Friday, April 24, 2009
History Leaves Its Mark
A while back, I shared with you a photo of the Hôtel de Sens, noting a cannonball embedded there since the mid 19th century and today I've got another one for you, albeit from a different era. If you look closely at this entrance to the Palais de Justice on the Quai des Orfèvres on Ile de la Cité, you will notice quite a few pockmarks on the facade. These are among the few remnants still visible in Paris from the violence that occurred during the liberation of Paris from the Nazis in August 1944. The physical fighting lasted only a few days but there were losses of some 1,500 people, both members of the resistance and civilians, plus an additional 70 or so members of the Free French Armored Division. And that's not counting the large group of captured members of the resistance executed by the Germans in the waterfall in the Bois de Boulogne. Yet another sad reminder that even when the good guys win, war is never without significant costs.