The Oradour massacre: authorities raid homes of Nazi massacre suspects

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Pathfinder Jack, Dec 6, 2011.

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    The Oradour massacre was among the worst atrocities committed by German soldiers on French soil. Almost 70 years on, German authorities have raided the homes of six suspects.

    German authorities said on Monday they had raided the homes of six men suspected of taking part in a massacre in a French village in 1944.

    The raids were carried out across Germany within the past few weeks. The six suspects are believed to have been members of an elite Waffen-SS unit.

    The men, aged 18 and 19 at the time, have either "denied their participation in the massacre" or were "unfit for questioning," prosecutors said. They are now aged 85 and 86.

    Authorities had hoped that the raids would unearth documents, such as diaries or photos, linking the men to the massacre site.

    However, prosecutors acknowledged that "no significant evidence had been uncovered."

    A village wiped out

    The massacre took place in the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane near Limoges on June 10, 1944.

    Four days after the Normandy landings, which marked the beginning of the end of Nazi occupation, and the liberation of France, Oradour was sealed off by a detachment of SS troops. The exact reasons for what happened next remain unclear.

    Oradour-sur-GlaneThe ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane were left as a reminder of what took placeThe troops ordered the village inhabitants to assemble in the main square, ostensibly to have their identity papers examined.

    Some 250 women and over 200 children were then herded into the church, which was pumped full of toxic gas and set on fire.

    The men were taken into barns and sheds, where they were machine gunned. The barns were then also set on fire. Some 190 men were killed.

    In total, 642 people died in the carnage. The village was never rebuilt and has served as a reminder of Nazi barbarity.

    Around 60 men were put on trial for the massacre in the 1950s, and 20 of them were convicted, but all were released shortly afterwards.

    The latest investigation stems from evidence held in the files of the secret police, or Stasi, in the former East Germany. The new information only came to light after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    In recent years, there has been a minor resurgence in efforts to hold to account those who carried out Nazi war crimes, before the war generation dies out.


    Article posted automatically from, the UK's first historical military online magazine.

    Comments welcome!
  2. Time for spam sandwiches, everyone?
    • Like Like x 3
  3. I suppose the German authorities have decided to have a final go at Nazi hunting, I was never too sure why so many were allowed to live quite openly without prosecution in the first place.

    I suspect that once John Demjanjuk was convicted the question was asked if we are prepared to go after a US/Ukranian citizen then we still have our own house to put in order.
  4. I wonder why they suddenly turn from 'Germans' to 'Nazis' when tales of their wartime derring-do like this are set down in print. Rommel was a German, Eichmann a Nazi, and the two appellations appear to be fully interchangeable whilst at the same time being mutually exclusive.

    Very odd.
  5. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    It all seems a bit distasteful somehow. According to Wiki (and I can't link it) a number of the perpetrators were Francophone Alsacians who were tried, convicted and promptly pardoned. If that happened 10 years after the event why pursue people 60 years after the event?
  6. Hobbyists trying to make a name for themselves................. mostly manipulated copypasta
  7. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Which just goes to show what a lot of absolute BOLLOCKS can be found on any site where contributors can post anything they fancy without anyone bothering with the facts.

    The SOPs-for--Ostfront massacre carried out at Oradour was perpetrated by Max Hastings' favourite unit - a group of soldiers from the Der Führer regiment of the 2nd SS-Panzer Division 'Das Reich' led by Sturmbannführer Adolf Diekmann.

    SOURCE Summary of: In a Ruined State

    Hastings is one of the leading exponents of the people who seem to wish to paint the Waffen SS as somehow different from the einsatzgruppen and Kz guardforce members of the SS. They were a bunch of murderous thugs for whom killing children was standard routine.

    And my old man at 86 , luckily, is perfectly able to recall with the utmost clarity stuff that happened in 1944.....senile demntia must be extremely prevalent amongst the Aryan supermensch .....
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  8. I asked my mother in law, the witch of Endor, about it as there have been some local arrests here, she just said "Eye voss only folloving ze orders!"
  9. Dear friend,
    I must concur with your many thoughts having read the ugly mess of a book called Das Reich by Max Hastings, a book that has been utterly discredited by Fritz Langanke and Richard Landwehr.

    To my mind the book, if it could be called that, is not a military history of the "Das Reich" Div., but instead a rehash of assorted atrocity stories with 50% or more of the text devoted to the terroristic doings of my countrymen ………. As for the passages devoted to the tragedy at Oradour-sur-Glane, he has been rather candid in that he admits that he does not know where the truth leaves off and the fiction begins! Therefore there are many gaps and contradictions in his version of events, which he could have addressed if he had bothered to relate the German version. Sorry, but like all "atrocity" writers, he operates to the one sacred tenet that is no credence should be given at all to other than the establishment line; no one must be permitted for one instant to doubt the validity of the official propaganda.

    Funny how the enemies of truth and freedom are always the first to exploit tracts like this.
  10. Why now, nothing to do with Sarkozy smashing Merkel's back doors in at the moment...oh wait, have I got that the right way round?
  11. So what you’re saying is the cause behind them perpetrating such hideous crimes was their ethnicity/nationality, rather than their political agenda. Interesting. You'd have fitted right in.
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  12. No. That wasn't what I was saying at all. But never mind, you've managed to prove Godwin's law on post 11 of a thread about WW2 atrocities. Well done.
  13. For those interested in the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre you could do a lot worse than look at the following site, here >> Oradour-sur-Glane 10 June 1944

    The site gives a pretty comprehensive account of the post war trial and the political dynamics viz France and the Alsace region (a substantial amount of the responsible SS Regiment came from Alsace).
    Why the German authorities want to bring this up now baffles me, surely the onus was on the French to do something which they attempted and failed at dismally in 1953.

    The postwar German judicial attitude to Nazi crimes (with a few exceptions) was equally as dismal, possibly because of Konrad Adenauer's tendency to employ ex Nazis in his Government, but that era would have been the right time to act, not now.

    A fascinating story but a major fail by the present German authorities IMO.
    Should have been done a long time ago.
  14. Does she have a lampshade with a heart and "mutti" written on it?
  15. The point of my first post was the political PR job that was done when we needed the West Germans as allies, blaming all the war crimes on the SS/Gestapo. I understand the point of why it was done, what I find slightly surprising is the fact that it seems to have become a permanent thing, even to the extent that some now try to draw a distinction between different branches of the SS.

    I was surprised and a little disappointed that someone responded to the effect that 'you're as bad as Hitler you are.' I think that meets the criteria for summary judgement under Godwin.