Documents sur Blâmont (54) et le Blâmontois





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Reconstruction d'Ancerviller en exemple aux Etats-Unis Texte en langue anglaise

The American review of reviews. Février 1922
(article reproduit aussi dans Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen's - Avril 1922)


[...] The only self-reliant, effective groups I saw working in France to meet the needs of the people were the cooperative societies organized and administered by the people themselves. Their stores, restaurants, bakeries, banks and butcher-shops, as well as their agricultural societies, are flourishing. This is in distinct contrast to the decadence and inertia evident everywhere else.
Nothing was left of the little town of Ancerviller, not far from Nancy, at the time of the armistice, but some house ends and some solitary chimneys - not a home. Nevertheless the love of their village lured nearly 500 peasants back after the bombs and shells of both armies were silenced. Under the leadership of the faithful Abbe they formed themselves into a cooperative society for the rebuilding of their homes. In a crude way they provided temporary places to live while they were securing timber, brick and stone for more solid dwellings. As they worked at rebuilding, they cultivated their farms and began retrieving their fortunes. They received no financial aid except the same slight government grant to which all the communities of that section were entitled.
House by house, through their own efforts, the people have rebuilt their little village, keeping to the old peasant form of architecture, but improving the construction and equipment of their homes. They are justly proud of this, the first village along the front line. In October, 1921, the peasants celebrated the complete restoration of Ancerviller-le-Neuf. They began with a mass in their little new church and ended with dancing, merrymaking and a banquet for every man, woman and child in their own Cooperative Hall.

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