- Point of Interest
- Allée du Chef d'Escadron de Guillebon, 75015 Paris, France
During the liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944, general Leclerc, commander of the 2nd French Armoured Division, set up his command post in Montparnasse train station. Here the surrender of the German troops was proclaimed. A museum above the train station keeps the memory of the liberation alive.
When general Leclerc, commander of the 2nd French Armoured Division, arrived in Paris on 25 August 1944, he installed his headquarters at Montparnasse train station. This was a secure place with functioning communication lines. In the afternoon the commander of the German garrison of the Paris District, Lieutenant-General Choltitz, was captured at his headquarters in Hotel Meurice in the Rue de Rivoli. The capitulation was signed at the Police Department on the Île de la Cité. After that, Choltitz was taken to the railway station to sign the surrender of all German forces under his command. General Leclerc signed on behalf of the Provisional Government of the French Republic. A copy was signed by Colonel Rol-Tanguy, leader of the French Forces of the Interior (FFI).
On the promenade above the Montparnasse station one can find «the Museum of Général Leclerc de Hauteclocque and Liberation of Paris – Jean Moulin Museum». Visitors can relive the liberation of the capital through the projection of image archives. Two separate exhibitions retrace the paths of Philippe Leclerc and Jean Moulin, head of the National Council of Resistance. The latter was arrested, tortured and killed in 1943. Personal objects and documents illustrate their careers and their work. Temporary exhibitions are held regularly.
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.