My last couple of trips, Paris has been full of posters for the French movie now out called Diplomatie. It tells the story – loosely based on history and dramatized into a single evening of conversations between General von Choltitz and Swedish Consul Raoul Nordling…From what I can tell of the trailer, it seems to imply that it was Nordling’s diplomacy that convinced Choltitz not to burn Paris down to the ground, as he had been ordered to do (and as he had done before in other cities).
I’ve recently had somewhat of a moratorium on WWII books and movies – at some point it all became too much…but I’m intrigued…The topic was already addressed in a movie in the late 60’s called “Is Paris Burning?” so I’m curious how this one will unfold in comparison. For those that read French, there is already a bit of reporting on which parts are true and which parts are fictionalized for the movie, and for those that don’t, a bit of a history synopsis on the events can be found here. Nonetheless the question is fascinating about whether diplomatic influence changed the course of the city’s landscape and history as we know it, or was it just admitting the reality that forced defeat? And would there be such a role for such individual conversations today?