Oradour-sur-Glane

Oradour-sur-Glane is a ghost town in France, razed during World War II.

Understand

History

Oradour-sur-Glane was a large town near Limoges, which was razed to the ground and almost all of its occupants massacred by a Nazi Waffen-SS company, possibly as retaliation for the fact that the Germans were starting to lose the war following the D-Day landings at the beginning of June 1944. The women and children were herded into the church and systematically shot. The men were rounded up into groups in the various buildings of the town and also shot to death. The town was then set alight. The ruins have been left as they stood and each building carries a brass plaque honoring those who died there. The local doctor was visiting patients outside the town and was shot as he drove back into the central square - the remains of his car still stand where it was abandoned.

A new village was built nearby after the war, but French president Charles de Gaulle ordered the original maintained as a permanent memorial and museum.

See

A new museum has been built underground nearby so that it does not distract from the scene and it contains many harrowing images of the massacre. Tramlines hang down over the streets, grass and weeds climb among the ruins and tourists walk around in silent horror.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, October 29, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.