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Just after Nazi Germany walked into Paris as an “open city,” Hitler himself made his own visit. For him, Paris was to be the second city to his Thousand Year Reich. So, logically, he would want to tour the city and gain an appreciation for its grace, history, and allure.

He started his tour at 6 a.m.

He appeared to ponder at Napoleon’s tomb. One could wish that he thought about how the military conqueror over-reached in his ambitions and under-delivered in his governance. But, more than likely, he lacked the introspection.

Of course, like any tourist, he needed a photograph with the Eiffel Tower in the background (one can only hope that he held his hand under it so that it would look like he was holding a small model).

He gushed over the beauty of the Neobaroque Opera, appreciated the proportions of the Pantheon, and completely ignored some of the most striking buildings in the City of Lights.

He saw no reason visit the Louvre, the Sainte-Chapelle, or Notre-Dame.

He insisted on visiting Sacré-Cœur, the guilt-offering of the French after getting out of the Prussian scrape in the prior century. He thought it was ugly.

The Fuhrer expressed gratification that his lifelong dream of seeing Paris had finally been accomplished. He promptly left.

As an example to Parisian tourists everywhere who complain that they didn’t get enough time to see the city, his sight-seeing was completed in just under 3 hours.

Sources:
Eyewitness to History
Alistair Horne, Seven Ages of Paris, Vintage Books, 2004, pp 357.
You can see a minute and a half of “home movies” of his trip here.

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