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Eiffel Tower dons French flag to mark 75th year of Paris liberation from Nazis

The re-enactment was part of a series of events organised by the city of Paris on Sunday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the city’s liberation from the Nazis.

The liberation of Paris consisted of six days of fighting between French Resistance forces – both military and civilian – and the German army, who occupied the city for four years until August 1944.

Jeanne-Marie Badoche, the daughter of the man who sneaked around the Eiffel Tower in 1944 to fly the French flag, said her father had always been determined to reclaim Paris’ symbolic monument.

“As a French officer, this (Nazi rule in Paris) has been so hard to swallow, and during four years of occupation, he only had one thing in mind: ‘I’ll put back the flag,'” she said. “He thought about it all the time, he talked about it all the time.”

Officers had to hide the fabrication of the flag from the Germans during wartime, then concealed it in a tube of a gas-powered car to transport it into Paris, Badoche recalled.

On Aug. 25, 1944, Badoche’s father and other firefighters had to wait for the right moment to climb the tower by foot, unseen by the Nazis.

“That night when he got home … he just told us, ‘I did it, I put the flag back up,'” Badoche said.

A public parade in 1940s dress is slated to follow the re-enactment later on Sunday as part of the Paris liberation celebrations.

(Production: Clotaire Achi, Kathryn Carlson, Ardee Napolitano)

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