• Short Summary

    PRESIDENT CHARLES DE GAULLE ATTENDED MASS AT A ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IN LENINGRAD ON SUNDAY - AN UNUSUAL DEPARTURE FOR A STATE VISITOR TO THE SOVIET UNION, WHICH IS OFFICIALLY AN ATHEIST COUNTRY.

  • Description

    PRESIDENT CHARLES DE GAULLE ATTENDED MASS AT A ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IN LENINGRAD ON SUNDAY - AN UNUSUAL DEPARTURE FOR A STATE VISITOR TO THE SOVIET UNION, WHICH IS OFFICIALLY AN ATHEIST COUNTRY. LATER THE FRENCH PRESIDENT PAID A TRIBUTE TO THE VICTIMS OF THE 900-DAY WARTIME GERMAN BLOCKADE WHEN HE VISITED THEIR CEMETERY AT PISKAREVO ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE CITY.

    THE FRENCH PRESIDENT WAS CHEERED BY THOUSANDS AS HE ARRIVED WITH HIS WIFE TO ATTEND MASS AT THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY VIRGIN MARY OF LOURDES, LENINGRAD'S ONLY ACTIVE CATHOLIC CHURCH. HE WAS GREETED BY BISHOP JOSEF PAVILONES AS STRICT SECURITY PRECAUTIONS WERE ENFORCED BY PLAIN-CLOTHES POLICE OUTSIDE. NO-ONE WAS ALLOWED IN THE CHURCH AFTER GENERAL DE GAULLE'S ARRIVAL.

    THE CHURCH, WHICH SEATS ONLY 100 WORSHIPPERS, IS NORMALLY ATTENDED BY SOME 1,000 PEOPLE EVERY SUNDAY. IT WAS ORIGINALLY BUILT EARLY THIS CENTURY BY TWO RUSSIAN ARCHITECTS COMMISSIONED BY THE FRENCH EMBASSY IN WHAT WAS THEN ST. PETERSBURG, CAPITAL OF THE TSARIST EMPIRE. BADLY DAMAGED DURING THE SEIGE OF LENINGRAD, THE CHURCH WAS LATER RESTORED BY THE STATE AS AN ARCHITECTURAL MONUMENT.

    GENERAL DE GAULLE LATER VISITED THE MASS GRAVES AT THE PISKAREVO CEMETERY, WHERE THE REMAINS OF ALMOST ONE MILLION PEOPLE BELIEVED TO HAVE DIED DURING THE GERMAN BLOCKADE ARE BURIED. MORE THAN 600,000 OF THE VICTIMS ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE DIED OF HUNGER. OTHERS PERISHED FROM THE COLD, OR FROM THE SHELLS PUMPED DAILY INTO THE BELEAGUERED CITY BY THE NAZIS.

    THE SOVIET PRIME MINISTER, ALEXEI KOSYGIN, ACCOMPANIED GENERAL DE GAULLE ON HIS VISIT TO THE CEMETERY. THE GENERAL'S HISTORIC TWELVE-DAY STATE VISIT, MARKING THE RAPIDLY GROWING DETENTE BETWEEN PARIS AND MOSCOW, BEGAN ON JUNE 20.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA4R9435L9DW3GU8F214Y6HHFP8
    Media URN:
    VLVA4R9435L9DW3GU8F214Y6HHFP8
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    27/06/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:37:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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