sites installed in the old ones Nazi death camps.

“Incidents in these enclaves have always existed but an increase is noted“Acknowledges Volkhard Knigge, director of the Memorial of the concentration camp of Bunchenwald.

“The messages that glorify Nazism or call for the reopening of the camps for foreigners are increasingly frequent,” laments this historian. Not counting the visitors who pose for the usual photography before the cremation ovens or revisionist stickers.

Another recent phenomenon that they have found is the increasing number followers of revisionist theories that disturb the normal course of Guided visits. Uwe Neumärker, director of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe erected in Berlin, corroborates the facts: “They make us questions about the veracity of the genocide. These kinds of things didn’t happen to us a few years ago.

Precisely, this year I know It commemorates the 75th anniversary of the liberation of most of the Nazi-built death camps in Europe, where some 6 million Jews were killed. The Bunchenwald event took place last Saturday, but the coronavirus pandemic forced to cancel the commemorations and virtually honor victims.

«Monument of shame»

This trend continues as the German generations that they lived through the war they are disappearingand he goes lightening the feeling of guilt for the crimes of the Third Reich.

At the same time, the importance of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has grown in recent years. This anti-immigrant party has imposed itself strongly on the German political landscape since 2013 and several of its members have put in culture questioned german regret for the Nazi horrors.

One of the leaders, Björn Höcke, called for a “180 degree turn” in the culture of German memory. He also branded «Monument of shame» to the Memorial of the murdered Jews in Europe.

Another leader, Alexander Gauland, exhorted his fellow citizens to feel proud of the soldiers of the German army they fought during World War II.

“Is a strategy adopted by the extreme right and the AfD: who always wants to push the limits so that his thinking seems normal, ”says Bianca Klose, representative of the Berlin association Ambulant Council Against the Extreme Right (MBR). “Along with these sporadic flashes, there is that permanent pressure,” he explains.

Since their arrival in almost all regional parliaments, several AfD deputies have tried to influence the cultural-historical programming of memory sites.

The memorials adapt

In Germany, 15 former concentration camps are used as memorials. In 2018, the best-known ones – Dachau, Neuengamme, Sachsenhausen, Bergen-Belsen, Flossenbürg, Ravensbrück and Buchenwald – received more than 2.8 million visitors. Faced with the denialist offensive, the memorials have had to be adapted.

The director of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe allows guides to accept or refuse to accompany to groups of AfD visitors. The guides also received a training for face provocations. Like the person in charge of the Buchenwald site, Neumärker prohibits access to some AfD members. In the Neuengamme camp, the guides are reinforced when delegations from the far-right group arrive.

Some memorials have introduced a norm against extremists that prohibits access of people whose clothing refer to the Third Reich.

Financing video surveillance cameras or security agents absorbs many funds that “would be more than useful in pedagogy,” especially for the “younger,” says Knigge. In fact, he regrets that the hours of classes devoted to Nazism have “disappeared” in recent years. And “it is that memorials cannot compensate for what schools have failed to do,” he laments.


78 years of its concentration camps




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The February 19, 1942in full World War II, the president Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the Executive Order 9066. The decree forced to evacuate more than 120,000 Japanese residents in the United States and “relocate” them in concentration camps located in the western part of the country and in Arkansas.

That directive opened a torrent of racial hatred that poisoned a citizens still stingy by the attack on the base of Pearl Harbor The statements made by the governor of Idaho, as an example, Chase clark, shortly after: «Japs live like rats, breed like rats and act like rats. We don’t want them here.

Of all the prisoners, almost 30,000 finished their days in the concentration camps of Apple orchard (10,046) and Tule lake (18,789), located in California. And that is why this state has reported that, in the coming days (shortly after the 78th anniversary of the arrival of this sad directive) will issue a official apology for collaborating in the detention of citizens of Japanese descent during the WWII.

As reported by the newspaper «The Times», the local government recognizes in this way the mistakes made by the United States in 1942 and demonstrates that, despite the decades, it wants to learn from the past.

The Revenge Order

Executive Order 9066 was triggered by the attack that, in December 1941, perpetrated Japan against Pearl harbor and that caused the United States to enter the WWII. Roosevelt, fueled by the tension that existed in a beaten and shocked country, justified the decision to imprison the Japanese (in California, less than 2% of the total) in the need to defend their country from spies Y foreign enemies. That led to an even greater psychosis.

To be more specific, the order affected both the japanese as to citizens of Japanese descent. This is confirmed Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick in his work «The silenced history of the United States»: «On February 19, Roosevelt signed the Order and, from that moment on, preparations were made to evacuate and detain those affected by the states of California, Oregon Y Washington, two thirds of whom were US citizens by birth.

Officially, they were allowed to travel to nearby states, but most of the possible migrant recipients were opposed to it. «If you come here, you will see a japo hanging from each pine», Said the governor of Wyoming.

Given the need to seek a residence, the government decided to create permanent relocation centers between March and April. The fearsome “concentration camps.” In the words of these authors, the living conditions in them were deplorable. «Frequently, there was a lack of running water, bathrooms, decent schools, well-insulated bungalows with appropriate roofs …», they reveal.

What they did have were “good fences, machine gun posts and watchtowers.” Apparently, such was the treatment offered to inmates that, in the end, the director of the agency dedicated to relocating them (the WRA) left his post.

As if that were not enough, the departure to these concentration camps meant that Japanese citizens residing in the United States lost a whopping $ 400 million in movable property (which today would have a value of $ 5.4 billion). “Since refugees were only allowed to take their personal belongings, their former neighbors hastily acquired their homes for a small part of the real value,” the experts complete.

In 1944 it was requested to Roosevelt its dissolution, but, being election year, the president preferred to wait. The decision did not become apparent until the following year.

78 years later

Since then, there have been many governments that have charged against the decision considering that it fueled racist hysteria and paranoia. In the words of the Japanese American Citizens League (organization that seeks to safeguard the rights of the Japanese in the United States) the detainees were never “accused, and much less convicted, of espionage against the country.” However, “they were attacked, detained and imprisoned for years just for having the enemy’s face.” All in all, they are happy about the decision made in California.

The apology has been orchestrated for several months. The request was submitted by politician Al Muratsuchi and six co-authors on January 28. The project was approved unanimously the following month. “We want California to be the example for many others,” he said.