Lights glow in Paris again; people hungry

By Robert Richards

PARIS, Aug. 26 (9:10 a.m.) (UP) -- German resistance which was still blazing when we rolled into Paris at this time yesterday seems to have been wiped out today except for a pocket here and there and the French awoke this morning to find themselves free but a little hungry.

Now that the excitement of the battle is over, the people of Paris are beginning to realize their hunger and weariness. I have yet to hear one of them ask an American for food, but they are standing on the street corners this morning watching with wistful eyes the trailers which jeeps are towing into town, loaded to the brim with food.


Their eyes light up with anticipation when an American GI -- and by now there are Yanks on every street corner -- breaks open his K rations.

Paris is not starving, but it is mighty close to it. One Parisian told me that if we had waited a month longer to take the city from the Germans the good situation would have been acute.

But don't get the idea that the Parisians are idly standing around goggling at incoming food supplies. Like the big, warm-hearted city it is, Paris has taken the Americans to her heart.


An American soldier can't walk a block without having a Parisian -- man, woman, or child -- dash up and plant a kiss on his check. The GI's are doing all right on the love front, too. They had only been in town a few hours last night, but walking along the street to my hotel to go to bed, every jeep I passed had two heads in it, close together and you could hear girls softly laughing in the darkness.

One soldier let out a mighty roar:

"Oh, it was never like this in Mississippi, brother!"

It was never like this anywhere ... a city under the conqueror's heel for four years --- a battleground yesterday ... today free to do all the simple little things of liberty. It was somehow a rite to turn on the electric lights, to let the electric refrigerator run all night instead of the one hour the Germans allowed during the occupation, to wear the tricolor and hoist the flag, to greet one another without fear of the lurking gestapo.

The lights come on in Paris with a burst of brilliance. I had not seen so much illumination since I left New York.


Except for the troops in the streets, the city upon which I gaze from the balcony of my room in the Grand hotel might be a million miles from war. A Parisian bicycles slowly along with a long loaf of bread under his arm. Others stroll past as if sightseeing. They are completely relaxed.

The red, white and blue-striped civilian automobiles which the French forces of the interior used to wage their bloody battle with the Germans are now furnishing rides for pretty women. Their drivers no longer have tommy guns slung around their necks.

Latest Headlines