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“I often considered whether we would not have to destroy Paris”—How Hitler fell in love with the French capital

The way we were: Hitler's recollections of Paris and Rome

By Ian Irvine   May 2020

Hitler in Paris in 1940. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

1940 

Albert Speer accompanies Adolf Hitler on his only visit to Paris: 

“Three days after the armistice [ie the French surrender] we landed at Le Bourget airfield. We drove… to the Opera, Charles Garnier’s great neo-baroque building. Hitler… went into ecstasies about its beauty, his eyes glittering with an excitement that struck me as uncanny.  

Afterward, we drove past the Madeleine, down the Champs-Élysées, on to the Trocadero, and then to the Eiffel Tower, where Hitler ordered another stop. From the Arc…

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