D-Day beach second world war

The Second world war was truly a devastating time for so many people and nations. From 1939 to 1945, it pitted the allies (France, Great Britain, the USSR, China, and the USA) against the Axis powers (Italy, Germany, and Japan).

France, in particular, experienced intense fear and tension during this period, with the Vichy regime, the separation of free and occupied zones, roundups and deportations, and finally the Allies’ liberation from the enemy.

Today, I want to delve into the impact and history of Paris during the war, and explore some of the commemorative places to visit as well as recommend some books and movies related to this topic. Let’s uncover the fascinating story of Paris during this tumultuous time.


Paris during the second world war

Paris was invaded and occupied by the Germans during the 1940s and remained so for four years.The way of life and ideologies of Nazi Germany have taken hold and become entrenched both in the capital and nationwide.

During this period of terror, the Americans finally landed in France from Normandy in June 1944 to help resistant France. Their arrival was a sign of hope, for on August 25 of the same year, Paris was freed.

To learn more about this subject during your Parisian epic, we have selected places full of history as well as two films to watch if you have the opportunity.


First location: Musée de la libération

If you’re interested in the second world war, the first museum you should visit is the Musée de la Libération in the 14th arrondissement.

Through period objects and testimonies, you will be immersed in the world of the French resistance fighters. This place commemorates the many people who fought and died to protect the nation. You can enjoy treasure hunts with your family, themed routes, as well as temporary or permanent exhibitions.

If you visit the capital between March 27 and September 22, 2024, don’t miss the exhibition “Is Paris burning?” which is a study of the 1966 film of the same name, depicting the history and struggle of the resistance in France during the German occupation in Paris.

The exhibition features well-known figures from French and American cinema, but we won’t reveal more about it…


Second location: The Shoah memorial

Another place you might want to visit if you are interested in Holocaust tributes is the Shoah Memorial in Paris. It is a place that provides information about the impact of the war on Jewish populations, and also serves as a contemplative space, especially for the relatives of victims. The memorial is rich in history and emotion.


Third location: Invalides and “Musée de l’armée”

The last museum on this theme is at the Invalides. This is the very famous “Musée de l’Armée”. An emblematic place, it offers various collections obviously related to the army and the field of war, such as the one on Napoleon, for example.

But the one we are interested in today is the one dealing with the world wars (the first, the second, and some more specific wars that happened in France). On display are models of the trenches where the combatants hid and lived, period weapons, and combat uniforms that were worn in the different regiments.

Different rooms are dedicated to it, featuring the names of people who marked this era. Don’t forget to take a tour of the museum called “Musée de l’ordre de la liberation” (still at the Invalides)! It tells the stories of the men and women who were part of the resistance and fought for a big part of their life to resist the enemy.

Some of them were part of the “companions of the liberation,” which is an order that was created back in the time by General de Gaulle. This place pays tribute to them.


Some french movies about the second world war…

Here are some French movies that you can watch to learn more about France during the Second World War: One of the great classics is “La Grande Vadrouille”, released in 1966, starring Louis de Funès and Bourville.

The movie follows the protagonists in their incredible adventures through Paris and its region during the occupation. With humor and realistic portrayals, this movie shows us the life of citizens and soldiers during the German occupation.

You will even see other beautiful locations where some scenes were shot, such as Beaune and the French countryside. Another film related to the Jewish genocide is “La Rafle”, released in theaters in 2010.

It deals with the deportation of a family during the Vel d’Hiv roundup. The major protagonists are children, providing a different perspective on this frightful event. It’s a powerful movie about this period to keep in mind.


The D-day sites in Normandy

Join us in Normandy on June 6, 2024, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day. This historic event marks the day when Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, turning the tide of World War II.

Special ceremonies will honor the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought for freedom. Experience poignant memorials, reenactments, and educational events that bring history to life.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to pay tribute to the heroes of the past and reflect on the enduring significance of their legacy.


If you want to incorporate the visit of the D day sites, or parisian locations about the second world war, contact us!