A mysterious bust of Adolf Hitler found in the basement of the French Senate
A bust of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler has been found in the basement of the French Senate, a secret kept for 75 years, according to a surprising investigation by The French newspaper Le Monde.
But how he got there remains a mystery, and it’s a question that may never be answered.
Along with the bust, there was a Nazi flag and several other documents and artifacts from World War II, when the Senate was used as the seat of the German Luftwaffe.
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The journalist of Le Monde Olivier Faye was warned of the bust and after being rejected, his suspicions were finally confirmed by the chief architect of the Senate, Damien Déchelette, who asked him: “How did you find out?”
Faye spoke with current and past Senators, none of whom were aware of the Nazi-related items in the basement. However, an anonymous Senate official told the reporter that “Senators come and go.”
“I imagine that every now and then the connoisseurs would come and see them, to give themselves a little thrill,” Faye said in comments obtained by the BBC.
It’s unclear exactly how the bust stayed in the building for so long, especially after the end of the war when Nazi-related goods were sold on the black market.
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“Flags were taken as trophies. Buildings were looted. The liberators took all they could of the occupier,” historian Cécile Desprairies told the BBC. “The black market for Nazi goods flourished – and indeed, it is still there.”
Other German military items were found in the basement, including a box containing a breathing apparatus and another containing a gas lamp.
The President of the Senate Gérard Larcher has launched an investigation to find out what to do with the objects. The BBC notes that a potential location is the Liberation Museum at Place Denfert-Rochereau in Paris.
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