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The WW II Martyrs Village at Oradour-sur-Glane


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 inhuman events that happen in wars.

The modern interpretation centre and sign at the original entrance to the town

Champ de Foire (fairground) and memorial in the cemetery

           

      The main street  

        

cars have been left generally as found in the remains of the garages

     
 remains of a pushchair and the molten church bell have been placed in the church ruins

 
For a detailed and informative website by Michael Williams visit here 
 << Around the Dordogne

Loire and the north >> 
 


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