To the northwest of Limoges is Oradour-sur-Glane, a small town where one of the
worst atrocities of World War II took
place on the 10th June 1944 when a German Panzer division destroyed the
town killing 642 men women and children with
only a handful of citizens escaping and surviving.
The site was declared a memorial within a
few months and it was decided to leave the ruined town virtually as it was found. Since
then a large memorial has been erected in the town cemetery with an
underground display area and more recently since 1999 a modern evocative
interpretation centre has been open which explains the events leading up to the
tragedy and the actions taken in the aftermath.
We found it to be a very moving place, more so as we visited it early in the
morning on a damp day when there were only a few visitors. As with all memorials
restoration work has been carried out over the years and several domestic
items e.g. sewing machines and scales have been placed in some of the
ruined buildings but we felt that it remains a chilling reminder of the
events that happen in wars.