February 1945 – Winter In Liberated Paris – Past Daily Reference Room
February 1945. The War in Winter. Only days earlier, the infamous Battle Of The Bulge had concluded, further evidence the War was drawing to a close and what would come to be known as the Post-War readjustment that was already taking place in Paris. A city liberated from German occupation only some seven months earlier, Parisians were slowly, and with much difficulty, readjusting to what might possibly be a peacetime world in the coming months.
Paris may have been The City of Light, but during these winter months of 1945, it was a city of shortages. Not having gone through the kind of mass destruction other cities in Europe went through, there was still a considerable amount for the average Parisian to complain about – no oil, no wood, no coal, no heat. Paris a series of freezing homes and apartments. Food, relegated to barely nutritious rations of the barest essentials was parceled out to Parisians who stood in lines for hours in the snow. Considering how the average German city dwellers were going to fare in a postwar world, this one was almost plush by comparison.
But Winter was Winter and there was a War going on – and The Battle of The Bulge just to the north made for uneasy acceptance of long lines and sparse food.
BBC Reporter Frank Alban gives a vivid description of the goings on, describing the trials and tribulations the average Frenchman had to tackle during the course of the average February day.
In a second report, which was to be released on February 3rd, Alban talks about the state of the War and Germany’s state of chaos. He also reminds listeners that January 30th was the date Hitler rose to power in 1933. He describes that night, some 12 years earlier and the description British reporters gave to Hitler’s Storm Troopers. Describing how this was to become The New Order in Europe and the irony that Germany was rapidly disintegrating in a scant dozen years.
Two reports, as given by Frank Alban of the BBC to radio station KFI in Los Angeles in February 1945.