Les Invalides
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Hitler visits the tomb of Napoleon

In 1861, King Louis Philippe had Napoleon's remains interred under the dome of Les Invalides. On June 28, 1940, during his sightseeing tour of Paris, Hitler viewed Napoleon's tomb, and Albert Speer described the visit in his book Inside the Third Reich. According to International News Service journalist Pierre J. Huss, who knew Hitler and interviewed him, the Führer had made an unannounced visit to les Invalides before the official sightseeing tour. The photo above was apparently made during the earlier visit. Hitler wears the white dustproof gabardine coat Huss describes, not the darker overcoat he wore when photographed at the Trocadero in front of the Eiffel tower during his official Paris tour.

Note the sandbags covering the window at the left. They were unnecessary. Paris had been declared an open city, and the Germans marched in without firing a shot.

"There are people who put their rank and title on their gravestones," Hitler told his cameraman, Walter Frentz. "In my case two words will be enough: Adolf Hitler. The German people would know who it was if the only word was Adolf."

On December 15th 1940, as a gesture of friendship, Hitler ordered that the remains of Napoleon's son, Napoleon II (1811-1832), Duke of Reichstadt, be moved from the Kaisergruft in Vienna to lie beside Napoleon's tomb in the Invalides. At midnight, the coffin was transported through Paris on a gun carriage.
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