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Europe/Other : Josephine Baker - Resistante

 

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Guthrum
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12 Aug 2016
06:04:31pm
A late addition to the French pages of my 'Resistance' album (now moved to a 'sub-album' of its own) is this stamp:

Image Not Found

...which features in a 6-stamp set of French 'Film Actors' from 1994, although given the rather unusual roster they might more accurately be termed 'Entertainers'. (see below)*

There's no doubt, of course, that US-born Josephine Baker was an entertainer: a cabaret artiste, dancer and singer in various styles, of whom more was seen (literally) than probably anyone similarly well-known in the 1930s. She was the first black woman to star in a major film (in 1934) and was later celebrated in the US as a Civil Rights activist.

Rather strangely, given her somewhat louche image, on the outbreak of war she "was recruited by Deuxième Bureau, French military intelligence, as an 'honorable correspondent'. Baker collected what information she could about German troop locations from officials she met at parties. She specialized in gatherings at embassies and ministries, charming people as she had always done, while gathering information. Her café-society fame enabled her to rub shoulders with those in the know, from high-ranking Japanese officials to Italian bureaucrats, and to report back what she heard. She attended parties at the Italian embassy without raising suspicions and gathered information." (Wikipedia entry, linked to a US biography of 1989).

However unlikely all this may seem, she was decorated after the war with the Croix de guerre and the Rosette de la Résistance, and made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by de Gaulle. Clearly she made a difference.

I have to say I'm not especially impressed by the set of stamps of which this is a part - the USA has done better by her - but there's no doubt she merits a place in any self-respecting (or possibly "all-encompassing") World War 2 collection.

* The others are Yvonne Printemps, Fernandel, Bourvil, Yves Montand, and Coluche. I make that three comedians, a chanteuse, a crooner-turned-actor and JB herself.

PS The stamp fair at which I bought this today is only a hundred yards or so from where Darlene Horton, the American tourist, lost her life last week from a knife attack (I don't know whether this was reported in the States). There were still a good few pavement flowers
.

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Ningpo
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12 Aug 2016
08:37:17pm
re: Josephine Baker - Resistante

I'm not that impressed either. This resembles one or two posters from the film 'Cabaret' and issued by the likes of Manama.

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Bobstamp
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12 Aug 2016
11:30:26pm
re: Josephine Baker - Resistante

I'd never heard of Josephine Baker, so I googled her. She was, well, VERY attractive! Blushing

Bob

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www.ephemeraltreasures.net
HungaryForStamps
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18 Aug 2016
10:47:33am
re: Josephine Baker - Resistante

And judging from the scan, her teeth could be used as a flashlight in a pinch. "Open wide honey, we're coming to another dark alley".

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Author/Postings
Members Picture
Guthrum

12 Aug 2016
06:04:31pm

A late addition to the French pages of my 'Resistance' album (now moved to a 'sub-album' of its own) is this stamp:

Image Not Found

...which features in a 6-stamp set of French 'Film Actors' from 1994, although given the rather unusual roster they might more accurately be termed 'Entertainers'. (see below)*

There's no doubt, of course, that US-born Josephine Baker was an entertainer: a cabaret artiste, dancer and singer in various styles, of whom more was seen (literally) than probably anyone similarly well-known in the 1930s. She was the first black woman to star in a major film (in 1934) and was later celebrated in the US as a Civil Rights activist.

Rather strangely, given her somewhat louche image, on the outbreak of war she "was recruited by Deuxième Bureau, French military intelligence, as an 'honorable correspondent'. Baker collected what information she could about German troop locations from officials she met at parties. She specialized in gatherings at embassies and ministries, charming people as she had always done, while gathering information. Her café-society fame enabled her to rub shoulders with those in the know, from high-ranking Japanese officials to Italian bureaucrats, and to report back what she heard. She attended parties at the Italian embassy without raising suspicions and gathered information." (Wikipedia entry, linked to a US biography of 1989).

However unlikely all this may seem, she was decorated after the war with the Croix de guerre and the Rosette de la Résistance, and made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by de Gaulle. Clearly she made a difference.

I have to say I'm not especially impressed by the set of stamps of which this is a part - the USA has done better by her - but there's no doubt she merits a place in any self-respecting (or possibly "all-encompassing") World War 2 collection.

* The others are Yvonne Printemps, Fernandel, Bourvil, Yves Montand, and Coluche. I make that three comedians, a chanteuse, a crooner-turned-actor and JB herself.

PS The stamp fair at which I bought this today is only a hundred yards or so from where Darlene Horton, the American tourist, lost her life last week from a knife attack (I don't know whether this was reported in the States). There were still a good few pavement flowers
.

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Ningpo

12 Aug 2016
08:37:17pm

re: Josephine Baker - Resistante

I'm not that impressed either. This resembles one or two posters from the film 'Cabaret' and issued by the likes of Manama.

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Bobstamp

12 Aug 2016
11:30:26pm

re: Josephine Baker - Resistante

I'd never heard of Josephine Baker, so I googled her. She was, well, VERY attractive! Blushing

Bob

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www.ephemeraltreasur ...
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HungaryForStamps

18 Aug 2016
10:47:33am

re: Josephine Baker - Resistante

And judging from the scan, her teeth could be used as a flashlight in a pinch. "Open wide honey, we're coming to another dark alley".

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