Via Gates of Vienna:
“She remembers “the bodies, children, scavengers …”. They “didn’t hesitate”. They remained “to see if they could help save lives.” And they “found only dead, or almost.” Their story. The 14th of July. The fireworks that end. Nadia and Daniel watched from the terrace of the Villa Massena with other members of the Nice branch of the National Union of Paratroopers (UNP). Then they descended to the Promenade. We wanted to listen to some music. But, having arrived at CUM, we had sore feet; we thought we would return. “And the truck passed, the bodies were flying in the air, that was fast.”
Daniel is a former “para”. Nadia, widow of a former “para”. Red Berets, body and soul. “We didn’t think about it; we went to see if we could help,” said Nadia simply. Her hands are shaking. Her eyes are shining a little bit too much. He takes her hand. And his gaze softens.
“There were bodies lying everywhere, says Daniel. In the middle, a woman was still alive. I tried to revive her. A doctor, who lived opposite, was there. He said, ‘Stop, that’s it … She died like all the others, all these children …”
“A Guy Took the Dead Girl’s Doll, I Fought Him …”
“We gave a blanket to a wounded little kid. He was alive. In the arms of his father,” recalls Nadia. “Occasionally, I came and I stroked his back. It was cold. His father lay down against him to warm him up. He was lying against his son a long time after the little one was dead …” Daniel adds:” It was one of those silences … Dead silence …”
But the worst, exclaims Daniel: “It was not that. All this death, all this pain. It was the scavengers. People walked among the corpses. They lifted the bodies with their feet … They came like flies …”
That devastated him; he struggles to find the words: “This little girl was dead. She only had her doll. A pink doll beside her. A guy came and took the doll, I fought him to retrieve it.” He’s crying.
So, Nadia continues, “I took the little doll and I slipped it under the blanket, all against the girl, for it to stay with her.”
Daniel “fought several times. A guy took a cell phone lying next to a body. I told him: Drop it. There were five of them. They threw my beret on the ground and took the phone. I wasn’t scared, I was enraged.”
Nadia also tried to stop them.
“Sometimes they were three or four … I told them: ‘I was flag bearer, if you hit me, you hit France …” There were also “people who came to see. Sometimes with their children.””