The village of Oradour-sur-Glane lies to the north-west of Limoges. The village reminds us of the terrible events of World War II. Almost all villagers were killed by an SS unit and the village was destroyed. De Gaullle, who visited Oradour shortly after the war, decided that the village should remain as the Germans had left it. The village has remained so ever since.
The Oradour-sur-Glane bloodbath took place on June 10, 1944. The massacre was possibly a retaliation for an attack by the French Resistance that had blown up a railway bridge near Oradour. SS-Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe died in this attack. He was a friend of Major Diekmann, who was in command of the regiment that committed the massacre in Oradour.
On Saturday afternoon, the Germans surrounded the village, ordered all people to go toe the market square and separated the men from the women and children. The women and children were housed in a church that was later blown up. The men were shot. Six people survived the bloodbath.
Centre de la Mémoire
In 1999, an underground museum was created near the entrance to the village: the Centre de la Memoire. After walking through a long underground hallway, in the centre of the village you come back above ground. In the centre you will see all the remaining ruins of June 10, 1944. The names of owners are listed on houses and shops and indicate whether a shop, barber, garage, clothing workshop were located here. Ever since the massacre, the town was left as it was after that fatal day. Even the doctor’s car still stands in the middle of the village square.
Note: Pets are unfortunately not allowed inside.