Paris celebrates its liberation from Nazis, 75 years onBreaking News
tags: anniversaries, Paris, Germany, Liberation, World War 2
Paris celebrated the American soldiers, French Resistance fighters and others who liberated the City of Light from Nazi occupation exactly 75 years ago on Sunday, unleashing an eruption of kissing, dancing, tears and gratitude.
Firefighters unfurled a huge French flag from the Eiffel Tower, recreating the moment when a French tricolor stitched together from sheets was hoisted atop the monument 75 years ago to replace the swastika flag that had flown for four years.
Dozens of World War II-era jeeps, armored vehicles, motorcycles and trucks and people dressed in wartime uniforms and dresses paraded through southern Paris, retracing the entry of French and U.S. tanks into the city on Aug. 25, 1944 .
Among those watching the parade was Roger Acher, 96, one of the few surviving veterans, who entered Paris with Gen. Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque’s 2nd armored division around dawn that day. Fighting was fierce as they moved toward the city, he recalled. “I almost got killed.”
A Dixieland band standing on an army truck played at the end of the parade, which wrapped up at the site of a new museum about the liberation and the French Resistance .
Long the jewel of European cities, Paris suffered relatively little damage in World War II, but its citizens were humiliated, hungry and mistrustful after 50 months under the Nazis.