Oradour-sur-Glane was a village destroyed by a German Waffen-SS company and is located in La Cité Martyre, Oradour-sur-Glane, France.
This once lovely and happy town came to end on June 10, 1944. SS-Sturmbannführer Adolf Diekmann and his battalion sealed off Oradour-sur-Glane having confused it with the nearby Oradour-sur-Vayres. This was done under the assumption that SS-Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe had been taken captive in Oradour-sur-Vayres by the Maquis du Limousin. All the townspeople of Ordour-sur-Glane were ordered to go the town center with their identification papers for identity confirmation. Instead of checking identities all the women and children were led into the church and all the men were led into barns, while the SS looted the village. The men were then gunned down inside the barns mainly being shot in the legs so they would die slowly, then gasoline was poured onto them and the barns and lit on fire. Afterwards the church was lit on fire by an explosive, when the women and children tried to get out they were met with machine gun fire. The village was partially razed and destroyed that night.
A little over 20 people survived this ordeal, twenty of them having fled the moment the soldiers appeared in the village. One women survived by hiding in bushes after she had been shot fleeing the church.
642 inhabitants of Ordour-sur-Glane were ruthlessly massacred in a matter of hours.
Afterwards many of the soldiers who participated in this atrocity died in battle and in 1953, 65 of the 200 German soldiers involved had a case heard against them in a military tribunal. 20 defendants were found guilty but 13 were set free shortly after, for allegedly being drafted into the SS without choice. This caused many uproars and protests. The other 7 were released by 1958.
The town was rebuilt west of the martyred village site. It was decided to be kept as a reminder of war and dedication to those who lost their lives so unfairly here. There is also a museum there which houses various personal items of those who had lived there.
You can find this war memorial township with these coordinates. 45.92908,1.040182.
Images 1 and 3 used under Creative Commons License Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Image 1 and 3 by Alex Hudghton / Wikimedia Commons.
All other images gather from Wikimedia Commons and under Public Domain.