Reopening of Paris Bureau During WWII

This was the dispatch filed Aug. 26, 1944, by United Press war correspondent Henry T. Gorrell following the liberation of Paris and the reopening of the UP bureau:


PARIS (UP) The United Press Paris Bureau was reopened Saturday, at the prewar quarters, No. 2 Rue Des Italiens, and with reception from a streetfull of French women, children and oldsters that would have honored Gen. Charles de Gaulle himself.

This dispatch is being written on one of the original typewriters, brought out of hiding by Emilio Herrero, Spanish employe of the bureau, to whom the key was entrusted by Ralph E. Heinzen, director for France, when he left in June 1940 ahead of the onrushing Germans.

Herrero concealed the typewriters in his home during the occupation but could not hide the desks. They have gone the way of so many of Paris's valuables and fixtures-to Germany.

Richard D. McMillan, who worked here for many years before the war, accompanied me to the quarters to participate in the official reopening. Ernie Pyle came along in our jeep and shared the effusive welcome which greeted us as we pulled up in front of the old, familiar address close by the opera and in the heart of the grand boulevard section.

Detouring around several burned out German tanks which the French had kayoed with champagne bottles filled with gasoline, we arrived at No. 2. Immediately we were surrounded by a crowd which assured us we were the first American military vehicle to arrive in that section.

The caretaker's wife rushed out and greeted McMillan, "Ah, you have returned at last! Vive l'Amerique."

The crowd took up the cry and pinned us against the building, smearing our faces with lipstick and even putting babes in arms up for us to kiss. Mac, Ernie and I entered into the spirit of the thing, returning kiss for kiss, while the landlady ran to find Herrero, who had the key.

Herrero, with whom I was once in prison in Madrid during the Spanish revolution, arrived, asking "United Press?" He could scarcely believe we were back and when he spotted his old colleague McMillan he wept unashamedly.

We immediately went to work on the story of Paris under the Germans. We were all working together once more and it was almost, but not quite, like old times. One could not quite shut out the years that have intervened.