- Historical event
- 23 June 1940
- On this day Hitler triumphantly visited conquered Paris, for the first and only time in his life. Napoleon's tomb impressed Hitler so much that after the visit he said: "That was the greatest and finest moment of my life."
On this day, after France signed the surrender to his army, Hitler triumphantly visited conquered Paris.
He landed at the Paris airport and then headed to the center of town. Firstly, he wanted to see the famous building of the Paris Opera (Opera Garnier), which he toured in detail, admiring its monumentality.
He knew the opera plans by heart so well that he noticed that one salon does not match the blueprint.
It turned out that he was right, because the salon was reconstructed during the renovation. After the Opera, they went to the Eiffel Tower, where the famous photographs of Hitler with a tower in the background were taken.
Afterwards, they visited the tomb of Napoleon, which impressed Hitler so much that after the visit he said: “That was the greatest and finest moment of my life.”
Finally, Hitler and his entourage visited Montmartre, where he admired the beautiful Sacré-Cœur Basilica.
The visit lasted only 3 hours and it was Hitler’s only visit to Paris in his life. He stated: “It was the dream of my life to be permitted to see Paris. I cannot say how happy I am to have that dream fulfilled today.”
When Albert Speer heard this, for a moment he felt sorry for Hitler, because when he should have been at the peak of his triumph, these short three hours in Paris was what made him happy, the first and only visit to that city in his life.