Frases Charles de Gaulle

„Difficulty attracts the characterful man, for it is by grasping it that he fulfils himself.“

—  Charles de Gaulle

La difficulté attire l'homme de caractère, car c'est en l'étreignant qu'il se réalise lui-même.
in Mémoires de guerre.
Writings

„Men can have friends, statesmen cannot.“

—  Charles de Gaulle

Les hommes peuvent avoir des amis, pas les hommes d'Etat.
Interview, December 9 1967.
Fifth Republic and other post-WW2

„France cannot be France without greatness.“

—  Charles de Gaulle

La France ne peut être la France sans la grandeur.
in Mémoires de guerre.
Writings

„Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals“

—  Charles de Gaulle

Oui, c'est l'Europe, depuis l'Atlantique jusqu'à l'Oural, c'est toute l'Europe, qui décidera du destin du monde.
23 November 1959, Strasbourg. The phrase shown in bold is the most often quoted excerpt. De Gaulle was expressing his vision of Europe's future.
Most famous
Contexto: Yes, it is Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, it is Europe, it is the whole of Europe, that will decide the fate of the world.

„Of course one can jump up and down yelling Europe! Europe! Europe! But it amounts to nothing and it means nothing.“

—  Charles de Gaulle

Bien entendu, on peut sauter sur sa chaise comme un cabri en disant l’Europe ! l’Europe ! l’Europe ! mais cela n’aboutit à rien et cela ne signifie rien.
Interview on a presidential campaign, December 1965 INA archive of the video http://www.ina.fr/archivespourtous/index.php?vue=notice&id_notice=I00012536 (De Gaulle meant that he wanted to build a European Union on realities, i.e. the existing nation-states with their respective interests – not on slogans and abstractions)
Fifth Republic and other post-WW2

„Why do you think that at 67 I would start a career as a dictator?“

—  Charles de Gaulle

Pourquoi voulez-vous qu'à 67 ans je commence une carrière de dictateur ?
Press conference, May 19 1958 (De Gaulle was changing the constitution to make government more efficient, after decades of impotent parliamentary regime, and he mocked journalists who claimed he was establishing a dictatorship).
Fifth Republic and other post-WW2

„It is unnecessary, for the Republic has never ceased to exist. I was the Republic.“

—  Charles de Gaulle

Reply in August 1944 to a statement of regret that the windows of the Hotel de Ville in Paris were not opened for the crowd outside cheering the reestablishment of the Republic. Quoted in The Atlantic, November 1960.
World War II

„The cabinet has no propositions to make, but orders to give.“

—  Charles de Gaulle

Le gouvernement n'a pas de propositions à faire, mais des ordres à donner.
in Mémoires de guerre. (Secretary of State De Gaulle so replied, in early June 1940, to Admiral Darlan, whom he was asking to transfer what was left of the French army to North Africa)
Writings

„Long live Montreal, Long live Quebec! Long live Free Quebec!“

—  Charles de Gaulle

Vive Montreal; Vive le Québec! Vive le Québec libre!
From a balcony at Montreal City Hall, with particular emphasis on the word 'libre'. The phrase, a slogan used by Quebecers who favoured Quebec sovereignty, and de Gaulle's use of it, was seen by them as lending his tacit support to the movement. The speech sparked a diplomatic incident with Canada's government, and was condemned by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, saying that "Canadians do not need to be liberated."
Fifth Republic and other post-WW2

„I am a man who belongs to no-one and who belongs to everyone.“

—  Charles de Gaulle

Je suis un homme qui n'appartient à personne et qui appartient à tout le monde.
Press conference, May 19 1958
Fifth Republic and other post-WW2

„The leader is always alone before bad fates.“

—  Charles de Gaulle

Toujours le chef est seul en face du mauvais destin.
in Mémoires de guerre.
Writings

„So, it is true that one’s homeland is entirely human, emotional and that it is the root of action, of authority, of responsibility from which one can build Europe. What elements? Well, [nation] States, because only States are valid, are legitimate, in this respect, in addition they are capable of… As I have already said and I repeat, that at the present time, there cannot be any other Europe than that of the States, apart of course from myths, fictions, parades. From this solidarity depends all hope of uniting Europe in the political field and in the field of defense, as in the economic field. From this solidarity depends, therefore, the destiny of Europe as a whole, from the Atlantic to the Urals.“

—  Charles de Gaulle

Alors, il est vrai que la Patrie est un élément humain, sentimental et que c’est sur des éléments d’action, d’autorité, de responsabilité qu’on peut construire l’Europe. Quels éléments? Eh bien, les États, car il n’y a que les États qui, à cet égard, soient valables, soient légitimes et en outre soient capables de réaliser… J’ai déjà dit et je répète, qu’à l’heure qu’il est, il ne peut pas y avoir d’autre Europe possible que celle des États, en dehors naturellement des mythes, des fictions, des parades. De cette solidarité dépend tout espoir d’unir l’Europe dans le domaine politique et dans le domaine de la défense, comme dans le domaine économique. De cette solidarité dépend, par conséquent, le destin de l’Europe tout entière, depuis l’Atlantique jusqu’à l’Oural.
Press conference, Elysée Palace, Paris, 15 May 1962
Fifth Republic and other post-WW2

„How can you govern a country that has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?“

—  Charles de Gaulle

Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cent quarante-six variétés de fromage?
Les Mots du Général, Ernest Mignon, 1962
Fifth Republic and other post-WW2

„France has no friends, only interests.“

—  Charles de Gaulle

Clementine Churchill: "General, you must not hate your friends more than you hate your enemies"
De Gaulle (in English): "France has no friends, only interests." (De Gaulle did not speak specifically of France, but of all nation-states, including Britain. This remark was in line with his saying "Men can have friends, statesmen cannot",*Les hommes peuvent avoir des amis, pas les hommes d'Etat., in Interview, December 9, 1967).
Most famous

„France has lost a battle, but France has not lost the war.“

—  Charles de Gaulle, Appeal of 18 June

La France a perdu une bataille, mais la France n'a pas perdu la guerre.

Poster À tous les Français (To All Frenchmen), August 1940.

À tous les Français was designed and displayed in London to accompany the Appel du 18 juin (Appeal of 18 June) following defeat at the Battle of France. The pair are considered to be the founding texts of the Résistance.
World War II

„Politics, when it is an art and a service, not an exploitation, is about acting for an ideal through realities.“

—  Charles de Gaulle

La politique, quand elle est un art et un service, non point une exploitation, c'est une action pour un idéal à travers des réalités.
Press conference, June 30 1955
Fifth Republic and other post-WW2
Fuente: "Le Général de Gaulle et la construction de l'Europe" https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=wg4ZAQAAIAAJ (1967), pg 33. note: 1950s

„The future does not belong to men…“

—  Charles de Gaulle

L'avenir n'appartient pas aux hommes...
Speech, December 1967
Fifth Republic and other post-WW2

„The evolution toward Communism is inevitable.“

—  Charles de Gaulle

Reported in the National Review (November 1962) as a misattribution created by extreme rightists. See Paul F. Boller, John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions (1990), p. 33.
Misattributed

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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