TOURS, France, June 14, 1940 (UP) - French troops abandoned Paris to the Germans for the second time in 70 years today. They retired on both sides of the city and left it for the Germans to enter at their will.
The French high command had faced the tragic decision of defending the city street, knowing that is must be wiped from the earth, of which it had been a treasure house for centuries, or of abandoning it and forming a defense line to the south.
Thus Paris, "City of Light," capital of the arts, had become the first world capital to fall to an invading power since the Germans of William I and Bismarck took it after a long, grim siege in 1871.
An appeal by Premier Paul Reynaud for the French people to stand firm was broadcast today from a radio station somewhere in France. Reynaud urged them to fight for the liberty and honor of their country.
(In New York, the Columbia Broadcasting System picked up a British broadcast saying that the French government had moved from Tours to Bordeaux.)
But more than Paris was at stake. The freedom and life of France itself, the France of the peasant and the artisan, the France that had been invaded often, and as often had fought on or had awaited its chance to fight until the invader had been repelled, all this was now the prize.
In admitting the withdrawal from Paris, the high command disclosed a double German drive some 50 miles to the east - a drive that threatened the new French line south of Paris on one fork and that threatened on the other to sever the main French armies from the rear against that gigantic array of fortresses.