French fury at Nazi pictures of Paris under occupation

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AN EXHIBITION featuring photographs of Paris taken during the Nazi occupation has provoked so much public indignation that the Paris city council has ordered posters advertising the show to be taken down and has even called for the exhibition to be closed altogether.

Entitled Paris Sous l'Occupation (Paris Under the Occupation), the exhibition at the Paris History Library shows 270 colour photographs – part of the only collection of colour images of their kind – taken between 1941 and 1944 by a collaborator, André Zucca, who worked for the Nazi propaganda magazine Signal.

Young women sporting sunglasses smile coquettishly for the camera in the Jardin du Luxembourg, Parisians chat on crowded café terraces and stroll nonchalantly through the streets of the capital as they enjoy the sunshine, while children watch puppet shows and lovers embrace by the Seine.

Critics of the exhibition protest that it portrays a totally unrealistic portrait of Paris under the Nazis, ignoring the reality in which thousands of Jews were rounded up and deported to concentration camps, many ordinary people went hungry, forced to queue for hours to obtain what little food was available, and Resistance members risked their lives and those of their families to sabotage the Nazi occupiers.

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