Celestine Bohlen writes in today’s IHT about an exhibition in Paris: “Three years ago a controversy erupted in Paris over a startling exhibition of photographs of Parisians enjoying the spring sunshine, sitting in parks, walking down leafy boulevards, going about business as usual under the Nazi occupation of 1940 to 1944.
The images of the French capital during those dark years so horrified city officials that the show, at the Paris Historical Library, was almost shut down. Instead, explanatory notes were added beneath the color photos by André Zucca as a way of putting such ordinary scenes into their extraordinary context.”
It’s probably naïve to think that citizens living under the yoke of totalitarianism cannot enjoy the spring sunshine. For many people in Europe, life under the Nazis was highly enjoyable – at least for a long time – for some people life under the German occupation was even more enjoyable than life before or after the occupation.