Monday, 18 June 2012

Eternity-Coloured Rose, Perhaps with Gold Reflections

Last weekend it was an open day for the Rosarie in Cluny. This was where I did my rose pruning course back in March. The garden is looking absolutely lovely and it reminded me that I did blog about its opening back in June 2010. A quick look at the blog and I saw the photo below, which I took and I was amazed at the difference that those two years have made. Now the garden is in full bloom, with not only roses, but delphiniums, ladies mantle and sedums waiting to give colour later in the year. It has turned into a really beautiful garden and an asset to Cluny.

RosarieAs I wandered around and took pictures I noticed a plaque in memory of 22 women from Cluny who were deported to Ravensbrück concentration camp in 1944. Ravensbrück, was a camp exclusively for women, figures vary but it appears that about 130,000 women passed through the camp during the war and estimates of between only 15,000 and 40,000 atually survived the experience. These kind of figures always pull me up short, especially today as we are going to a wreath laying in Cormatin this evening to remember the Appeal of 18th June, which was when Charles De Gaulle made his famous speech to the French people from London, rallying the country to back the Resistance.

There was no mention at the Rosarie if any of the Cluny ladies made it home, but there was a plaque with a lovely little poem written by Marcelle Dudach-Roset. I won’t take credit for the translation, I found this on a rose website:

“I am “Resurrection”
and all through the years,
all through the seasons,
I will remain a life witness
who will protect from barbarism
all the children of the world,
even when I have become a wild rose
lighting the way for everyone.”

Having searched around since reading this poem, I found out a little background. The survivors of Ravensbrück wanted to pay homage to those who had not survived and they came up with the idea of having a rose (which they saw as symbolising femininity) to become an emblem of peace and remembrance of the horror of the camp. They started lobbying rose breeders with their request for an “eternity-coloured rose perhaps with gold reflections”.

This dream came to fruition in 1974 when finally Michel Kriloff created “Resurrection, the Ravensbrück rose”. What a very special way to remember.

Our website La Tuilerie de Chazelle.

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