Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 15 Oradour sur Glane, the Martyred Village

After a leisurely morning lingering over breakfast and lively conversation with guests Eric and Monty and hostess Amanda, we packed up, loaded the car, paid the bill (€54!) and headed off toward the Martyred Village. We parked the car near the entry into the village and although the overcast skies promised rain, as we strolled about the village we found only chilly temps, fitting perhaps for the feelings evoked by such a disturbing place.

For more than three hours in the afternoon of June 10, 1944, a unit of German Waffen SS soldiers rounded up groups of men, women and children in Oradour sur Glane and summarily shot them, in some cases right where they were found, and set fire to the village.

At the end of the war the French government decreed that the village would remain untouched as a stone testimonial to the banality of war.

There is a museum, as well as a bookstore below the large entryway sculpture on the other side of the village itself. The village cemetery located next to the destroyed village is also worth a visit since it lists many of the victims who were subsequently interred there in the family plots. The memorial in the cemetery, surrounded by photos of many of the victims is moving and touching in the extreme.

Strolling about should take you about an hour. For more information and details, including an excellent timeline, visit

entry to the memorial village

individual tales of a person's final moments are found everywhere

weddings, funerals, how many lives that began and ended in this space?

girl's school

the doctor's car

memorial to the dead in village cemetery

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