Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trickster Paris

As I mentioned previously, I was an Art History minor in college. I chose to do that because it was challenging and incredibly interesting. Which is funny considering I used to throw tantrums in art museums as a child.

Roberto is currently in Paris. He flew away for a week to explore London and Paris. All by himself (with a tour). I'm incredibly jealous. I had planned to go with him, but due to money issues, I couldn't. So, he's decided to tag me in all of his pictures of London and Paris and while it makes me happy, it makes me terribly sad. Sigh. Non je ne regrette rien? I don't think so. I regret not going every day!

To pretend to escape, I studied the history of the Eiffel Tower today. Here is what I found to be the most interesting, and slightly hilarious, fact:

Upon the Nazi occupation of Paris in 1940, the lift cables were cut by the French so that Adolf Hitler would have to climb the steps to the summit. In 1940 German soldiers had to climb to the top to hoist the swastika, but the flag was so large it blew away just a few hours later, and it was replaced by a smaller one. When visiting Paris, Hitler chose to stay on the ground. It was said that Hitler conquered France, but did not conquer the Eiffel Tower. A Frenchman scaled the tower during the German occupation to hang the French flag. In August 1944, when the Allies were nearing Paris, Hitler ordered General Dietrich von Choltitz, the military governor of Paris, to demolish the tower along with the rest of the city. Von Choltitz disobeyed the order. The lifts of the Tower were working normally within hours of the Liberation of Paris.

It's like the French were playing practical jokes on Hitler! The most terrifying and pyschotic man in the world has completely occupied their country - he's been on a murderous rampage through Europe, and they're playing practical jokes on him so he can't get to the top of the highest tower and raise his awful flag. I love it. And his first reaction is, "GAH! BLOW IT UP! I CAN'T GET TO THE TOP! BLOW IT UP!!!!"

Silly French!

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