Oradour-sur-Glane, France, 2004: The remains of the original village of Oradour-sur-Glane stand today as a memorial to one of the worse atrocities ever to occur in France…

On the 10th of June 1944 the 2nd SS Panzer Division (Das Reich)- heading north from Toulouse after the D-Day landings- sealed off the town and ordered all the residents to assemble in the village square.

The SS had confused Oradour-sur-Glane with nearby Oradour-sur-Vayres, where the Resistance allegedly held a Waffen SS officer captive.

All the women and children were locked in the church while the village was looted. Meanwhile, the men were led to barns and sheds where machine-gun nests were already in place.

The SS proceeded to the church and exploded an incendiary device killing most of the women and children, the survivors tried to escape through the doors and windows of the church, only to be met with machine-gun fire.

Virtually the entire village was massacred, 642 innocent people lost their lives…

Oradour-sur-Glane in context is just one of many memorials to Europe’s recent murderous past-  Bosnia being an ugly modern reminder…

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