Lot n° 105
7000 - 8000
Result with fees
: 7 440EUR
GUITRY Sacha (1885-1957).
MANUSCRIT autograph signed, [Ma défense], Drancy October 13, 1944; -29 pages in-8 in pencil.
Precious document: justification of his conduct during the Occupation and response to accusations of collaboration, written at the Drancy internment camp and given to Commissioner Duez.
In Soixante jours de prison, Guitry notes, on October 8, 1944 (the day after meeting a man who, showing a copy of a letter from Guitry to Albert Willemetz, exclaimed: "With this, we've got you!"): "I spent my whole day taking notes on this. It is perhaps not bad that I answer my letter myself!" On Monday, October 9, Guitry is called by the commissioner dueZ: "I had gone, in writing, in front of all the questions that could be asked and I entrust him the handwritten notes that I took yesterday. I rectify there all the errors voluntarily committed by the newspapers since six weeks - and Mr. Duez seems very impressed by it ". On the 12th, he was called again by Commissioner Duez, who announced that he was going to be charged, and who had read his notes, of which he had made a typed copy that he gave to Guitry: "You have here arguments that are irrefutable [...] Your notes themselves, I keep them... and it is not only for the pleasure of having an autograph from you, but I want to keep them because they bring some necessary clarifications"...The manuscript is written in one go, in pencil, with some rare erasures and corrections, paginated from 1 to 29, and signed at the end. It is preceded by a sheet of paper with the initials S.G., on which Guitry then wrote in blue ink this dedication to the commissioner dueZ: "to Mr. Duez Sad and cordial memory Sacha Guitry Drancy 13.10.44".
Arrested at his home on the morning of August 23 by "six men armed to the teeth", but without a warrant to bring him in, Guitry promises to recount in detail this arbitrary arrest, his stay in the depot and at the Vel' d'Hiv', and his arrival at Drancy where he has been interned for the last six weeks. "When I ask what I am accused of, I am told: - Of being a "notorious collaborator". When I ask who is accusing me of this, I am told: - Everyone. But when I ask who denounced me, I am told: - Nobody "... Guitry denied, in turn, the charges of "public rumor". 1° Of having been pro-German: "Raised in hatred of Germany by my grandfather, René de Pont-Jest, who had fought in the 1970 war, I am perhaps the only French playwright who has never had a play performed in Germany - and I have done one hundred and fourteen
- whereas I would gladly give them up to all the countries of the world"; and he has always refused to be performed in Germany... 2° To be an Israelite. And he .../...
quotes a funny word from the Chief Rabbi, from whom he had gone to ask for a "certificate of Aryanity"... 3° To have received Marshal Goering at his home.
"This is not true. One day, Marshal Goering had two armed German officers look for me at my home"... 4° To have exposed in the foyer of the Théâtre de la Madeleine the bust of Hitler: "it is false. There is a bust of my father in the foyer of the Madeleine Theater, which does indeed look a little like Mr. Mussolini. 5° To have written a book on Germany: "During the occupation, I only published a booklet in free verse which speaks about painting [Des goûts et des couleurs] and a luxury book, entitled De 1429 à 1942. This work tells the story of five hundred years of French glory. It is a cry of faith, love and hope. One cannot attribute to it a political meaning without lying". It contains writings of G. Duhamel, P. Valéry, J. Cocteau, etc., and allowed "to pay 4 million to the National Relief". Guitry also refutes the accusations of having received German officers on stage or as guests, of having written or inspired the radio broadcasts of M. Hérold-Paquis ("what a slap in the face to my well-known vanity!"), of having served German propaganda, of having received General von stÜlPnagel... As for collaboration with the enemy, Guitry emphasizes that he refused in front of witnesses a proposal of 3 million from the Continental to shoot a film, wanting "to work only with French people", and dealt with Harispuru for Désirée Clary. He then had problems with the German censors, who refused and prevented the performance of two of his plays. He suffered the occupation of his houses in Versailles, Saint-Tropez and Cap d'Ail... Etc. There is no charge against him, except the public rumor... "Collaborator - that's a quick way of putting it. Is it the intention to gather under this damned term all those who, from 1940 to 1944, manifested their professional activity? If that is the case, let all the playwrights who were represented, all the actors who acted, all the writers who wrote, all the speakers who spoke, all the
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