World War II

During World War II,  Henri de Rothschild left France to settle in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Les Fontaines estate was then occupied by the Germans who used it as an observation base for the Luftwaffe. They built a bunker, which is still there today. It is located behind the logistical platform in the park and hidden under thick vegetation. This bunker is rare in Europe because it is not a defense bunker but an observation and administration bunker, so there is no apparent opening. The staff in charge of the bunker had the mission to organize the air defense of the French territory and the south of Belgium. To monitor the skies, evaluate and identify threats of incursion and determine the most appropriate response, it had high-tech equipment at its disposal.

The Château and its outbuildings were used as offices. The officers were housed in Chantilly and Gouvieux. At the height of the war, up to 1,000 people worked 3×8 on the site.

To learn more, we invite you to consult the book by Jean-Yves Bonnard, history professor and mayor of Chiry-Ourscamp, 39/45 dans l’Oise (in French) published in 2004 by Cap Régions, which devotes a few lines to the Fontaines bunker.

The bunker is currently condemned as dangerous. The interior is indeed damp and dilapidated.

There are few traces left of how it was arranged, used, and organized because the Germans destroyed the interior before leaving.

The Germans in front of the Château
The Germans on the meadow
The bunker built by the Germans
The bunker in the foreground