The University of Strasbourg stands in solidarity with the victims of the terror attack in Nice and their families. On Bastille Day, it is an attack against the very symbol of liberty, equality and fraternity.
A crowd of students, lecturers-researchers and staff gathered at the Palais Universitaire on Monday, 16 November at 12 in mourning for the victims of the Paris terror attack. The University first vice-president Michel Deneken reminded that a young Unistra graduate was among the victims. The community shared a long moment of silence before the crowd spontaneously started to sing La Marseillaise. In a letter published the day before, the University president Alain Beretz invited the community to gather around the values of liberty, equality and fraternity with “strength and intelligence”.
A moment of silence across Unistra's campuses
Dear students, collaborators and friends,
In the wake of Friday’s barbaric crimes, we are in sorrow. I would like to affirm my deep compassion with all those affected by this tragedy. Words are too weak in such a distressing moment. We are affected as citizens and as a university. We have lost members of our community and I want to express our full support to their families and friends in this difficult time.
Despite the pain and shock, we have continued our activities to show our determination not to yield to fear and terror. Of course, it has been done taking into account the safety of all, in conformity with the state of emergency rules and in cooperation with the prefecture and the local education authority. At the university, our security is provided by the Plan Vigipirate. We ask everyone to remain vigilant and to stand together.
The state declared 3 days of national mourning across the country. On Monday, 16 November, we will gather to pay our respect to the victims but we will also continue working: we need to do it and it is probably the best answer to the criminals. On Monday, we will carry out our tasks with passion and energy, to make intelligence win. We will stand united to refrain from violence but also to honour and continue enriching the diversity which is part of our country as well as a strength for our university community. We will stand united to exchange ideas, discuss issues and share experiences and solutions. This is what the Republic and the University are about.
I invite you to concretely participate in this national mourning and to share the moment of silence together in the memory of the ones who are gone. A minute of silence will be held at 12 at the Palais Universitaire, in front of the memorial stone commemorating the victims of Nazi crimes. In this highly symbolic place dedicated to our comrade’s courage and sacrifice, we will renew our commitment to “loving the truth” using the words of Marc Bloch like we did last January. This minute of silence can also be held at the workplace. I will invite deans, laboratory directors and heads of departments to bring their community together to share this moment.
Our liberty has been attacked; together we stand up for it. More than ever, we must gather around the values of liberty, equality and fraternity. These sad times require strength and intelligence: as academics, we will show both.
President of the University of Strasbourg
Sunday 15 November
The University of Strasbourg expresses its solidarity and support for the victims, their families and others affected by the Paris attacks.