84 Avenue Foch - History and Facts | History Hit

84 Avenue Foch

Lucy Davidson

23 Aug 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About 84 Avenue Foch

Now one of the most expensive addresses in the world and home to many grand palaces, Avenue Foch was once known as ‘The Street of Horrors’. Number 84 Avenue Foch became the main headquarters for the German Gestapo during World War Two.

History of 84 Avenue Foch

84 Avenue Foch was one of many buildings which was annexed by the Germans on the same street during the Axis occupation of Paris. 84 Avenue Foch was particularly notorious, becoming the main headquarters for the the ‘Sicherheitsdienst’ (SD), the counter-intelligence branch of the Gestapo.

The second floor was used by the SD’s wireless unit to uncover coded messages in attempts to flush out resistance groups, during what was known as ‘Funkspiel’ (radio game). The third and fourth floors were used by senior SS officials. The sixth floor was converted to torture rooms and cells, and throughout the Nazi Occupation, neighbours could hear the screams from the victims of Gestapo torture.

84 Avenue Foch is also the site of the death of Pierre Brossolette, a major hero of the French Resistance. After regaining consciousness after two days of torture at the hands of the Gestapo, Brossolette was concerned that he would divulge information about the French Resistance, and killed himself by throwing himself out of the sixth floor window. His last words were ‘all will be fine Tuesday’.

84 Avenue Foch Today

Today, Avenue Foch is home to a number of eye-wateringly expensive properties. Among those who live there are the Rothschilds and Onassis families. Though it may no longer be home to the horrors of the Gestapo, a wander down the picturesque street along with a little imagination can evoke a sensation of Paris’ turbulent past.

Getting to 84 Avenue Foch

From Paris Gare de Lyon, the street is a 20 minute train to Charles de Gaulle – Étoile train station. It’s also an easy and scenic 30 minute stroll from the Champs-Élysées.

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