In front of the quarter's City Hall, as it is usual it central places, there is a tall statue of a gentleman with a long overcoat, round glasses and an écharpe that is flying in the wind. When I saw it first time I had the impression it was of some writer of children books or a well-known professor or a mad inventor.

The local people just pass by, the memorial standing there, forgotten amid the landscape. Only curious foreigners read what is written under the statues. So one day I stopped by to quench my curiosity and determine once and for all who was portrayed in that sympathetic manner.

The answer was obvious, as the square where the statue stands is named after the man. The monument is there to honor Léon Blum, a French Socialist of great importance around the Second World War, having done among other things political resistance to the Vichy Regime, establishing the first socialist government in France, being deported to a Nazi concentration camp. Someone that is easy to admire, once you know him.

Governments and wars come and go, and the memory of us, common folks, fades with time. It is easy to see he is one of these grand individuals that one does not necessarily retain in memory, therefore the memorial. But time is not only merciless, and it is also full of irony. So this great socialist stays there, watching benevolently as cars pass by, beggars sleep on the benches, people go from the bank to the supermarket, everybody minding their own lives and handling their own little business without even suspecting who is there, watching them.

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