At the helm this Wednesday, a grieving mother from Italy, who lost her daughter at the Bataclan. And survivors, alive but who told of their deep traumas on themselves and their very young children.
It’s a mother who is the first to take the stand on October 13, on the twenty-fourth day of this trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015. Luciana came from Italy to testify, in memory of his daughter Valeria, who died at the age of 28 at the Bataclan. “Valeria was a source of happiness, we will mourn her forever.” Valeria was completing a doctorate in demography at La Sorbonne. She had been living in France since 2009. “I hope that my testimony, as well as that of all the other people, will allow the pain and suffering of the victims to go down in history”, concludes this mother Italian, very sober, very dignified. Before returning to sit down, Luciana told the court that she regularly comes to Paris to lay a flower in front of the monument erected in memory of the victims of the Bataclan, in the square just in front of the concert hall, “it’s the ugliest little garden in Paris, but that’s okay”.
One haunting thought: her children
Stéphanie, 42 years old, long blond hair can be summed up in two words: “mentally injured”. Stéphanie, a tall woman with round shoulders, was at the Bataclan with her husband, the father of her two children. She saw one of the terrorists shoot “in gusts in the pit “, with “coldness”. He even thought he saw him smile. She lay down on the ground, like everyone else. With this feeling that his heart was going to explode, that his brain was disconnecting. Near the scene, an injured man asks for help. Stéphanie tries to lift him, without success, and “my partner told me: come on let’s go! “ She adds : “this moment haunted us”.
Stéphanie manages to hide in a dressing room, with the bassist of the Eagles of Death Metal. And there, she thinks only of her two children, her three-year-old son and her five-month-old daughter, whom she left with her parents before this romantic concert. In her hiding place, Stéphanie does not dare write to her mother that she loves her. “I told myself that she already knew it and that this message was going to worry her”. Pendant the three hours during which she thought she died, she was only obsessed with one thought, “the anguish of what my children would become without me”. Stéphanie repeats to herself that she does not want to die. Especially not because of “stupid psychopaths, they weren’t stronger than us, they just had guns.”
“He drew us with huge eyes”
When the police release her and her husband, Stéphanie is relieved to be alive, but confronted with the horror images. First she sees “a head”, that of a terrorist killed in the final assault of the BRI. Then, near the bar, “bodies on top of each other, a mass grave”. When she reunites with her children, Stéphanie is no longer the same, neither she nor her husband. And their oldest child still suffers from it today. Since November 13, 2015, her son is followed by a child psychiatrist. The shrink asks him for pictures. “He drew us with huge eyes”. Eyes filled with amazement. “But they did not win and I am waiting for those in this box who are still in a murderous logic to be put out of harm’s way”, Stéphanie warns.
François-Dominique summarizes his “great year 2015 “. He was thirty years old, had just asked his girlfriend to marry him, worked in a business law firm. And this Friday, November 13, his year 2015 has changed. He was alone at the concert, saw the terrorists, hid under the mixer, panicked before finding “survival instinct” which will make him crawl until he finds the emergency exit. Then run and catch a bus. He then jumped in a taxi to his home, near Pigalle. François-Dominique takes out of his pocket the ticket with which he wanted to pay for the taxi that evening, in a daze, trembling all over his body.
He was shaking so badly that he tore the note when it was time to pay, thought he was going to keep it to frame it, and finally shows it to the court. “The note is stained with blood”, said François-Dominique, suddenly moved at the helm. He clearly states aloud: “The note is stained with blood and I don’t know if it is my blood.” François-Dominique bursts into tears, carried away by emotion. “I am a dad today and the birth of my son is the most amazing thing that has happened to me. I dare not imagine for a single second the pain of moms and dads who have lost a child “, he cries. He clears his throat, and his voice tight, he concludes: “I’m lucky, my life is even better today”.
“I blame you, to death!”
Annaig arrives at the bar, little black dress, long hair, large gold-rimmed glasses. Annaig comes to speak for two. Laurent, her darling, who was unable to come and testify today. They have a daughter. That they had left in babysitting time for the Eagles of Death Metal concert on November 13. This child was then two years old. Her parents were happy, dancing to that rock concert. Then at 9.47 p.m., there was the shooting, the “jubilant face” of a terrorist. Annaig is “stuck” under bodies. Her husband “loses ground”. She blows in his ear to comfort him, “I did the pregnant woman’s breath”. He bids her farewell, desperate. She has only one fixed idea in mind: “We have to get out, we have a little bit of cabbage”.
Together, they manage to run out of the Bataclan. Annaig had “the teeth that made castanets”, for hours, days. She tells the bar that they are auditioned at 36, quai des Orfèvres before returning home the next day. Annaig, anyway, was afraid to find her daughter in this daze, deeply traumatized. It details after November 13. Post-traumatic stress is persistent. “I saw terrorists everywhere with Kalashnikovs.” Annaig speaks in a calm voice. And suddenly, he turns to the defendants’ box, slow motion. She stares at them, the fourteen defendants present at this trial, eleven in the glass box, three sitting on strapontins. “I blame you, to death! We did nothing to you! We didn’t even know about Syria, Daesh. I blame you. Terrible!”
Annaig has her eyes fixed on those of the accused. The president calls it to order, because the order in a trial of assizes, wants that one addresses only the magistrates of the court, the magistrates who question and judge. “Address yourself to the court, madam”, President Peries asks him. And Annaig bursts into tears. “Sorry, I slipped. But I’m angry”. She cries, without being able to stop. “I’m ashamed to cry, I wanted to stay upright in my boots”. In tears, Annaig talks about her child, her daughter who suffers from constant stress today. His eight year old daughter who was “out of school” last year. But Annaig says she will continue to fight. “Whatever happens, I’ll go all the way. They’ll never get me.”