An ordinary red-brick school
In February 1945, the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) was installed in Reims, in the buildings of the technical school on Rue Jolicoeur.
But lessons were not suspended: half the buildings, situated to the rear, were left for the teachers and students, with a simple wooden fence dividing the playground in two. It was a frontier between two worlds, each largely ignorant of the other: a French civilian school on one side, the Allied military on the other.
The office of General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and the “war room” – the map room where the operations were planned and where the first act of surrender of Nazi Germany was signed on 7 May 1945 – were installed in this wing of the building, on the corner of Rue Marie-Clémence Furnoux and Rue Jolicoeur, where the school’s main entrance was also located.
The war room remained as it was until 1985, with no measures being taken other than to protect the maps that lined the walls by enclosing them in glass cases and to install an entrance on Rue Jolicoeur, so that access could be gained without having to walk through the school, which in the meantime had become Lycée Roosevelt.
In 1985, on the 40th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe, the city of Reims applied for listed status for this remembrance site and had a museum installed here, today a DPMA partner. The school, meanwhile, continues to receive students.
For the latest news from the Musée de la Reddition, visit: https://musees-reims.fr/fr/musees/musee-de-la-reddition/
View the presentation pack produced by Reims CRDP and take a virtual tour of the map room: http://www.cndp.fr/crdp-reims/memoire/lieux/2GM_CA/musees/reddition.htm
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