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Maritime Museum’s June Lecture to Tell Story of Parisian Peril During WWII

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum will offer a lecture concerning a plot from WWII presented by Henry Kreuter — “From Operation Overlord to Is Paris Burning?” — at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 9, 2016.

A members-only reception will precede the talk from 6:15-6:45 p.m.

Author Henry Kreuter will utilize remarkable archival photos and firsthand accounts to tell the story of the 1944 invasion at Normandy that prompted Hitler to destroy Paris. After four years of occupation, Hitler wanted the Allies to find a pile of rubble where Paris once stood.

Kreuter’s presentation will discuss the passionate lives of the French Resistance members, the 20,000 Higgins landing craft that owed their heritage to shipyards in New Orleans and General Dietrich von Choltitz, who had only minutes to delay his German explosive engineers from detonating the bombs that would destroy Paris.

The author’s life forever changed in 1985 when an older Parisian woman asked, “Are you American?” Kreuter spoke to her in French, assured her he was indeed American, and tears formed in her eyes.

Merci,” she told him. “Thank you for what you Americans did to save us from near starvation and the oppression of the Nazis. I will never forget that.”

After a tour through her neighborhood where she showed him bullet holes in buildings and recalled military executions of her Parisian neighbors and friends, Kreuter began reading about World War II.

Now, more than six decades after the post-Normandy Liberation of Paris, Kreuter will share what he learned.

The author of Sedentary Nation and The Aging Athlete (under the pseudonym Sifu Slim), Kreuter ​runs a local intellectual salon and works as a professional speaker and wellness and fitness coach.

His salon is always looking for guests and engaging speakers, and he can be contacted at [email protected].

Sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, John C. Woodward and Silvio Di Loreto, Kreuter’s Maritime Museum talk is free for museum members and $10 for non-members. To register, visit or call 805.456.8747.

Dennis Schuett represents the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.

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