Upon arriving in Paris, many Englishmen and Americans were surprised
that we were not as thin as they had expected. They saw
women wearing elegant dresses that appeared new and men in jackets
that, from afar, still looked good; they rarely encountered that
facial pallor, that physiological misery that is usually proof of starvation.
Concern that is disappointed turns into rancor. I am afraid
that they were a little annoyed with us because we didn’t conform
completely to the pathetic image that they had previously formed of
us. Perhaps some of them wondered in the depth of their heart if
the occupation had been quite so terrible after all and if France
shouldn’t consider the defeat as a lucky break that would allow
her to regain its place as a great power without having deserved
it through great sacrifices; perhaps they thought as did the Daily
Express that, in comparison to the English, the French didn’t fare so
badly during these four years.