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Awards Inscription on the Arc de Triomphe (Southern Pillar, Column 23)

Jean-Baptiste Kléber
Jean-Baptiste Kléber
(IPA: [ʒɑ̃ batist klebɛʁ]) (9 March 1753 – 14 June 1800) was a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars. His military career started in Habsburg
Habsburg
service, but his plebeian ancestry hindered his opportunities. Eventually, he volunteered for the French Army
French Army
in 1792 and quickly rose through the ranks. Kléber served in the Rhineland
Rhineland
during the War of the First Coalition, and also suppressed the Vendee Revolt. He retired to private life in the peaceful interim after the Treaty of Campo Formio, but returned to military service to accompany Napoleon
Napoleon
in the Egyptian Campaign
Egyptian Campaign
in 1798–99. When Napoleon
Napoleon
left Egypt to return to Paris, he appointed Kléber as commander of the French forces. He was assassinated by a student in Cairo
Cairo
in 1800. A trained architect, Kléber, in times of peace, designed a number of buildings.[1]

Contents

1 Biography

1.1 Early career 1.2 French Revolutionary Wars 1.3 Egyptian campaign 1.4 Assassination 1.5 Burial

2 Assessment 3 Kléber the architect 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading

Biography[edit] Early career[edit] Kléber was born in Strasbourg, where his father worked as a master builder. He briefly engaged in 1769 in the 1st Hussar Regiment, but resigned to study, from 1770 to 1774, architecture, partly in Paris with Jean Chalgrin. His opportune assistance to two German nobles in a tavern brawl obtained for him nomination to the military school of Munich. From this education, he obtained a commission in the Kaunitz regiment of the Imperial army, he took part in the War of the Bavarian Succession, but did not see major engagements, as he was stationed alternately in the garrisons of Mons, Mechelen, and Luxembourg in the Austrian Netherlands. He resigned his commission in 1783 on finding his humble birth hindered his chances for promotion.[2] On returning to France
France
he received the appointment of inspector of public buildings at Belfort, where he studied fortification and military science. In 1792 he enlisted in the Haut-Rhin
Haut-Rhin
volunteers. Thanks to his military knowledge, he at once gained election as adjutant and soon afterward as lieutenant-colonel.[2] French Revolutionary Wars[edit] At the defense of Mainz (July 1793) he so distinguished himself that though disgraced along with the rest of the garrison and imprisoned, he promptly won reinstatement, and became in August 1793 a general of brigade. He won considerable distinction in the suppression of the Vendéans, and two months later gained promotion to general of division. In these operations began his intimacy with Marceau, with whom he defeated the Royalists at Le Mans
Le Mans
and Savenay. When he openly expressed his opinion that the Vendéans merited lenient measures, the authorities recalled him; but re-instated him once more in April 1794 and sent him to the Army of the Sambre-and-Meuse.[2]

Statue of Kléber on the Place Kléber
Place Kléber
at Strasbourg

He displayed his skill and bravery in the numerous actions around Charleroi, and especially in the crowning victory of Fleurus (26 June 1794), after which in the winter of 1794 – 1795 he besieged Mainz. In 1795, and again in 1796, he held the chief command of an army temporarily, but declined a permanent appointment as commander-in-chief. On 13 October 1795 he fought a brilliant rearguard action at the bridge of Neuwied, and in the offensive campaign of 1796, he served as Jourdan's most active and successful lieutenant.[2] Egyptian campaign[edit] After the retreat to the Rhine, he again declined a chief command, he withdrew into private life early in 1798. He accepted a division in the expedition to Egypt under Bonaparte, but suffered a wound in the head at Alexandria
Alexandria
in the first engagement, which prevented his taking any further part in the campaign of the Pyramids, and caused his appointment as governor of Alexandria. In the Syrian campaign of 1799, however, he commanded the vanguard, took El-Arish, Gaza, and Jaffa, and won the great victory of Mount Tabor on 15–16 April 1799.[2] When Napoleon
Napoleon
returned to France
France
towards the end of 1799, he left Kléber in command of the French forces. In this capacity, seeing no hope of bringing his army back to France
France
or of consolidating his conquests, he negotiated the convention of El-Arish
El-Arish
(24 January 1800) with Commodore Sidney Smith, winning the right to an honorable evacuation of the French army. When Admiral Lord Keith refused to ratify the terms, Kléber attacked the Turks at the Battle of Heliopolis. Although he had only 10,000 men against 60,000 Turks, Kléber's forces utterly defeated the Turks on 20 March 1800. He then re-took Cairo, which had revolted against French rule.[2] Kléber, son of an operative mason and a prominent freemason himself, was attestedly instrumental in bringing freemasonry to Egypt. While he was negotiating with Sidney Smith in January 1800, Kléber opened a masonic temple in Cairo
Cairo
and thus created the Isis lodge (La Loge Isis), serving as its first master.[3][4] Assassination[edit]

Assassination of Kléber, painting in the Musée historique de Strasbourg.

Shortly after these victories, while Kléber was walking in the garden of the palace of Alfi bika, he was knifed by Soleyman El-Halaby, a Kurdish Syrian student living in Egypt. The assassin appeared to be begging from Kléber, but then took his hand and stabbed him in the heart, stomach, left arm, and right cheek, before running away to hide near the palace. He was soon caught, with the dagger which he had used to kill Kléber, and was later executed. The assassination happened in Cairo
Cairo
on 14 June 1800, coincidentally the same day on which his friend and comrade Desaix fell at Marengo. The assassin's right arm was burned off, and he was impaled in a public square in Cairo
Cairo
and left for several hours to die. Suleiman's skull was shipped to France
France
and used to teach French medical students what the French authorities claimed was the bump of "crime" and "fanaticism". [1] Burial[edit]

Kléber's name inscripted on the Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
in Paris.

After his assassination, Kléber's embalmed body was repatriated to France.[5] Fearing that his tomb would become a symbol of Republicanism, Napoleon
Napoleon
ordered it held at the Château
Château
d'If, on an island near Marseilles. It stayed there for 18 years until Louis XVIII granted Kléber a burial place in his home town of Strasbourg.[6] He was buried on 15 December 1838 below his statue located in the center of Place Kléber. His heart is in an urn in the caveau of the Governors beneath the altar of the Saint Louis Chapel in Les Invalides, Paris. Kléber's name is inscripted in column 23 on the southern pillar of the Arc de Triomphe. Assessment[edit] Kléber emerged as undoubtedly one of the greatest generals of the French revolutionary epoch. Though he distrusted his powers and declined the responsibility of supreme command, there is nothing in his career to show that he would have been unequal to it. As a second-in-command no general of his time excelled him. His conduct of affairs in Egypt, at a time when the treasury was empty and the troops were discontented for want of pay, shows that his powers as an administrator were little – if at all – inferior to those he possessed as a general.[2] Kléber the architect[edit]

Town hall of Thann

Between 1784 and 1792, Kléber designed a number of buildings both on public and private commission. Perhaps the most notable is the current town hall of Thann, Haut-Rhin
Haut-Rhin
(1787–1793), which was originally designed as a hospital but turned into an administrative building before its completion.[7] Other surviving buildings are the château of Grandvillars
Grandvillars
(often erroneously spelled "Granvillars"), built around 1790[8] and the canoness houses of the Benedictine abbey
Benedictine abbey
of Masevaux
Masevaux
(1781–1790). Nine of these houses had been planned but due to the French Revolution, only seven were built.[9] The Musée historique de Strasbourg
Strasbourg
features a room dedicated to Jean-Baptiste Kléber that also displays a number of his sketches and architectural designs. See also[edit]

Lycée Kléber Place Kléber Kléber ( Paris
Paris
Métro) Kléber (train) Manfred Stern, Austrian-born Soviet officer who gained fame in the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
under the pseudonym "General Kléber"

References[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jean-Baptiste Kléber.

^ Jensen, Nathan D. "General Jean-Baptiste Kléber". frenchempire.net. Retrieved 16 February 2016.  ^ a b c d e f g Chisholm 1911. ^ Dictionnaire universelle de la Franc-Maçonnerie (Marc de Jode, Monique Cara and Jean-Marc Cara, ed. Larousse , 2011) ^ La franc-maçonnerie révélée aux profanes (Pierre Ripert – ed. Presses de Chatelet- 2009) ^ Cimetières de France
France
et d’ailleurs (in French) ^ Jean Paul Baillard. Kléber après Kléber (1800–2000) – Les pérégrinations posthumes des restes du général Kléber ISBN 2-913302-08-4 (in French) ^ "Hôtel de ville de Thann". patrimoine.alsace. Archived from the original on 24 February 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.  ^ "Château, puis tréfilerie et usine de petite métallurgie dites le Château". actuacity.com. Retrieved 15 February 2016.  ^ "Abbaye de bénédictines Saint-Léger". actuacity.com. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 

Attribution

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Kléber, Jean Baptiste". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Further reading[edit]

Philippe Jéhin, Jean-Baptiste Kléber : le lion indomptable : 1753-1800, Éditions Vent d'Est 2012, ISBN 979-10-90826-06-9 Auguste Echard: J.-B. Kléber : un fils de l'Alsace, Charavay Frères Éditeurs, Paris, 1883 (sic) online version

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1788

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1789

What Is the Third Estate?
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1790

Abolition of the Parlements (Feb–Jul 1790) Abolition of the Nobility
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(12 Jul 1790)

1791

Flight to Varennes
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(20–21 Jun 1791) Champ de Mars Massacre
Champ de Mars Massacre
(17 Jul 1791) Declaration of Pillnitz (27 Aug 1791) The Constitution of 1791 (3 Sep 1791) Legislative Assembly (1 Oct 1791 – Sep 1792)

1792

France
France
declares war (20 Apr 1792) Brunswick Manifesto
Brunswick Manifesto
(25 Jul 1792) Paris
Paris
Commune becomes insurrectionary (Jun 1792) 10th of August (10 Aug 1792) September Massacres
September Massacres
(Sep 1792) National Convention
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(20 Sep 1792 – 26 Oct 1795) First republic declared (22 Sep 1792)

1793

Execution of Louis XVI
Execution of Louis XVI
(21 Jan 1793) Revolutionary Tribunal
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(27 Jun 1793 – 27 Jul 1794)

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Fall of the Girondists (2 Jun 1793) Assassination of Marat (13 Jul 1793) Levée en masse
Levée en masse
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The Death of Marat
(painting) Law of Suspects
Law of Suspects
(17 Sep 1793) Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
is guillotined (16 Oct 1793) Anti-clerical laws (throughout the year)

1794

Danton and Desmoulins guillotined (5 Apr 1794) Law of 22 Prairial
Law of 22 Prairial
(10 Jun 1794) Thermidorian Reaction
Thermidorian Reaction
(27 Jul 1794) Robespierre guillotined (28 Jul 1794) White Terror (Fall 1794) Closing of the Jacobin Club (11 Nov 1794)

1795

Constitution of the Year III
Constitution of the Year III
(22 Aug 1795) Conspiracy of the Equals
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(Nov 1795) Directoire (1795–99)

Council of Five Hundred Council of Ancients

13 Vendémiaire
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5 Oct 1795

1797

Coup of 18 Fructidor
Coup of 18 Fructidor
(4 Sep 1797) Second Congress of Rastatt
Second Congress of Rastatt
(Dec 1797)

1799

Coup of 30 Prairial VII (18 Jun 1799) Coup of 18 Brumaire
Coup of 18 Brumaire
(9 Nov 1799) Constitution of the Year VIII
Constitution of the Year VIII
(24 Dec 1799) Consulate

Revolutionary campaigns

1792

Verdun Thionville Valmy Royalist Revolts

Chouannerie Vendée Dauphiné

Lille Siege of Mainz Jemappes Namur (fr)

1793

First Coalition Siege of Toulon
Siege of Toulon
(18 Sep – 18 Dec 1793) War in the Vendée Battle of Neerwinden) Battle of Famars
Battle of Famars
(23 May 1793) Expédition de Sardaigne
Expédition de Sardaigne
(21 Dec 1792 - 25 May 1793) Battle of Kaiserslautern Siege of Mainz Battle of Wattignies Battle of Hondschoote Siege of Bellegarde Battle of Peyrestortes
Battle of Peyrestortes
(Pyrenees) First Battle of Wissembourg (13 Oct 1793) Battle of Truillas
Battle of Truillas
(Pyrenees) Second Battle of Wissembourg (26–27 Dec 1793)

1794

Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies
Battle of Villers-en-Cauchies
(24 Apr 1794) Battle of Boulou
Battle of Boulou
(Pyrenees) (30 Apr – 1 May 1794) Battle of Tournay
Battle of Tournay
(22 May 1794) Battle of Fleurus (26 Jun 1794) Chouannerie Battle of Tourcoing
Battle of Tourcoing
(18 May 1794) Battle of Aldenhoven (2 Oct 1794)

1795

Peace of Basel

1796

Battle of Lonato
Battle of Lonato
(3–4 Aug 1796) Battle of Castiglione
Battle of Castiglione
(5 Aug 1796) Battle of Theiningen Battle of Neresheim
Battle of Neresheim
(11 Aug 1796) Battle of Amberg
Battle of Amberg
(24 Aug 1796) Battle of Würzburg
Battle of Würzburg
(3 Sep 1796) Battle of Rovereto
Battle of Rovereto
(4 Sep 1796) First Battle of Bassano
Battle of Bassano
(8 Sep 1796) Battle of Emmendingen
Battle of Emmendingen
(19 Oct 1796) Battle of Schliengen
Battle of Schliengen
(26 Oct 1796) Second Battle of Bassano
Battle of Bassano
(6 Nov 1796) Battle of Calliano (6–7 Nov 1796) Battle of the Bridge of Arcole
Battle of the Bridge of Arcole
(15–17 Nov 1796) The Ireland Expedition (Dec 1796)

1797

Naval Engagement off Brittany (13 Jan 1797) Battle of Rivoli
Battle of Rivoli
(14–15 Jan 1797) Battle of the Bay of Cádiz (25 Jan 1797) Treaty of Leoben
Treaty of Leoben
(17 Apr 1797) Battle of Neuwied
Neuwied
(18 Apr 1797) Treaty of Campo Formio
Treaty of Campo Formio
(17 Oct 1797)

1798

French invasion of Switzerland
French invasion of Switzerland
(28 January – 17 May 1798) French Invasion of Egypt (1798–1801) Irish Rebellion of 1798 (23 May – 23 Sep 1798) Quasi-War
Quasi-War
(1798–1800) Peasants' War (12 Oct – 5 Dec 1798)

1799

Second Coalition (1798–1802) Siege of Acre (20 Mar – 21 May 1799) Battle of Ostrach
Battle of Ostrach
(20–21 Mar 1799) Battle of Stockach (25 Mar 1799) Battle of Magnano
Battle of Magnano
(5 Apr 1799) Battle of Cassano (27 Apr 1799) First Battle of Zurich
First Battle of Zurich
(4–7 Jun 1799) Battle of Trebbia (19 Jun 1799) Battle of Novi (15 Aug 1799) Second Battle of Zurich
Second Battle of Zurich
(25–26 Sep 1799)

1800

Battle of Marengo
Battle of Marengo
(14 Jun 1800) Battle of Hohenlinden
Battle of Hohenlinden
(3 Dec 1800) League of Armed Neutrality (1800–02)

1801

Treaty of Lunéville
Treaty of Lunéville
(9 Feb 1801) Treaty of Florence
Treaty of Florence
(18 Mar 1801) Algeciras Campaign
Algeciras Campaign
(8 Jul 1801)

1802

Treaty of Amiens
Treaty of Amiens
(25 Mar 1802)

Military leaders

French Army

Eustache Charles d'Aoust Pierre Augereau Alexandre de Beauharnais Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte Louis-Alexandre Berthier Jean-Baptiste Bessières Guillaume-Marie-Anne Brune Jean François Carteaux Jean Étienne Championnet Chapuis de Tourville Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine Louis-Nicolas Davout Louis Desaix Jacques François Dugommier Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Charles François Dumouriez Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino Louis-Charles de Flers Paul Grenier Emmanuel de Grouchy Jacques Maurice Hatry Lazare Hoche Jean-Baptiste Jourdan François Christophe de Kellermann Jean-Baptiste Kléber Pierre Choderlos de Laclos Jean Lannes Charles Leclerc Claude Lecourbe François Joseph Lefebvre Jacques MacDonald Jean-Antoine Marbot Jean Baptiste de Marbot François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers Auguste de Marmont André Masséna Bon-Adrien Jeannot de Moncey Jean Victor Marie Moreau Édouard Mortier, duc de Trévise Joachim Murat Michel Ney Pierre-Jacques Osten (fr) Nicolas Oudinot Catherine-Dominique de Pérignon Jean-Charles Pichegru Józef Poniatowski Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer Jean-Mathieu-Philibert Sérurier Joseph Souham Jean-de-Dieu Soult Louis-Gabriel Suchet Belgrand de Vaubois Claude Victor-Perrin, Duc de Belluno

French Navy

Charles-Alexandre Linois

Opposition

Austria

József Alvinczi Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen Count of Clerfayt (Walloon) Karl Aloys zu Fürstenberg Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze
Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze
(Swiss) Friedrich Adolf, Count von Kalckreuth Pál Kray (Hungarian) Charles Eugene, Prince of Lambesc
Charles Eugene, Prince of Lambesc
(French) Maximilian Baillet de Latour (Walloon) Karl Mack von Leiberich Rudolf Ritter von Otto (Saxon) Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld Peter Vitus von Quosdanovich Prince Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló
Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló
(Hungarian) Karl Philipp Sebottendorf Dagobert von Wurmser

Britain

Sir Ralph Abercromby Admiral Sir James Saumarez Admiral Sir Edward Pellew Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany

Dutch Republic

William V, Prince of Orange

 Prussia

Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen

Russia

Alexander Korsakov Alexander Suvorov

Spain

Luis Firmin de Carvajal Antonio Ricardos

Other significant figures and factions

Society of 1789

Jean Sylvain Bailly Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette François Alexandre Frédéric, duc de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt Isaac René Guy le Chapelier Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord Nicolas de Condorcet

Feuillants and monarchiens

Madame de Lamballe Madame du Barry Louis de Breteuil Loménie de Brienne Charles Alexandre de Calonne de Chateaubriand Jean Chouan Grace Elliott Arnaud de La Porte Jean-Sifrein Maury Jacques Necker François-Marie, marquis de Barthélemy Guillaume-Mathieu Dumas Antoine Barnave Lafayette Alexandre-Théodore-Victor, comte de Lameth Charles Malo François Lameth André Chénier Jean-François Rewbell Camille Jordan Madame de Staël Boissy d'Anglas Jean-Charles Pichegru Pierre Paul Royer-Collard

Girondists

Jacques Pierre Brissot Roland de La Platière Madame Roland Father Henri Grégoire Étienne Clavière Marquis de Condorcet Charlotte Corday Marie Jean Hérault Jean Baptiste Treilhard Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud Bertrand Barère
Bertrand Barère
de Vieuzac Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve Jean Debry Jean-Jacques Duval d'Eprémesnil Olympe de Gouges Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet Louis Marie de La Révellière-Lépeaux

The Plain

Abbé Sieyès de Cambacérès Charles François Lebrun Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot Philippe Égalité Louis Philippe I Mirabeau Antoine Christophe Merlin
Antoine Christophe Merlin
de Thionville Jean Joseph Mounier Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours François de Neufchâteau

Montagnards

Maximilien Robespierre Georges Danton Jean-Paul Marat Camille Desmoulins Louis Antoine de Saint-Just Paul Nicolas, vicomte de Barras Louis Philippe I Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau Jacques-Louis David Marquis de Sade Jacques-Louis David Georges Couthon Roger Ducos Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois Jean-Henri Voulland Philippe-Antoine Merlin de Douai Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville Philippe-François-Joseph Le Bas Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadier Jean-Pierre-André Amar Prieur de la Côte-d'Or Prieur de la Marne Gilbert Romme Jean Bon Saint-André Jean-Lambert Tallien Pierre Louis Prieur Bertrand Barère
Bertrand Barère
de Vieuzac Antoine Christophe Saliceti

Hébertists and Enragés

Jacques Hébert Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne Pierre Gaspard Chaumette Charles-Philippe Ronsin Antoine-François Momoro François-Nicolas Vincent François Chabot Jean Baptiste Noël Bouchotte Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Gobel François Hanriot Jacques Roux Stanislas-Marie Maillard Charles-Philippe Ronsin Jean-François Varlet Theophile Leclerc Claire Lacombe Pauline Léon Gracchus Babeuf Sylvain Maréchal

Others

Charles X Louis XVI Louis XVII Louis XVIII Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien Louis Henri, Prince of Condé Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé Marie Antoinette Napoléon Bonaparte Lucien Bonaparte Joseph Bonaparte Joseph Fesch Joséphine de Beauharnais Joachim Murat Jean Sylvain Bailly Jacques-Donatien Le Ray Guillaume-Chrétien de Malesherbes Talleyrand Thérésa Tallien Gui-Jean-Baptiste Target Catherine Théot List of people associated with the French Revolution

Influential thinkers

Les Lumières Beaumarchais Edmund Burke Anacharsis Cloots Charles-Augustin de Coulomb Pierre Claude François Daunou Diderot Benjamin Franklin Thomas Jefferson Antoine Lavoisier Montesquieu Thomas Paine Jean-Jacques Rousseau Abbé Sieyès Voltaire Mary Wollstonecraft

Cultural impact

La Marseillaise French Tricolour Liberté, égalité, fraternité Marianne Bastille Day Panthéon French Republican Calendar Cult of the Supreme Being Cult of Reason

Temple of Reason

Sans-culottes Metric system Phrygian cap Women in the French Revolution Symbolism in the French Revolution Historiography of the French Revolution Influence of the French Revolution

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 24631180 LCCN: n87828430 ISNI: 0000 0000 8206 7401 GND: 11894780X SUDOC: 029411939 BNF: cb121045499 (data) ULAN: 500338449 BNE: XX5628

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