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January 19, 2019

Cycling on the Streets of Paris Under Nazi Occupation in 1942

These photographs were taken by André Zucca in Paris while the city was occupied by the Germans during World War II. Zucca was a French photographer and Nazi collaborator, most well known for his work with the German propaganda magazine Signal.

While everything changed with the German occupation, most things also remained the same. The German occupiers made the French pay for the costs of the occupation in foodstocks, so food was very scarce. Other things, like gasoline and rubber (bicycle tires), were almost impossible to obtain.

Despite all that, France no longer was at war. Life, at least on the surface, appeared more normal than in places like London and Berlin. Men and women went to work, sat in cafés, went to the movies, and even watched or participated in bike races. This did not make them collaborateurs. After all, it would have served little if all Parisians had sat in a corner and sulked for years while the Germans were occupying the city. Even the resistance fighters kept up appearances and tried to live as normal a life as possible, so they did not arouse the suspicion of the Gestapo or their French counterparts.

(All photos by André Zucca)



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