The death of an unknown girl in Paris taught us: Life can pass on kisses

Ironically, no one knew her name. We all don't know anything about her background. How did life push a young girl to Paris, and why did she drown in the Seine?

Only after the lifeless body was pulled out of the water, was it given a name: L'Inconnue de la Seine (the unknown girl of the Seine). It was around the end of the 19th century, a story of life and death opened up in a compassionate way but also incredibly great.

Anyone who knows an unknown girl can save millions of lives later, even if she has died so quickly.

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L'Inconnue de la Seine - the unknown girl of the Seine.

No one knows exactly what happened to the Anonymous Girl both before and after the fateful drowning. The history of her is still a controversial issue, because Parisians love to tell fanciful stories. But there is a basis for them to believe in the latter half of the story, starting over 100 years ago.

The anonymous girl was only about 16 years old at the time of her death, possibly due to suicide. No one knew for sure, but there was no trace on her body, and many concluded that the girl had ended her life.

After being pulled out of the Seine, her body was publicly displayed at the Paris morgue, along with the bodies of 13 other unknown corpses.

At that time, people still displayed anonymous corpses to pray that someone passing by would identify them, a relative or acquaintance. The corpses were placed in the room and viewers watched them through a window.

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No window in Paris attracts more viewers than this window.

" There is no window in Paris that attracts more viewers than this window, " it is a narration by a person who lived in those years. However, despite the endless flow of people passing through the window, no one recognized the Anonymous Girl , or if someone actually realized it, there was just no way of a hand raised.

While the corpse of the young girl was not identified by anyone in the crowd, the unknown girl still had a strange attraction.

Even when she died, her serene appearance also attracted a lot of quiet look. One of those eyes was that of a morgue, who acted as a knot to write the whole story.

After being killed by the anonymous Girl , he placed a plaster mask on her face.

The mask immediately became a work.

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The Anonymous Girl's semi-closed smile was like a "drowned Mona Lisa".

Soon, the Anonymous Girl 's deadly charm was copied and sold in souvenir shops throughout Paris, then Germany and the rest of Europe.

The enchanting mask of this anonymous girl is described by philosopher Albert Camus with the phrase " Drowning Mona Lisa " - thus continuing to become a cultural symbol that everyone wants to own.

It was also the time when the unknown girl 's half-closed smile was hung around the galleries in Europe and in every house with a fireplace. She is something indispensable in every artist's studio, a plaster stares at the viewer as a silent and silent model.

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Anonymous girl in a 19th-century painting studio.

Not stopping there, the Anonymous Girl not only attracted artists and sculptors, but also charmed poets and novelists. They also became enamored of the bad girl.

At some point, Anonymous Girl was turned into a sick meme for early 20th century writers, who created countless dramatic histories for this miserable hero girl, who had engulfed by the fate and heavy flow of the Seine.

" The truth is so scarce that every writer can invent everything they want to print on that smooth face, " Hélène Pinet, a museum architect told The Guardian in 2007.

" Death in water is a very romantic concept. Combining death, water and women is a topic that stimulates everyone's imagination ."

A literary critic once described Anonymous Girl as a " porn idea of ​​the period ", a cosmetic pattern for "the whole generation of German girls taking her beauty as an image" .

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A painting of L'Inconnue de la Seine.

Half a century after fame and fascination, the Anonymous Girl once again turned into a symbol - with the help of a man born after her death for decades.

His name is Asmund Laerdal , a manufacturer of toys from Norway. Laerdal's company was founded in the early 1940s, initially only printing children's books and calendars, and then switched to making small wooden toys.

After the Second World War, Laerdal began testing a new material that has just been put into mass production: plastic.

Using this soft and malleable material, he created one of his most famous toys: " Anne" Doll. The dolls are sleeping, but Anne is not the Anonymous Girl . At least not yet.

One day, Laerdal's two-year-old son, Tore, nearly drowned. If Laerdal did not promptly drag the boy limp into the water and squeeze the water out of the airway, history may have turned to a different branch.

This unfortunate event helped the father, the owner of the toy doll, had experience and became aware of saving the lives of drowned people.

So later, when a group of anesthesiologists came to Laerdal and told him that they needed a doll to prove a newly developed resuscitation technique - a procedure called CPR resuscitation. lungs - they found the right place.

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Asmund Laerdal - Norwegian toy manufacturer.

Together with this group of researchers - including the famous Austrian doctor Peter Safar, who pioneered the CPR method - Laerdal embarked on a historical project: creating a mannequin whose size Real ruler that people can use to practice drowning techniques.

For a toy manufacturer who is only used to making miniature cars and dolls, creating a realistic effigy that functions is considered a simple challenge. The dummy must show the reliable characteristics and complexity of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

But, aside from technical issues, which face Laerdal will choose for this giant doll?

And so Laerdal recalled a strange, confusing half-smile. A serene mask he saw on his brother-in-law's wall.

Of course, that is the Anonymous Girl .

Laerdal still holds the name of his Anne doll, but he puts in the Anonymous Mannequins face , along with an adult-sized body - including a breast that can resilience to practice chest compressions and mouth can open to simulate the process of resuscitation thanks to breathing.

Another decisive point for Laerdal to choose the Anonymous Girl because he suspected the men in the 1960s would never practice CPR on a male doll's lips. The effigy was named Resusci Anne (Rescue Anne). In the US, she is known as CPR Annie .

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You may not know, CPR lifesaving effigies are taken from the face of the Unknown Girl in Paris.

Since appearing in the 1960s, Resusci Anne is not the only CPR mannequin on the market, but she is considered the first and most successful " patient simulator " - the face that has helped hundreds of millions. people learn basic knowledge to revive life in a clinical dead person.

The astonishing number accumulated for nearly 60 years with breaths of life is transmitted from one person's mouth to another . That is why Resusci Anne is said to be the most kissed face in history.

Today, the Laerdal company estimates that about two million lives have been saved by CPR CPR . Ironically, most of these resurrection cases come only after people kneel and face a copy of an unknown girl who died in Paris - a Jane Doe died long before the technique came out. life to save her life.

Marino Festa, an expert in intensive pediatric care at Westmead Children's Hospital, Sydney, said the influence of the mannequin's own face was huge.

According to Festa, the true facial features of a real drowning person have increased the reality of CPR training, making anyone who faces that face experience the stress and severance. Save the effigy. The story of Anonymous Girls also helps both clinicians and residents remember and recall more techniques.

That is the effect of bringing realism into medical training, helping to learn techniques that are more effective and easy to recall to apply them to reality. " Resusci Anne helped us understand this, " Festa told ScienceAlert.

From time to time, the artistic trend of taking the image of an unknown girl in Paris at the end of the 19th century must gradually fade away. But thanks to Laerdal, the doctors and CPR, the face was revived in a new image: Resusci Anne.

The anonymous girl keeps going to the lyrics of " Annie, are you OK ?" until Michael Jackson's " Smooth Criminal ".

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Asmund Laerdal and Resusci Anne mannequin.

However, today, many people suspect that the perfect features on the face of the Anonymous Girl cannot come from a drowned body. They argued that the face of a corpse, especially when it was pulled up from a river, would be deformed, edged or chipped.

Some say that the anonymous face we know today is actually taken from a living model - a beautiful face that is intentionally repelled or modified by someone to become a legendary figure. .

But for the researchers of the independent history, the richness of the image of the Unknown Girl and the surrounding mysteries create their own rewards. Megan Phelps, a pediatrician and educator from the University of Sydney School of Medicine came to Paris to find out what's left of the story:

" The challenges of learning more about the story, and her impact in the form of a cultural symbol make a lot of sense to me. She is an incomprehensible character. But I am always full. I like the journeys both literally and figuratively that she led me to ".

Others drew a series of events that replaced the way the famous face was born. They said that perhaps there was a young girl who drowned in real Paris. But someone had deliberately cast her face to become more beautiful and concealed the disadvantages of a drowned corpse.

There may also be a possibility standing right in the middle of these theories: The unknown girl has been created since she was alive, and only after the young girl drowned - then did the mask become famous, dragging a legend to grow around that story.

But all scenarios are just hypotheses. If we can't go back in time, maybe we will never know the true story behind that mask.

According to the story, the remains of the Anonymous Girl were buried in an unmarked grave, and the Paris police records of those years did not mention this mysterious girl.

" I don't think one day we can know who the young girl is ," Phelps said. " I suspect she is a model of a certain artist and her image has been used to create a mask used for artistic practice purposes ."

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Resusci Anne, as a tool to practice CPR, has helped millions of people to pass on life.

But while myths can only draw a great and fascinating story, the absence of every clue makes us think to ourselves that deciphering this mystery is no longer important.

You just need to know that face is that of a girl who lived in Paris in the 19th century. But she lived under the image of both Anonymous and Resusci Anne. For over a century, the face has become a symbol of generations.

It used to be an image of art, of girls. And later became something more important: the face of a lifesaving teaching tool that helped millions of people return to life.

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"She looks like she's sleeping and still waiting for a prince to come awake".

Finally, what caused a dead girl, pulled up from the Seine and buried in an unmarked grave with such vitality? It is a question that stimulates the boundless imagination of all of us.

Looking at that face, we can see the remnants of peace, something that cannot be defined, attract our attention, invite us to wake her up, to create A technique to revive her, trying to save her from reviving.

As Pascal Jacquin, a police general in Paris told the BBC in 2013: " She looked like she was sleeping and still waiting for a prince to come awake ".