A Story of Wartime Liberation Told Through Photographs

A Story of Wartime Liberation Told Through Photographs
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Paris, which took place toward the end of World War II. To commemorate this important historical event, a Paris museum called the Musée Carnavalet has organized an exhibit entitled 'Paris Liberated, Paris Photographed, Paris Exposed' ('Paris libéré, Paris photographié, Paris exposé' in French).  The event coincides with the Photography Month held at the Musée Carnavalet every year. As such, guests staying at one of the Grands Hôtels Parisiens have a wonderful opportunity to visit the unique museum located in the Marais.

On August 25, 1944, Paris was liberated by the French 2nd Armored Division and the American 4th Infantry Division. That day, after confrontations with the French and American forces, the German military leader Dietrich von Choltitz surrendered the city which had been under German occupation for four years. Two and a half years later, while France and the Allies continued to battle the Nazis, the Musée Carnavalet (itself founded in 1880) held an exhibit on the Liberation that had just occurred.

This was made possible thanks to the museum's curator, François Boucher, who had requested as many documents as he could from the press and other institutions in order to paint the complete picture of how the days of the Liberation unfolded. Boucher's precipitous exhibit concentrated more on emotions than on facts, and this seemed to be exactly what the Parisian public needed as the exhibition encountered tremendous success.

Now, 70 years later, the Musée Carnavalet revisits Boucher's exhibit, taking the precious images that were collected and adding context to them with videos, interviews and texts that allow for a more contemplative viewing. Photographers such as Robert Doisneau and Jean Séeberger will be represented at this latest exhibit, will run from June 11, 2014 until February 8, 2015.