1944: German Occupation of Paris Ends

1944: German Occupation of Paris Ends
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Crowds of French patriots line the Champs Elysees to view Free French tanks and half tracks of General Leclerc's 2nd Armored Division passes through the Arc du Triomphe, after Paris was liberated on August 26, 1944.

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 25 August 1944
  • The German commander Dietrich von Choltitz didn’t want to destroy the city, despite Hitler’s orders.

On this day in 1944, the Nazi German garrison in Paris surrendered to the Allies. Paris had been occupied since June 1940, i.e. for more than four years.

The Allies landed on the coast of Normandy in June 1944, and began to advance towards the interior of France.

They had a difficult task because Adolf Hitler wanted the Germans not to withdraw from the city.

Only if they had destroyed the city, they would have withdrawn from it. The Allies’ attempt to attack Paris was a risky move, especially considering the great cultural and historical value of this city.

Despite the mentioned Hitler’s order, the German commander Dietrich von Choltitz surrendered Paris and thus disobeyed the order.

Von Choltitz signed the surrender of the whole garrison at the Hotel Meurice, not far from the Louvre (the famous street known as Rue de Rivoli). Paris was spared from greater material destruction.


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