Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.
Arrival at Paris, pp. 13-15 PDF (727.5 KB)
two bottles of champagne and a tray of sandwiches. Johnnie and I each had a sandwich and a glass of champagne'or, shall we say, two glasses-and then off to bed. The hotel looked exactly as it did in pre-war days. Head- quarters now of the Army General Staff, the service is perfect. We were among the very few civilians who have been admitted. Had a wonderful night's sleep. Waking, I telephoned for break- fast and a WAC's voice told me it was not customary to serve breakfast in the room, but exception would be made for us as we arrived late. Within ten minutes came orange juice, ham and eggs, toast and coffee. Our shoes were cleaned in the customary pre-war French manner, and a valet took care of our clothes. Kingsbury Smith came around with a car to take us to the office. Again, a springlike morning. One would never know Paris had been at war except for the lack of motor transportation. There is not a car on the streets of Paris apart from Army cars. Every- where one sees the inevitable jeep; and the city, with doughboys everywhere, looks as if it were an Army camp in America. We went to the Hotel Scribe, which had been taken over for the use of American correspondents. We saw the briefing room for the American correspondents, and I met any number of news- paper boys I knew. One youngster with the United Press insignia on his shoulder came up and spoke to me. He was one of the boys who used to come to my home in Smithtown. The briefing room was interesting beyond words-the walls were covered with maps. Here during the war the Army briefed the correspondents each day, showed them the progress of our advances in France and Germany. Went over to Harper's Bazaar office and met old friends. Was told there is nothing in Paris to buy for you-an evening gown costs $1200. Joe Smith drove us about Paris with a photographer who took pictures at the Place de la Concorde and other spots. Saw very little damage other than one or two official buildings bombed by the Germans. Everywhere the streets were crowded with American 14
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