26 mai 2024

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On October 3, a national tribute was paid to the Invalides, to academician Hélène Carrère d'Encausse by President Emmanuel Macron.

On October 3, a national tribute was paid to the Invalides, to academician Hélène Carrère d’Encausse by President Emmanuel Macron.

For this event, several personalities were present around the head of state and his wife. Among them, we could recognize the LR deputy for Manche Philippe Gosselin, the former Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, the writer Frédéric Beigbeder, the academicians Pascal Ory, Jules Hoffmann, Dany Laferriere, Michel Zink, Daniel Rondeau or Danièle Sallenave who had donned their green and gold embroidered outfit. Amine Maalouf, the new permanent secretary who replaces the historian, was also present.

The religious ceremony took place at the St Germain des Prés church, celebrated by Father Benoist de Sinety, former priest of St Germain. The coffin was carried by his 4 grandsons, followed by his 2 granddaughters, one carrying his sword and the other his decorations. The 3 children, Emmanuel, Nathalie, and Marina were behind. Father Benoist de Sinety was accompanied by Orthodox Father Alexis Struve and the general director of the Oeuvre d’Orient, Mgr Pascal Gollnisch.

Before her burial, the historian had spoken at length with Father Benoist, while she was at the Jeanne Garnier end-of-life home in Paris, feeling her last days approaching.

The tributes

In his speech paying tribute to the academician, the President of the Republic praised “the work accomplished by the one who stood at the bedside of the language when confusion, impoverishment or forgetting lurked.” “…You are a woman before whom a nation bows…”, he added.

Former culture minister Jack Lang said of her that she was “elegance itself” and that “under her reign, the Academy was renewed.”

Vladimir Putin greeted “a great friend of Russia” and said he remembered “with emotion the conversations with this great French woman”.

The University of Paris-1-Panthéon Sorbonne where she had been a professor of contemporary history paid tribute to “the remarkable historian and the passionate and committed woman that she was”.

The life of Hélène Carrère d’Encausse

After joining the French Academy in 1990, she was the first woman elected permanent secretary in 1999. Russian-speaking and Russophile, she had become a specialist in the Russia of the tsars and the USSR, due to her origins. Although born in July 1929 in Paris, Hélène Zourabichvili did not learn French until the age of 4. and will obtain French nationality at the age of 21. In 1952, she married Louis Carrère d’Encausse and then had 3 children (Emmanuel, writer and screenwriter; Nathalie (lawyer) and Marina (doctor and television presenter).
European MP from 1994 to 1999, she was elected on the RPR-UDF list. A specialist in Russia, she was criticized for her proximity and her indulgence towards Vladimir Putin and his circle. Since the declaration of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, she had distanced herself.

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