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An Initiative of the Fayette County Cultural  Trust                                                   
 

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To learn more about Nellie Granger and the 1936 Crash of the TWA Sun Racer please click on the photo below.

The above photos of the Paris Hotel Meurice during WWII are copyrighted by  

   http://www.occupation-de-paris.com/

Is Paris Burning? - Paris Hotel Meurice

During World War II, (September 1940 – August 1944) the Hotel Meurice was taken over by the Nazis, and made the headquarters of the German occupation of "Gross Paris" (greater Paris). On one of its top floors, a Swedish diplomat named Raoul Nordling made the plea that saved Paris from being blown up by the departing Nazis as Hitler wished. Hitler had ordered explosives to be placed under such Paris monuments as the Senate, the Assembly, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre, and the bridges over the Seine; and this had been done. Hitler wanted to leave only rubble behind him if the Germans had to abandon Paris.

The diplomat, who had somehow gotten word of the planned destruction of Paris, asked General Dietrich Von Choltitz if he wanted to be remembered as the man who destroyed Paris, or the man who saved Paris. Dietrich Von Choltitz knew if he disobeyed orders he would have to become a prisoner of the Allies to survive. He sent his family out of harm's way and then chose to surrender Paris instead of blowing it up. Dietrich Von Choltitz famously disobeyed Hitler's commands to level the city of Paris. Hitler's reported question screamed to Dietrich Von Choltitz over a Hotel Meurice telephone, "Is Paris Burning?” later served as the title of a best-selling book about the liberation of Paris, and the 1966 film which was shot partly at the Meurice. After the fall of Nazi Germany, Dietrich Von Choltitz spends two years in prison for his earlier actions during the Siege of Sevastopol. Raoul Nordling is awarded a medal for his persuasion of Dietrich Von Choltitz in Paris, but he passes it over to Dietrich Von Choltitz, recognizing him as the real hero.

A 1940’s key fob from the famous Paris Hotel Meurice is on display at the Connellsville Canteen starting in March 2019.

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