The Alrov Group, owner of luxury Jerusalem hotels, has purchased the Lutetia Hotel in Paris – Nazi headquarters that later housed Jewish refugees.
The Lutetia Hotel in downtown Paris played a historic role in World War II – first housing Jewish and other refugees, then serving the Nazis, and ultimately serving once again as a repatriation haven for former prisoners of war, displaced persons, and returnees from the Nazi concentration camps. It has now been purchased by an Israeli group, Alrov, which also owns the David Citadel and Mamilla luxury hotels in Jerusalem.
The purchase price was not announced, but it was rumored several months ago to be some 150 million euros (nearly $200 million).
After Germany attacked Poland in September 1939, thus beginning World War II, many of the large flood of refugees who fled to Paris found refuge in the Lutetia. In June 1940, when Paris fell to the Nazis, some of the building's residents escaped, while others were captured by the invading Germans, who requisitioned the hotel and used it to house, feed, and even entertain their officers.
This lasted for over four years, until Paris was liberated in August 1944 and the hotel was re-taken by French and American forces. From then until after the end of the war, it was used as a repatriation center, mainly for Jews who had survived the Nazi holocaust.
The Lutetia Hotel, built in 1910 and noted for its unique architecture, marks its 100th anniversary this year.