General André Delpech' Prize to Alain CARRIER.
Sarlat 27 September 2019.
The Prize of General André Delpech honours the merits of those who have particularly devoted themselves to the objectives of the CID, the International Committee of Dachau, either directly for the memory of the deportation in this camp, or more broadly by fighting against fascism, racism and antisemitism and against any other discrimination on political and religious grounds.
Dear Alain Carrier, your work and your commitment perfectly meet these criteria. This is why the CID has decided to award you this Prize, which was created five years ago and of which you are the 5th recipient, after Chancellor Angela Merkel in particular.
I would like to highlight your merits for a moment by recalling your merits and they are numerous. And by underlining your links with the deportation and the Dachau camp, in whose memory you participated so well with your eye and your talent as an artist.
You were born in Sarlat 95 years ago and you still have an unspoilt and astonishing ardour and dynamism. Your parents were the owners of the Café du Palais, the "Café de Flore" in Sarlat, and you knew Georges Simenon, Paul Eluard, Henry Miller and André Malraux, among others. Your gifts were detected by Marius Rossillon, the creator of the "Bonhomme Bibendum", while you were designing a label for a bottle of walnut wine made by your grandmother. Surprised by your imagination, he told your father that you had a "reflex idea" and that you would be a poster artist.
At the beginning of the Second World War, your schooling was disrupted by your involvement in the Resistance, from 1940 at the age of 15. You were indeed arrested by the Germans at the Café du Palais, but knowing the place, you managed to get out of their company. This undoubtedly prevented you from following the same route as your friend General André Delpech, also a Resistance fighter, in Cahors, who was deported to Dachau.
After the war, you went up to Paris as a pupil and then assistant to the greatest poster artist of the time, Paul Colin. You designed record covers for "show biz" artists, becoming friends with the greatest: Anne Chapelle, Édith Piaf, Bourvil, Jacques Hélian, Joséphine Baker, Philippe Clay and Pierre Dac and rubbing shoulders with Cocteau, Eluard and Louis Jouvet.
You worked for the Spring Department Stores, for the Havas Agency and then for the Bossard Communication Group, and we owe you in particular the famous slogan and the aftershave gel campaign "Mennen, for us men". Then, in 1969, you opened your own creative agency, charged by many companies with the task of declining their brand image by means of posters, logotypes, graphic charters, or slogans.
You were also a professor at the École Supérieure de Publicité, a member of the Jury of the International Poster Prize and one of the most prolific advertising designers of your time.
When you retired in 1984, you continued to create posters for charities and associations of all kinds, particularly in Sarlat and the Dordogne.
But, in addition to advertising, you also put your talent at the service of your commitment as a young resistance fighter, for humanitarian causes and the defence of human rights or health, against hunger, racism and anti-Semitism, for freedom, the protection of children, but also for the memory of resistance and deportation, and this is what I would like to "put on the poster".
These works for a cause, an ideal or a memory to be defended are shocking messages that strike people's minds. Created on a voluntary basis, they have, and I quote, "the strength of the poster that accompanied the 20th century and the post-war changes".
In 1999 your fight was again successful because the title of your poster for Amnesty International, "On ne bâillonne pas la lumière", was proposed as a subject for French in the baccalaureate.
Then in 2001 it was your "No to Torture", whose simplicity speaks for itself. With this symbol of the chain and barbed wire that deprives people of their freedom and that we will find again in your works on deportation, with the impulse, the strength and the will that breaks them and allows you to tear yourself away from them, at least by spirit, hope or faith.
The Edmond Michelet Centre in Brive, with which you have worked, has paid tribute to your commitment. Edmond Michelet, former Minister of General de Gaulle, was the founding President of our French Amicale of the Dachau camp, which today organises its annual congress in Sarlat. Your poster announces it with this Perigord goose, which tramples on the swastika with one paw and rejects the sounds of boots, at goose pace!
This Michelet Centre has exhibited your posters dedicated to the memory of the war, which are an important part of your work: on rationing and food shortages under the Vichy regime, against the recruitment of child soldiers, from youth to Nazism, but also on the Resistance, the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane, or the liberation of the concentration camps.
You offered one of these posters for the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau. Through your genius as an artist, everything is in the hope of this dove of Peace which will escape from the hands and sufferings of a deportee. It is a moving masterpiece that helps us in our mission received from the survivors of Dachau: not to forget. A soul above a world that did not have one, a hope, that of a return to freedom and peace. This dove appears on the diploma of this Prize. It has flown away and the whole world knows it. Here it is back to congratulate its author.
About this creation, you wrote that it was the very expression of the simplicity and intensity of your affection for André Delpech but also of the respect you owe to your 12-day-old elder. As for the olive branch on the dove, he told you that it represented his children.
To give you this Prize is for me an honour and I feel a real emotion because the laureate is a friend of General Delpech, with very strong ties, and that we are both here in your town of Sarlat-la-Canéda.
Before that, I leave it to Joëlle Boursier, General Delpech's daughter, and administrator of the International Committee of Dachau of which he was the president, to tell us a word about the friendship that united you both.
General Jean-Michel Thomas, President