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Paris WWII History Tour: Nazi Occupation and the Resistance

Illuminating a dark chapter in history
From US$113 for 1 person
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • Place Saint-Michel
  • Luxembourg Gardens
  • Île de la Cité
  • Latin Quarter
  • Marais
  • Mémorial des martyrs de la Déportation
  • Memorial of the Shoah
Photos & Highlights
  • This walking tour features a local historian's insight into the horrors faced by civilians in Occupied Paris
Tour Description
Your Context Expert will bring you back in time to contextualize the Nazi Occupation of France during the height of WWII. During this three-hour walking tour, you’ll learn about the horrors civilians faced in Paris throughout the occupation and discuss many courageous characters from history which formed the French Résistance.
  • Paris Left and Right banks
  • Memorial de la Shoah
  • Mémorial des Martyrs de la Deportation
  • 3 hours with an expert guide 
Your experience begins in the heart of the Saint Germain de Prés neighborhood. Now known for its winding streets and typically Parisian charm, this neighborhood was a critical location for both Nazi occupiers and the Résistance. You will pause at the hotel where German counterintelligence hid out during the occupation, as well as in front of buildings that served as the meeting place for Jean Moulin and the resistance council, and the headquarters of the Defense de France newspaper. 

From there, you may visit the Luxembourg Gardens, which served as the headquarters for the German Airforce, the Luftwaffe. Or you may head directly north to see where Nazi occupants went for entertainment, and where French communist resistors famously rioted against rationing in 1942. 

You will certainly pass by Place Saint-Michel, where Robert Doisneau photographed a legendary image of resistance barricades, and perhaps see where Samuel Beckett hid from the Gestapo during the war – hint, it's a very popular bookstore in the present day. 

You will move across the river to discover the Deportation Memorial, and the Police Prefecture, where the French were known to have collaborated with the Gestapo.  A stop in front of the Hospitalière-Saint-Gervais Elementary school, where 260 school children were victims of the Vel d’Hiv round-up, will broach the stark reality of the massive reach of deportation in the city. You may even visit the Shoah Memorial to reflect more upon the deportation, time permitting. 

And finally, you will turn the focus toward the liberation of Paris and the final four days. Was Paris really burning? Concluding your walk, you will discuss the reaction of Jewish survivors upon coming back to Paris, what happened to German collaborators, and how France has coped with this dark period since it came to an end. 
For more on World War II History in France, try out our D-Day Tour: Day Trip from Paris to Normandy.

Is this tour walking intensive and/ or wheelchair accessible? 
We do cover extensive territory on this tour. If you have mobility problems or concerns, please contact us so we can best advise if this tour will be appropriate for you. 
Is this tour appropriate for children and teens? 
We cover mature topics on this tour. It is not designed as a family tour, though we welcome inquisitive minds of all ages. Please contact us to discuss further if you're concerned about age-appropriate content. Context Small-Group tours do have an age minimum of 13.
Where You'll Start
405 Reviews (4.75)

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Good tour with lots of information. Hard to hear at times and a good deal of walking. Would love to see Context move to audio headsets.
Samuél was most informed about Paris history and the French resistance. His education in political science and the study of genocide was also most interesting. An A+ tour guide with a very engaging personality! He clearly enjoys his vocation.
Very knowled