Paris, France, June 1940
A swastika flag flies above the Versailles castle, where in 1871 German fate was molded, and where in 1918 German humiliation was sealed. Paris, the longed-for goal, is ours. France's heart and soul, the center of the French arms industry, the birthplace of democracy and liberalism, is now in German hands. The Reich's military flag is hoisted at the Eiffel Tower.
The German western campaign into the Low Countries and France shattered Allied lines. Within six weeks, Britain evacuated its forces from the Continent and France requested an armistice with Germany. Paris, the French capital, fell to the Germans on June 14, 1940. In this footage, triumphant German forces raise the swastika flag over Versailles and over the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Versailles, the traditional residence of French kings, was deeply symbolic for the Germans: it was the site of both the declaration of the German Empire in 1871 and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. The Treaty of Versailles had imposed humiliating peace terms on Germany after its defeat in World War I. Germany would occupy Paris for the next four years, until 1944.
National Archives - Film