Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Oradour Massacre

Today's installment at Interesting Thing of the Day is an episode from World War II which I had never heard of: The Oradour Massacre. The small French town of Oradour was wiped out by SS in reprisal against Resistance forces operating in the area.
The story of Oradour is known from a handful of people who managed to escape. Two women and one child climbed out of the church through a broken window, though only one woman survived her injuries; five wounded men escaped from one of the barns; and one child ran when he saw the soldiers in town. Other than those seven, the only survivors of Oradour were about 20 people who fled when they saw the approaching troops and residents who were out of town for the day.
The town was never rebuilt, but the ruins were left as a memorial to the people who were killed in the atrocity.