A 35 centimetre-high bust of Adolf Hitler and a 3 metre-long Nazi flag, as well as a German gas mask, have been preserved since the Second World War in the basement of the French Parliament’s upper house, Le Monde revealed. In addition, desks with emblems of the Third Reich, some staffers had worked at, were reportedly removed only recently from the Luxembourg Palace, which was occupied between 1940 and 1944 by the General Staff of the German Air Force.
The French newspaper tipped about the memorabilia from the Nazi occupation within the walls of the Senate launched an investigation and claimed that several insiders had kept the questionable collection a secret. It urged the authorities to order an inventory of “documents and objects left in the Senate by the Nazi occupier”.
Commenting on the discoveries, officials, cited by the newspaper, said that the Hitler bust and the mask might have ended up in the Senate’s cellar in the chaos that ensued after the recapture of the building from the Nazis. However, an unnamed official also acknowledged that the Nazi stamp on furniture in the French Parliament had come to light from time to time before being discarded.
But the discovery was still a shock for some politicians.
“I’m surprised that no one had the presence of mind to get rid of it. I don’t think this is the sort of thing one can be proud of”, one lawmaker, Jean-Marc Pastor told the outlet, noting that he was unaware of the Nazi bust kept in the Parliament.