U.S. soldiers march along the Champs Elysees, four days after the liberation of Paris, Aug. 29, 1944.
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The Nazis knew everything about the city of Paris that they occupied -- almost.Paris Sunday will celebrate 75 years since its liberation, when French and American tanks rolled into the former jewel of European cities that had epitomized the sweet life, but whose citizens were humiliated, hungry and mistrustful after 50 months under the Nazi boot. A parade will retrace the entry into southern Paris, heading to the building that served as headquarters for Henri Tanguy -- alias Col. Rol -- chief of the French Forces of the Interior of the Paris region. The museum bears Moulin's name along with that of another top figure, Gen. Leclerc, the nom de guerre of Philippe de Hauteclocque, who marched into Paris ahead of Allied troops to liberate the city.On the night of Aug. 24, the first Allied troops entered southern Paris.The military governor of Paris, Gen. Dietrich von Choltitz, arrested at his headquarters at the Meurice Hotel, signed the surrender in the presence of Rol-Tanguy.The liberation of Paris was both joyous and chaotic, with competing forces even within the Resistance.According to the Liberation museum, 1,000 French Forces of the Interior and 582 civilians were killed, along with 156 troops of Leclerc's division.
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