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Thursday, January 26, 2017
France III: Oradour-Sur-Glane massacre
This is one of the barns in which the male residents of Oradour-sur-Glane were machine-gunned in the legs, then burned alive. In a community of fewer thn 700 people, 642 were slaughtered by a Nazi SS unit in just a couple of hours on June 10, 1944. The men numbered 190. 205 children and 247 women were herded into the church where they were either burned to death or shot trying to escape through windows.
I don't often do this, but a succinct summary of the massacre can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oradour-sur-Glane_massacre.
Needless to say, it was a chilling way to spend a chilly day in January. What follows are more of my pictures and short descriptions.
The post office was one of the more intact structures. It was a typical town ... several cafes, bakeries, schools (one for girls), a dentist's office, a couple of hotels, and a small railway that was electric.
The train tracks, and even a small depot, survive, including some of the old electric wires that ran it. Friend Carlo walks the line above.
The Oradour church and adjacent cloisters were where 452 children and women were burned alive via an incendiary device or shot as they tried to escape the inferno.
President Charles de Gaulle ordered that the village be left as it was as a memorial to the residents and the horror of war and Nazism.
The cemetery is directly north of the ruins. This was shot from the upper level of the memorial that is underground in the village.
One of many public wells in the village.
These are street scenes; the one above is a hotel and restaurant, probably the "high end" eatery in the village. I have more pictures, but you get the drift. I'll close with the town's auto shop garage.
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