LE MASSACRE D ORADOUR SUR GLANE

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Oradour-sur-Glane was a petit farming ville of around 350 inhabitants, situated near Clermont-Ferrand, some 15 mile west-north-west de Limoges. During human being War II, cette was located in the German-occupied zone of France. On célibataire 10, 1944, troops du the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer division (armored division), Das Reich, massacred 642 people, almost thé entire population, et then destroyed the village. After thé war, Oradour-sur-Glane rivaled Lidice as année iconic symbol de German la criminalité against civilians in inhabited Europe.

Vous lisez ce: Le massacre d oradour sur glane

German occupation authorities in France

During people War II, German occupation authorities in la france reacted with increasing brutality à organized attacks conditions météorologiques German soldiers, headquarters, et property par the resistance movement, much more commonly known as the maquis or Résistance. Auto German military eliminated hostages et incarcerated in concentration camp real jaune perceived supporters or sympathizers du the resistance movement. In general, German anti-partisan steps in france never attained the level de violence or the numbers de civilian deaths ont those enforced in eastern and southeastern Europe, specifically in Serbia, Greece, et the Soviet Union.

Before marqué especially following the Allied landings on the Normandy coast on june 6, 1944, the français resistance movement intensified essai to disrupt German communications and supply lines. German armed forces commanders, particularly those who had seen service nous the east front et whose réponse to partisan activity had been conditioned by the particularly brutality of anti-partisan actions there, radicalized and intensified responses to real et perceived resistance activity.

On june 8, 1944, two days after thé Allied landing, thé German military Commander-in-Chief parce que le the West, ar Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, authorize orders venir “crush” auto resistance “with swift and ruthless initiative,” and express thé “expectation that the surtout operation versus the gang in Southern la france will be brought out with auto greatest severity and without leniency.” general Karl-Heinrich de Stülpnagel, the Military commandants in France, ordered the redeployment of a alors of devices stationed throughout france to reinforce auto Normandy front and to to like partisan task behind the German lines. Among thé units redeployed venir Normandy was auto 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer division Das Reich, which had arrived oui a reserve tenir ensemble in thé southern french town of Montauban in January 1944.

Das Reich had seen deux years of bataille duty, including numerous anti-partisan actions on auto Eastern Front, before its transfer to France. Its commander, SS-Major general Heinz Bernhard Lammerding, had served indigenous July 1943 to January 1944 oui the chief of staff parce que le SS-General Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, whom Himmler had appointed venir command et coordinate anti-partisan operations behind German present in the occupied Soviet Union. In this capacity, Lammerding had actually ordered several retaliation acte against Soviet civilians pour real jaune perceived partisan activities jaune “sympathies.” Such operations involved thé murder ns tens de thousands de civilians, many de whom had actually had naught to faire with thé partisans, and the torching de dozens of villages.

As the 2nd SS attribuer redeployed to Normandy, french resistance fighters harassed it. On june 9, 1944, Lammerding approve orders pour the division to “cleanse” thé area about Clermont-Ferrand ns partisans. That very same day, members of the attribuer had displayed je vous demande pardon “cleansing” de partisans would mean. In retaliation for an attack, soldiers du Das Reich hanged 99 male inhabitants ns the bourgade Tulle, close to Limoges.

The suivant day, june 10, 1944, soldiers of the third Company, 1st Battalion, 4th SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment (motorized infantry) Der Führer, a subordinate unit du the second SS Panzer division since April 1944, advanced à the village of Oradour-sur-Glane. Led de the le commandant of thé 1st Battalion, SS Major adolf Diekmann, the Waffen-SS troops surrounded the village at midday. At that mission in time, the village population had almost doubled à about 650 people, swelled passant par refugees, including some Jewish refugees, from other parts de France.

Massacre et destruction of Oradour-sur-Glane

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The SS soldiers rounded up thé entire population and concentrated them nous the marché square. Afterwards they separated thé villagers de gender. Members de the 1st and 2nd platoons took thé 197 homme to several barns nous the edge du town and locked them in. Auto 3rd platoon locked up 240 women et 205 kids in the ville church. Then auto SS masculin set sur le feu to thé barns et threw grenades through the windows of the church, shoot those who sought to échapper the flames.

After 642 inhabitants, consisting of seven Jewish refugees, were dead, the company looted the empty dwellings and then melted the ville to the ground. At about 8:00 p.m. Nous the evening of célibataire 10, auto SS masculin withdrew indigenous the smoking ruins. Seul seven villagers survived the massacre: 6 men and a woman, tous of lock more or less severely injured. Around fifteen other inhabitants du the bourgade were may be to pour échapper à the Germans avant the abattu started jaune evade the roundup by hiding.

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After auto massacre

The Oradour-sur-Glane abattu received significant contemporaneous attention, requiring the German army command to search for année explanation and the officers of the Das Reich venir find one.

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On auto evening of célibataire 10, after auto troops left Oradour-sur-Glane, Diekmann gathered his officers and non-commissioned officers et ordered lock not to speak about the killings. He told them that, si asked, they should say the insurgents struck the attribuer in auto village et the villagers were killed during the firefight. Auto German army High Command then available this explanation to the State Secretary in auto Vichy Ministry ns Defense, general Eugène Bridoux, after Vichy diplomats had sent a formal protest remarque that contained an accurate account du the events of célibataire 10. Thé German explanation proclaimed that:

The men of the ville died during auto fightThe fight had been initiated from auto villageThe women and children had actually taken refuge inside auto church and died ont the an outcome of année explosion from année nearby insurgent ammunition it is provided dump that ignited thé inside du the church.

To quell increasing auditeur outrage and to try venir keep thé Vichy government from going over to auto Allies, thé German military Commander-in-Chief in the West notified a criminal inspection of thé massacre. Since thé SS was under a different jurisdiction than the German army, SS judge surtout Detlef Okrent conducted the investigation, in which he relied significantly nous the testimony ns SS Captain huile de rose Kahn. Okrent stayed the proceeding in January 1945, concluding the “military pertains to justified the retaliation.

Postwar

After auto war, the abattu in Oradour-sur-Glane additionally received a an excellent deal du attention. In 1946, the français government asserted the terre to it is in a denchères memorial site and mandated that conservation. The french prosecution team gift documentation du the killings at the international Military tribunal in Nuremberg in 1946.

Why Diekmann and his superiors page Oradour-sur-Glane and who gave thé order venir kill the inhabitants continues to be disputed. No the international Military rechercher nor the french authorities at proceedings in Bordeaux in 1953 created conclusive proof either linking Oradour-sur-Glane with the french resistance or determining who ordered thé massacre. When authorities in the Democratic German Republic prosecuted Heinz Barth, année NCO that participated in the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre, in 1981, lock too can not with a conclusive answer to these questions.

The proof presented at auto trials and in west German inspection of officers of Das Reich created a num of theories ont to why thé SS targeted Oradour-sur-Glane. Auto most common explanation is the Lammerding et Diekmann received intelligence from SS diriger Karl Gerlach (whom insurgents had kidnapped, but who had actually escaped) that thé villagers were assisting thé resistance. A variation ns this theory is that french collaborators misled auto Germans, probably deliberately, into believing that french insurgents to be holding de nouveau kidnapped German officer, SS surtout Helmut Kämpfe, in Oradour-sur-Glane, and that castle planned venir kill him. This explanation is based on flimsy evidence and flawed logic, à la there is no dindication that the Germans searched Oradour-sur-Glane for Kämpfe. No one did thé soldiers de Das Reich continue the search after the massacre, one of two people in Oradour-sur-Glane jaune anywhere else. Moreover, survivors declared that one of the German officers, later identified oui SS Captain otto Kahn, never mentioned Kämpfe, cible did inform thé villagers that the homes would certainly be searched pour weapons and ammunition.

Other explanations seem also less convincing. Over there is no indication that the Germans ever before received lintelligence that Oradour to be the page? ˅ of an insurgent headquarters, ont SS major Otto Weidigner, an officer ns Das Reich who had not been connected in auto massacre, claimed after auto war. Over there is no informations in thé German military enregistrer that insurgents attacked German troops near Oradour. A war diary entry parce que le the Military le commandant in France parce que le June 14 generated thé theory that the troops of the second Waffen SS Panzer division had confused Oradour-sur-Glane v Oradour-sur-Vayres, a ville about 15 mile to auto southeast. This theory is undermined by the absent of any type of reference to année insurgent attack conditions météorologiques the Germans near Oradour-sur-Vayres throughout this temps period.

For all the attention the killings have received, few de the SS masculin responsible pour the abattu ever was standing trial. Diekmann dropped in lutte three mainly after auto massacre. German authorities refused à extradite Lammerding to france even though he was convicted and sentenced to death in absentia by the court in Bordeaux in 1953. German lawyers asserted that auto German constitution prohibited auto extradition de German citizens. Auto state prosecutor’s bureau in Frankfurt reopened auto Lammerding des boites in 1961, cible stayed the proceedings nous grounds ns insufficient evidence in 1964. Lammerding died in ouest Germany in 1971.

In 1953, a français military bas in Bordeaux prosecuted 21 former members ns the 2nd SS division for la criminalité committed at Oradour-sur-Glane et Tulle. Fourteen ns the defendants were ethnic Germans indigenous Alsace. The court convicted 20 de the defendants; it sentenced two venir death and the rest to retenue terms in between five and 20 years. Amnesties and pardons, however, freed toutes les personnes of auto convicts, including auto two sentenced venir death, within 5 years of the trial.

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In 1981, authorities in the German democratic Republic arrested et prosecuted Heinz Barth, a constitue SS Sergeant and platoon le commandant whose soldiers were amongst those who shot the homme of Oradour-sur-Glane. An East Berlin court sentenced Barth to first in prison. Released in 1997, Barth passed away in 2007 at the lâge of 86.