The Paris house, 1940-1967
In 1940, under the Vichy regime, the Rothschild bank buildings in the rue Laffitte were occupied by the 'Secours national', who had its central administration in 21, rue Laffitte. The Secours national had originally been founded on the outbreak of war in 1914, on the initiative of Albert Kahn, to provide asistance to the military and their families. At the beginning the Second World War, the Secours National was reactivated by Government decree. Under a decree in May 1940, a credit facility of 50 million francs was allocated to the National Secours; a further decree of July 1940, allocated to the organisation the proceeds of the liquidation of the property of the Frenchmen who had been deprived of their nationality and Secours national became a powerful instrument of propaganda. In 1944, after the Liberation, it became 'Entr'aide Francaise' remaining in 21, rue Laffitte until 1949.
The return to business in 1944 was made difficult both as a result of despoliations during the war and the new legislative changes which affected the banking sector. The French businessd adapted to these new conditions, choosing to renew the banking activities which it had somewhat abandoned, alongside its traditional role as financier. In 1945, Edouard made his son Guy an equal partner, and in 1946 Robert transferred his equity to his sons, Alain (1910-1982) and Elie (1917-2007). In 1949, Guy de Rothschild (1909-2007) took over from his late father. By the 1950s and 1960s, the business had diverse interests in mining and railways and was beginning to develop in new markets, including tourism. The French Rothschilds, as part of their wide ranging interests, built and promoted hotels through their company, PLM, of which Elie de Rothschild (1917-2007) was made president in 1956. The first PLM hotel in Paris, the Hotel Saint-Jacques, was opened in 1972, part of a chain in various parts of France and Switzerland.