After the Allied outbreak from Normandy in August 1944 the population of Paris decided that it was time to try to liberate their city themselves. As the French resistance organised a rebellion against the German occupiers, the Allied forces decided to intervene. George Dukson, 22 years old, was part of this resistance.
George Dukson, born in French Equatorial Africa (now Gabon), decided to join the French army in Europe immediately after the Second World War broke out. Shortly before the French capitulation he was taken prisoner by the German army. After spending two years in a German prisoner-of-war camp he successfully escaped. Dukson returned to France, entering the underground resistance movement in Paris.
Here Dukson played an important role in the resistance. During the liberation of the city of Paris, he rose through the ranks to gain the command over a group of resistance fighters. With just a few revolvers and grenades Dukson and his comrades succeeded in capturing a German tank. On 21 August he was hit in his arm by a bullet, but Dukson kept fighting until Paris was liberated.
On 26 August General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces, marched with his troops in a victory parade through the city. At the request of the Allies, only white soldiers had been involved with the liberation of the city. The parade was therefore also white. This while a huge part of the French army existed out non-white people. George however, gained a spot in the parade and is seen near General de Gaulle on several pictures.
After the Liberation of Paris, Dukson started to trade on the black market until he was arrested. He was shot as he attempted to flee from his arrest. He died from his wounds on 11 November 1944.
The liberation of Paris didn’t have Allied priority, but an uprising of the population against the Germans on 19 August made it necessary. Thus the 2nd French Armoured Division was sent to Paris and entered the city on 24 August. On 26 August a huge triumphal parade was held on the Champs-Élysées.
The Musée de la Libération de Paris – Musée du Général Leclerc – Musée Jean Moulin was reopened into its new location at place Denfert-Rochereau on August 25, 2019, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Paris.
The Charles de Gaulle Historial presents the story of a man whose life is closely linked to the liberation of France. The museum uses high-tech multimedia equipment to unfold the career path of the general and help visitors understand the extent of Charles de Gaulle’s stamp on the history of France.