'Nasty!' Leslie Caron on how the French felt guilty as 'didn't have the courage' to say no to Hitler

'Nasty!' Leslie Caron on how the French felt guilty as 'didn't have the courage' to say no to Hitler

Leslie Caron speaks to Michael Portillo on GB News

Gabrielle Wilde

By Gabrielle Wilde

Published: 18/12/2023

- 16:41

Dancing legend Leslie Caron says the French felt 'guilty' after they were invaded

French actress and dancer Leslie Caron has said that the French felt "guilty" after the were invaded in the mist of World War II.

The legendary actress reflected on her life in her latest interview with GB News and described her life at the time, which was affected by the Nazi invasion of Paris, as 'nasty.'

Talking about living in Paris at the time she said: "There was no food, no heat, no water. Most of the day there was electricity and water at a certain time of the day, and you had to quickly fill up. I remember going to bed, completely dressed up, except for the shoes.

"[I wore] the coat, the scarf, the bonnet, everything. It was so cold during that first winter the Germans entered Paris. Drama, history."

Caron is one of the only stars left from the Hollywood golden age of cinema. She appeared in iconic musicals such as The Glass Slipper in 1955.

In the past she has spoken about how her family lost its wealth during the war and she started out her career "malnourished. "

Lesley Caron

Lesley Caron in her heyday


Legendary Dancer Leslie Caron spoke about the war

GB News

She said: "[It was] Nasty. Nasty. I think the French felt guilty. I think the French know they didn't have the courage to say no to the invader.

"They waited much too long to start preparations for the war. As soon as Hitler was building up roads, roads and tanks, that's when you have to build up, if only to show that you're going to be ready in case."

She is one of the only stars left from Hollywood's golden age

GB News

The star added: "But for the French life was too good, and people were bitter with each other. Rude.

"You couldn't ask the time of day. You couldn't ask how to get here and there, where such and such a street was. People wouldn't answer you. It was unbelievably hostile."

She remembered the days that Paris was invaded

GB News

She also explained that she was unaware as a child the Holocaust was happening. She said: "I did notice the star on the left side that the Jewish people were forced to wear. Yes. And little by little you saw less and less stars, people with stars.

"And then finally you saw none. And we had a dressmaker who was called Rosa, and she of course, I suppose, was Jewish. And one day I said to my father, Papa, why doesn't Rosa come and do our clothes anymore? And he said, oh, she had a problem with her passport. That's all I was told"

The star explained that as a child she took the war as "a bit of a joke" and said that it was "just another game."

She revealed: "We used to make nasty phone calls to people talking a German accent.

"Then one day at ballet school, there was a girl with big numbers tattooed on her arm. And one day I said something in front of this girl and she opened her sweater and showed us her arm. I never did that again."

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