Cheese, Hitler, and the Eiffel Tower

 

Image result for french cheese

Yesterday, when I stared at a picture of a building in France two things came to my mind. Cheese and Hitler, in exactly that order. 

Cheese, because if I ever allow myself to eat cheese again, then I will travel to France and will eat myself into a frenzy and I will not leave before I tried all the different kinds of dairy madness only the French can offer -over 500 so they say.

So with cheese on my mind, I thought about Hitler and the French people and tried to find a poem that I had read a while back. The poem is humorous, a true story of World War II, how the people of Paris cut the lift cables of the Eiffel tower in 1940, right before the Germans reached the city.

Image result for hitler and the eiffel tower

 

The Germans occupied Paris, and there was nothing the French people could do, but the French resistance wanted to deny Hitler the Eiffel tower. A German soldier climbed up the 1710 stairs to the platform of the Eiffel tower and hoisted the swastika flag (Nazi flag). It flew away almost immediately,  the flag was too large; later it was replaced by a little one.

The French climbed up the tower in 1944 and hung the Tricolor -the French flag- when they knew the Allies were near. When it became apparent that the Germans would lose Paris, Hitler ordered to destroy Paris – including the Eiffel Tower. He didn’t succeed.

The lifts to the Eiffel tower were repaired after the war. Isn’t it interesting what resistance can do?

“When Hitler marched
across the Rhine
To take the land of France,
La dame de fer decided,
‘Let’s make the tyrant dance.’

Let him take the land and city,
The hills and every flower,
One thing he will never have,
The elegant Eiffel Tower.

The French cut the cables,
The elevators stood still,
‘If he wants to reach the top,
Let him walk it, if he will.’

The invaders hung a swastika
The largest ever seen.
But a fresh breeze blew
And away it flew,
Never more to be seen.

They hung up a second mark,
Smaller than the first,
But a patriot climbed
With a thought in mind:
‘Never your duty shirk.’

Up the iron lady
He stealthily made his way,
Hanging the bright tricolour,
He heroically saved the day.

Then, for some strange reason,
A mystery to this day,
Hitler never climbed the tower,
On the ground he had to stay.

At last he ordered she be razed
Down to a twisted pile.
A futile attack, for still she stands
Beaming her metallic smile.”

By E.A. Bucchianeri,

Image result for eiffel tower

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