France // The Limousin, Dordogne and the Lot //


Some 25km northwest of Limoges, the village of Oradour-sur-Glane stands just as the soldiers of the SS left it on June 10, 1944, after killing 642 of the inhabitants in reprisal for attacks by French maquisards. On arriving, the SS took the men of the village into barns, where they opened fire with machine guns, deliberately aiming low to wound rather than kill, before setting the barns alight – only six men escaped, one of whom was shot dead shortly after. Meanwhile, the women and children were shepherded into the church, where a gas bomb was set off – when this failed, the soldiers let loose with machine guns and grenades, before, again, setting the church, and its inhabitants, and then the rest of the village, on fire. The entire village, which sits to the southeast of the modern village, has been preserved as a shrine.

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