Paris in the Second World War: Private Half-Day Walking Tour
Learn about life under Nazi Occupation during the Second World War on this walking tour of Paris. You'll hear about the French Resistance, the terrifying invasion of Nazi tanks, and the horrific arrest and deportation of the Jews - exactly where it all happened. Learn of quiet daily acts of courage, and how Hitler's generals defied him at the last, which ultimately led to the Liberation of Paris.
On your private half-day tour, you will:
- Explore areas of Paris that were particularly marked by the Nazi Occupation and eventual liberation of France on this 3-hour walking tour;
- Begin at Metro Saint Paul, with a tour of Le Marais and the Jewish Quarter, where you'll learn about daily life under Nazi Occupation;
- See the moving Holocaust Memorial, the Museum of Jewish Art and History and walk down Rue des Rosiers as you hear about the persecution, chilling round-up, and deportation of the Jews to Auschwitz;
- Walk to the Prefecture de Police opposite Notre Dame Cathedral, where you'll see evidence of shelling and shrapnel;
- Stop off at the famous bookshop Shakespeare and Co, and hear how its founder Silvia Beech refused to sell her books to the Gestapo;
- Take the metro to the Tuileries Gardens, where you'll hear all about the Monuments Men;
- Visit two famous hotels nearby on Place Vendôme and Rue Rivoli: The Ritz and Le Meurice;
- Enter Place de La Concord, where peace was declared;
- - Walk part way up the Champs-Élysées, the famous road along which both the Nazis and the Allied Forces marched;
- End your tour at the statue of General Charles de Gaulle, hero of France, next to Le Grand Palais and Le Petit Palais both of which were used as hospitals during the war, and with a grand view stretching all the way up towards the Arc de Triomphe.
From Nazi Occupiers and Collaborators to French Spies of the Resistance, from famous military heroes to quiet acts of daily courage, from the horrors of the Holocaust to the final triumphant Liberation of Paris, you will discover some of the neighbourhoods and monuments that saw key events take place on this fascinating walking tour of Paris during the Second World War, with an expert and passionate guide.
You'll learn about the hardships of life in Paris under Nazi occupation, like food rationing, poverty and blackouts, as you walk through the charming neighbourhood of Le Marais. Stand in the Pletzl (Yiddish for 'Little Square') the hub and heart of Jewish culture in Paris to hear the horrifying stories of the Holocaust.
You will see evidence of shelling and shrapnel at the Police HQ and hear how the bells of Notre Dame stopped tolling throughout the Occupation, only to ring out once more at the Liberation. Hear about the French Resistance working in underground tunnels, and the role of the Eiffel Tower in disrupting communications.
Learn about Silvia Beech who refused to sell her books to the Gestapo at Shakespeare and Co, Josephine Baker, the nightclub dancer who became an Allied spy; or rumoured collaborators like Gertrude Stein and Coco Chanel.
Hop on a metro to the Tuileries, and walk to Place Vendôme. The Ritz, like all hotels, was requisitioned by the Nazis and was favoured by Hermann Göring, who filled his Imperial Suite with stolen artworks. Later, Ernest Hemingway announced the liberation of Paris from the Champagne bar, which he proceeded to drink dry...
The Hotel Le Meurice became the Headquarters of the military governor of Paris. It is where the German officer Dietrich von Choltitz failed to carry out Hitler's order to level Paris, and lied when Hitler asked "Is Paris burning?" All with consequences that you'll hear about as you reach Place de La Concord and the statue of General Charles de Gaulle on the Champs-Élysées that saw the eventual, triumphant liberation of Paris.