Adolf Hitler conquered Paris on June 14th, 1940. He will never be able to climb the Eiffel Tower
June 14th, 1940
Paris falls into the hands of the German army.
Adolf Hitler, who arrived in the city the same day, is visibly plumped with satisfaction. His face is wearing a childlike expression of joy. Everything is going according to plans.
On June 15th, at dawn, the Führer visits the main monuments and plans the terms of the armistice in Compiègne. The city is still asleep, exhausted, terrified like a woman who has been just raped.
Once he arrived at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, the monument that more than any other symbolizes his latest conquering, he pretends to climb to the top and take some suggestive photographs. Hitler wants to proclaim his power in the eyes of the whole world from the highest spot in the city. The tower’s lift operator is threatened by two Nazi officers, who order him to take a shuttle down immediately. The man, conscious of being risking his life, declares that all the elevators are broken and that spare parts are not available.
“All the factories capable of delivering that kind of hardware have been converted into the production of heavy weaponry,” he informs the soldiers.
An SS corporal brutally moves the worker away and enters the control cabin. He starts to compulsively operate the levers that drive the elevators, but nothing happens. Hitler is getting impatient. He wants to get up there at all costs.
“The only way to reach the top is on foot, my Führer,” suggests the corporal.
Sixteen hundred and sixty-five steps separate the little man from the top of his new toy.
“It’s getting late, the city is waking up, and the risk of being attacked by some exalted is too high. I’ll get on top of the tower on my next visit to the city. Get those damn elevators repaired as soon as possible!” replies the enraged Führer.
Hitler never climbed the Eiffel Tower, and there are no photographs of him at the top of the monument.
The next day, when the Nazis left Paris, the elevators went back to regular operation.
June 22nd, 1940, 6:50 p.m.
The second Compiègne armistice is signed by the French and German delegations. France is now literally divided in two.
A few days later, observing the white cliffs of Dover from the coast of Calais with powerful binoculars, Hitler says he will succeed where Napoleon failed: he will set foot on those shores and conquer Great Britain.