The parade of November 11, 1944 on the Champs-Élysées

The parade of November 11, 1944 on the Champs-Élysées

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Title: The parade of November 11, 1944.

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Creation date : 1944

Date shown: November 11, 1944

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Technique and other indications: For the first time since the Liberation, the November 11 parade celebrating the Armistice of the First World War can take place on the Champs Elysées; in the foreground, on the right, General de Gaulle and on the left, Winston Churchill; in the background, on the left, Georges Bidault and on the right Anthony Eden

Storage place: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Abteilung Karten und Bilder website

Contact copyright: © BPK, Berlin, Dist RMN-Grand Palais - Photographer unknown website

Picture reference: 09-510172

The parade of November 11, 1944.

© BPK, Berlin, Dist RMN-Grand Palais - Photographer unknown

Publication date: October 2012

Historical context

Free images

From 1944, the reconquest of the national territory was accompanied by the production and broadcasting of images of Allied successes. With the liberation of Paris on August 25, 1944, the various French press and information organizations were able to widely disseminate the pictures or films that show victory on the march, anchoring it a little more in the representations and the imagination. collectives.

As such, the photograph studied here, "The parade of November 11, 1944" is characteristic: like other images (animated or photographic) that relate the event, it has documentary, symbolic and political value.

Image Analysis

A Franco-British ceremony

On November 11, 1944, for the first time since the Liberation, the armistice of the First World War can be celebrated on the Champs-Élysées. A parade is organized, under the sign of the Franco-British alliance.

On this hazy day, the photographer stood in front of the personalities, in the axis of the Champs-Élysées bordered by semi-bare trees. In the background is the Arc de Triomphe. At the head of the parade march General de Gaulle and Winston Churchill, who waves to the crowd, hat in hand. In the background Georges Bidault (left) and Anthony Eden (right), both foreign ministers. Following them, a procession made up of soldiers and civilians.


Victory on the march

The photograph "The parade of November 11, 1944" which shows the Champs-Élysées finally returned to the Allies (then and today) is the image of a multiple victory. Echoing the definitive victory of November 11, 1918, but also the older victories associated with the Arc de Triomphe, November 11, 1944 also recalls the (ongoing) victory over the Nazis, while the very possibility of celebrating the armistice in this place for the first time is also a symbolic and ideological victory.

An image of victory on the march, so much the dynamism of the representation (decided movement of the procession and those who lead it) also refers to the process of reconquest and annihilation of the enemy, which still remains to be completed. Likewise, the photographer symbolically exploits the elements: emerging from the mist and fog of the Occupation, the representatives and actors of the Liberation seem to chart a new path.

Appropriately placed under the sign of the Franco-British alliance, the ceremony finally distinguishes the main partner of the success of 1918, drawing from the past elements and memorial arguments to strengthen, in reality as in consciousness, a relationship that is still fairly complex between the two countries (leaders and peoples).

To discover on the INA website, the story of this day in video:

  • Paris
  • patriotism
  • Liberation (war)
  • War of 39-45
  • November 11th
  • Triumphal arch
  • De Gaulle (Charles)
  • Churchill (Winston)
  • Champs Elysees


Farid ABDELOUAHAB, The Year of Freedom: June 1944-June 1945, Paris, Acropolis, 2004.

Jean-Pierre AZÉMA, New history of contemporary France, volume XIV “From Munich to the Liberation, 1938-1944”, Paris, Le Seuil, coll. “Points Histoire”, 1979, new. ed. 2002.

Charles de GAULLE, War memories, volume III "Salvation: 1944-1946", Paris, Plon, 1959.

To cite this article

Alexandre SUMPF, "The parade of November 11, 1944 on the Champs-Élysées"

Video: France victory parade: air force flies over Champs-Élysées