Paris World War 2 The German Occupation 1940-1944 Walking Tours

If you want to come away with the most in depth, varied knowledge of this period possible in the time available then this tour is for you. This tour has been put it together to give you as much of the story as possible in a short space of time, from the lives of the average French person and how they coped, to the Jewish person living in constant fear to the German soldiers living the high life. From Collaboration, to resistance, to Liberation. This is the most in depth tour on this subject you could do in the few hours of your time it will take. Led by a passionate experienced guide who has lived in this city and studied the fascinating history of this period for over 15 years. Learn why for the French this period is often referred to as 'les annees noir' or the dark years yet we also tell stories of amazing bravery and fearlessness as as ordinary people risked their own lives to fight back and save those of others!

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3 hours


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  • What's included :
    • Private Guided Tour
    What's excluded :
    • This is a typical itinerary for this product

      Stop At: Jardin des Tuileries pl. de la Concorde, rue de Rivoli, 75058 Paris France

      We will meet by the Tuileries metro station and walk through the parc. Here we will have a brief overview of the history of France leading up to the 2ND WW and the loss of the battle of France in May 1940. We will also see the Hotel Meurice; the HQ of the final German Commander of Paris Dietrich Von Choltitz

      Duration: 15 minutes

      Stop At: Jeu de Paume, 1 Place de la Concorde, 60500 Paris France

      We will stop at the Jeu de Paume Museum, used by the Nazis as a repository for stolen and requisitioned art work during the occupation. We'll talk about German policy towards France during the Occupation and the inter agency rivalries inside the German hierarchy and how the issue of stolen art work demonstrates these tensions

      Duration: 10 minutes

      Stop At: Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris France

      We will view this monumental square, the second largest in France and talk about its history and the buildings around it, the Naval Ministry and Hotel Crillon for example. How these buildings were used by the Germans during the occupation and members of the rich upper levels of society who collaborated with them. We'll also talk about the famous Panther tank of the Tuileries that was knocked out during the fighting for the liberation

      Duration: 15 minutes

      Stop At: Rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris France

      Returning to Rue de Rivoli we'll turn onto Rue Rouget de Lisle, composer of the Marseillaise and visit the site of the first resistance newspaper Pantagruel and talk about the first fledgling resistants and the difficulties they faced

      Duration: 10 minutes

      Stop At: Place-Vendome, Place-Vendome, Paris, Ile-de-France

      Here we'll visit the most famous hotel in Paris, The Ritz and hear stories of collaboration and resistance that took place inside it's walls. Coco Chanel, Herman Goering and the German anti Nazi resistance which used the bar as a letterbox. We'll also see the site of the first resistance radio network in Paris, right under the noses of the Germans

      Duration: 15 minutes

      Stop At: Jardin des Tuileries pl. de la Concorde, rue de Rivoli, 75058 Paris France

      We'll make our way back towards the Tuileries metro for a short hop down to St Paul in the Maris where we start the second half of our tour, in the heart of Jewish Paris

      Duration: 10 minutes

      Stop At: Eglise Saint-Paul Saint-Louis, 99 rue Saint Antoine, 75004 Paris France

      We'll take a brief moment to visit this magnificent church, Paris's first Jesuit and Baroque church, closely linked with Victor Hugo and hear the tragic story of his beloved daughter Leopoldine who married here in 1843.

      Duration: 10 minutes

      Stop At: Le Marais 3e Arrondissement, 75003 Paris France

      Next we'll enter into the heart of Jewish Paris , the Marais. On this part of the tour first we'll learn about life for the average French person, rationing, queing, the shortages and challenges of every day life. Then we'll talk about life for the Jewish population which can be divided up into several stages starting with the anti Jewish laws of 1940, the requisitioning of Jewish property during 1941 and then the start of the first major round ups and deportations from 1942 to Auschwitz. We'll visit Rue de Rosiers, the Marais's most famous street and Jewish schools were hundreds of children were deported. We'll also visit the Joseph Migneret gardens and hear how normal French people, shocked by the deportation of children decided to help by sheltering and and arranging for children to escape to safety. We'll hear stories of bravery and betrayal.

      Duration: 45 minutes

      Stop At: Memorial De La Shoah, 17 rue Geoffroy L Asnier, 75004 Paris France

      We'll make our way out of the Marais stopping at the Shoah memorial and the wall of the juste, with over 3500 names of French people declared righteous among nations. We'll talk about how French society struggled to come to terms with the part played by its own state forces in the deportation of the jews and how resistance came to be redifined as also the saving of lives, Jewish lives

      Duration: 15 minutes

      Stop At: Place de l'Hotel de Ville Entrée au 5 rue Lobeau ou au 29 rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris France

      We'll walk along the banks of the Seine to the magnificent hotel de ville where we'll talk about the conditions and beggining of the uprising that led to the battle for the liberation of Paris. We'll see the garden dedicated to the very first allied troops to enter into Paris and maybe discover a little surprise about them.

      Duration: 15 minutes

      Stop At: Prefecture de Police, 1 rue de Lutece Place Louis Lepine, 75004 Paris France

      We'll see the huge police prefecture, the epicentre of the Parisian uprising against the German occupying forces that began on 19th Aug 1944 and learn how the tensions in the city gradually rose during August as the Germans began to abandon Paris leaving behind a small force of weaker soldiers who built strong points around the city ready to hold out for a month against the Allies. We'll hear the story of how the Paris police led the uprising and how Paris's final German commander famously disobeyed Hitlers orders that Paris should not fall into the hands of the allies except as a pile of rubble! And we'll see the marks of the battle still there today, bullet holes and tank shell holes left as a memorial.

      Duration: 20 minutes

    • Departure Point :
      Tuileries, 75001 Paris, France
      Departure Time :
      1:30 PM
      Return Detail :
      Préfecture de Police, 1 Rue de Lutèce, 75004 Paris, France
      Hotel Pickup :
      • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
      • Wheelchair accessible
      • Stroller accessible
      • Service animals allowed
      • Near public transportation
      • Most travelers can participate
      • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
      • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
      • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
      • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
      • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
      • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
      • Guides required to regularly wash hands
      • The tour takes place outdoors and in the main part in areas where it is easy to socially distance and the streets are not crowded. There is one short metro journey involved for which a face mask is required. I always carry spares in case a client doesn't have access to one.
    • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.



    Age Req.


    Fitness Req.


    Group Size


    Organised by Chris Pollard

    Activity ID: V-202536P1

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