Foreign News: Virtue on Trial

Nobody loves a reformer, least of all those who have been reformed. The popularity that stern, erect Marthe Richard had won as a heroine of the underground in two wars soon dwindled when, in 1945, as a crusading member of the Paris Municipal Council, she succeeded in closing the city's brothels (TIME, Dec. 31, 1945 et seq.). Deprived of their comfortable evenings in such ill-famed establishments as Le Sphinx and Le Poulailler, Frenchmen sneered as the once systematically supervised prostitutes took to the streets and alleys of Paris to ply their trade. The venereal disease rate soared and even Marthe was...

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