Aux femmes françaises, 1914, print - Musée de la Grande Guerre
Aux femmes françaises, 1914, print

On 7 August 1914, the President of the Council, René Viviani, addressed French women in a proclamation, the text of which was sent to the prefectures to be hung it in public places.

This proclamation, a few days after the men were mobilized, went down in history as the “Viviani Call”. It is highly telling of the French mind-set in August 1914. With patriotic accents, René Viviani urged women and young people to finish the work in the field and prepare the future harvest. He talked of a short war, after which the men would come home after the grape harvest.

Germany was presented as the aggressor, while France was defending “civilization and law”. The Triple Entente allies were not left out, justifying French action: “…the efforts of France, Russia, and England to keep the peace.” In a real patriotic call, the President of the Council addressed all those who would make up the “rear”.

Aux femmes françaises, 1914, print, paper, 59.5 x 48.5 cm. Inventory no.: 2006.1.3425.