The Summer before the Storm: Paris, July 1939

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29th Jul, 2013

In July 1939, Paris was just as it should be during the height of summer; the avenues inviting you to get lost in them and the night seeming as if it may never come. LIFE photographer, William Vandivert captured the calm before the storm in these stunning colour photos that have recently surfaced. Eleven months later, more than 2 million Parisians had fled the city, a large swastika hung from the Arc de Triomphe and Hitler himself took a tour of the city…

To see photographs of Paris under the Nazi occupation, click here to view a selection by André Zucca

More pre-war Paris via Rewind

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