Oradour massacre, powerful and fascinating reading...
Article about: Incredibly in depth, you can probably read for days... the trial is very interesting. History that will never be forgotten. Introduction to the story of Oradour-sur-Glane 10th June 1944
Oradour massacre, powerful and fascinating reading...
Incredibly in depth, you can probably read for days... the trial is very interesting. History that will never be forgotten.
Introduction to the story of Oradour-sur-Glane 10th June 1944
I actually wrote a paper on this, and other massacres of the SS. There are many other examples besides Oradour sur glande. The rape of Warsaw, Babi Yar massacre, it goes on and on. I used this site as a source, it is a great read
I had heard of this before but this is the first detail of
it that I have ever read.
Last edited by Chopperman; 11-20-2013 at 02:39 PM.
Live to ride -- Ride to live
I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
I have Max Hasting's book 'Das Reich: The March of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Through France, June 1944' which sheds light on the incident as a retribution for the killing of a much respected officer by the Marquis despite an unofficial 'truce' between the SS and the Marquis.
Amongst all the atrocities committed by soldiers in WW2 this one haunts me most
Here are some other threads:
Oradour sur Glane
"In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem
Perhaps the most explicit photo about what happened at Oradour sur Glane...
This is the human ashes of all women and children killed and burnt in the church
"I didn't use any weapon in combat during the war, but i killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of men...they're now at the bottom of the sea"
Walter Borg (ex-MI6) Agent and radio operator in Malta, Tunisia and Italy between 1941 and 1945. Arrested twice, tortured twice, escaped twice, survived the war...
"The future torments us, the past holds us, that is why the present escapes us."
In Memoriam :
Laurent Huart (1964-2008)
Diekmann got off easy, as he was killed in battle.
Sorry,i copy you a very long extract from this book called "la campagne de 1940",by Julian Fargettas.
"Near Lyon there is a memorial monument and cemetery, the "Tata", dedicated to the French colonial troops, especially the Senegalese tirailleurs. It was erected on 8th November 1942. The cemetery contains 188 graves of tirailleurs from the 25e RTS (régiment de tirailleurs sénégalais) who felt during the battle or who were executed after the battle. Most of these men have been executed as they were POWs next to Lyon on 19th and 20th June 1940.
Beside the Senegalese troops other people were executed at this occasion :
- 17 European NCOs from the 25e RTS
- 2 European officers (sous-lieutenant Cevear and sous-lieutenant de Montalivet) from the 25e RTS
- 4 gunners from the 405e RADCA (régiment d'artillerie de défense contre avions) (their execution has been witnessed by nuns – Service Historique de l'Armée de Terre 34 N 5)
- 1 French civilian of the town of Evreux (testimony of Mr Barriot)
On 19th June morning, there are combats in front of Lyon, on the national roads n°6 and n°7, defended by 2 battalions of the 25e RTS. The war crimes begin during the afternoon, around 15h00 and are at first perpetrated by the "Grossdeutschland" infantry regiment near the convent of Montluzin. The Germans are hunting the blacks and the WIAs are executed. The 2 French officers who took the defense of their black troops are also executed, as well as the 4 gunners.
2 tirailleurs are later found with a bullet in the head next to Limonest.
2 tirailleurs are at first shot in a street of Champagne-au-Mont-d'Or. 10 other blacks are later executed in this same town.
At Lyon itself, 20 tirailleurs are separated from the white troops of the POW column and shot. The Germans launched grenades on the regrouped dead bodies and burned them. They stopped the other POWs columns so that they contemplate the scene (note of Jean Marchiani – association des anciens des troupes colonials).
In the night of 19-20th June, 30 Senegalese are shot in the cellars of the prefecture of Lyon (communication of Mr Cohendy, deputy mayor, who was kept prisoner in the prefecture).
On 20th June there are other war crimes committed by the SS-Totenkopf division arriving on the national road n°7. In the town of Evreux, 9 blacks are captured, tortured, mutilated and shot or thrown in a burning farm. The farmer has also been executed after having been accused of hiding black troops (testimony from Mr Barriot and Mr Vialy recorded by the author)
At Fleurieux, blacks are burned in a farm.
At Lentilly, 12 blacks are forced to dig their graves before being executed.
At Chasselay, after a last stand tirailleurs (blacks and whites) are captured and separated according to their skin colour. The blacks are marching about 20 meters in front of the white column. 400-500m after the exit of the village, a German column (AFVs and trucks with troops) stops at the level of the blacks. The whites are ordered to lie on the ground. The German armoured column opens fire at 10m against the Senegalese (with their hands up) under the eyes of the white soldiers. Several men tried to escape and are systematically killed. After about 15 minutes, the white are ordered to move on. Arrived at a German HQ, they are grouped in a truck and sent to Lyon (testimony of corporal Scandariato, also found in "le Tata sénégalais de Chasselay", p.35, by Jean Poncet).
The group of white soldiers in this case were apparently saved by the arrival of a liaison motorcyclist with order to regroup them in a town in the vicinity (testimony of corporal Scandariato).
The testimony of a French NCO of this group indicates that the Germans AFVs crushed the black bodies while trying to stop fleeing POWs. He also indicates that the Waffen-SS have taken photos of the tragedy (testimony of adjudant Requier, SHAT 34 N 5).
More blacks, WIA or too tired to advance in their POW columns are later also executed on the road to Tarare. The executions near Lyon seem to stop on 20th June evening.
All these testimonies and findings were largely compiled thanks to the work of Jean Marchiani. In 1940, he was an important departmental state employee (secrétaire général de l'office départemental des mutilés, anciens combattants et victimes de guerre). Already in August 1940 he worked to regroup the bodies, to identify them and to give them decent graves. (departmental archives of the Rhône, 437 W 173).
In fact very few have been researched about the massacres of the French troops in May/June 1940. The administration of 1940 was knocked down, it could not do anything and probably also did not really wanted to study the question. The France of 1944-1945 after the liberation did not want to speak from the collapse of 1940 and worked only on the war crimes committed under the occupation but not during the combats of 1940. In all France, only 3 departments started more or less important inquiries about war crimes in 1940 against black troops.
2) IN THE OISE
The inquiry starts thanks to a witness (soldier in 1940) and a mass grave is found near Erquivilliers with 64 tirailleurs from the 16e RTS and 24e RTS (departmental archives of the Oise, 33 W 8259).
3) IN THE HAUTE-MARNE
Several civilians are requisitioned to bury dead German soldiers. During their work, they discover about 20 dead blacks hung in the trees with barbed wire. There hands are tied up and the bodies are burned. There are jerry cans at their feet. (The author is still performing more researches about these testimonies).
4) IN THE SOMME
During the fights between the 53e RICMS (Régiment d'Infanterie Coloniale Mixte Sénégalais) belonging to the 7e DIC and the 7.Panzerdivision (Rommel), taking place in Airaines from 5th to 7th June 1940, the losses are heavy on both sides. Out of ammunition, the 5th company surrenders. Black and white men are separated. The captain N'Tchoréré is a black but also the commander of the company. He was simply shot (Association des anciens du 53e RICMS, letter of colonel Le Bos).
According to the "association des anciens du 53e RICMS" and its "bulletin de liaison n°36 of 1954" the fate of the men present with captain N'Tchoréré remains unclear. These men were perhaps among the soldiers executed just next to Airaines (104 bodies) :
- in the gardens of a castle 21 bodies were found in a mass grave
- 83 other bodies were found in the vicinity, they had been thrown in a natural ditch known as the "Saut du Loup"
The information was provided by civilians who discovered the bodies but there are no eye witnesses of the executions themselves (association des anciens du 53e RICMS - bulletin de liaison n°36 of 1954).
But in most of the cases there are no civilian witnesses, they are either hidden in their cellars or on the roads as refugees and the bodies are found after the murders.
The military witnesses still able to testify are also rare, the European officers and NCOs being separated from the black troops.
The medic-lieutenant Auffret (16e RTS) during his march to the captivity witnessed German soldiers killing several Senegalese whose only mistake was to be too precipitated to access to the drink water. (SHAT, 34 N 1095).
5) IN THE NIEVRE
In Clamecy, in a POW camp on 18th June, after an altercation between a black POW and a German officer, the French soldier is executed. In retaliation 20 blacks and North-Africans are also executed. 21 French soldiers are ordered to bury the bodies. As they refuse and try to escape they are also executed. Later, in July, 2 Senegalese are found guilty of having a knife and are also killed. This results in 44 killed French POWs in this camp. (Janette Colas, société scientifique de Clamecy).
The blacks are described by the Germans as "beasts" (SHAT, 34 N 1097, medic-lieutenant Hollecker), "savages" (SHAT, 34 N 5, medic-lieutenant Le Floch), "dogs" ("le Tata sénégalais de Chasselay", p.52, by Jean Poncet and testimony of Mr Jeantet, mayor of Lentilly) and "niggers" (SHAT, 34 N 5, lieutenant Pangaud).
Lieutenant Pangaud was interrogated by a German officer who also told him : "these people are not human, they are beasts, they again proved it today" when describing the blacks.
Commandant Carrat (16e RTS) was interrogated by a German officer who told him : "an inferior race does not deserve to fight the civilizing German race" when talking about the French black troops. (SHAT, 34 N 1095).
Several Germans simply could not sustain that "Untermenschen" fought against them and considered them as beasts. The German propaganda also convinced the Germans that the colonial troops were used to eat the German POWs (!!!) and they also kill immediately the black men equipped with a machete, accusing them of mutilating the German soldiers. In fact the Germans really feared the French colonial troops since WW1 and because of their skin colour they simply were not treated like the white French soldiers.
The Germans during WW2 used the same kind of propaganda against the colonial troops then during WW1 when the allies were accused of driving "Mongols" and "niggers" against their white troops. (Annette Becker, "Les oubliés de la Grance Guerre. Humanitaire et cultures de guerre, 1998 and Louis Dimier, "L'appel des intellectuels allemands, p.45, 1914).
The German propaganda accusing the French occupant of massive exactions during the 20's led even the US president Wilson to order an inquiry led by general Allen. He concluded that there were no massive exactions as claimed by the Germans.
On 30th May 1940, Goebbels ordered to increase the hate against France by using the propaganda developed during the French occupation of the Rhine land and the Ruhr. The aim is to show that the French nation is in demographic decline and uses yellows, blacks and browns from its colonies. This must be seen as a racial infamy to have these troops next to the Rhine. The French are described as "niggered" sadists. The aim is to increase the hate of the German people against the corrupt France, contaminated by the freemasonry. (Wolfgang Geiger, "L'image de la France dans l'Allemagne nazie - 1933-1945", 1999).
On 21st June, colonel Nehring (staff of general Guderian) orders to be "harsh" against the French colonial troops. (Roger Bruge, "Juin 1940, le mois maudit", 1982).
Jean-Moulin, prefect of Chartres, who will be famous later in the resistance, is kept prisoner and tortured in the name of the fight against black troops (Jean-Moulin, "Premier combat").
The blacks are not seen as ordinary troops and even not as human beings. They have therefore not to be treated according to the rules of war.
Many of their bodies had been deprived of identification papers and taps. Generally it was also forbidden to give them a decent grave. The Kommandantur of Marcelcave (Somme) forbade for example to ornate the graves of the black troops. The bodies had to remain were they were and in the state in which they were, that means often in putrefaction on the ground. (archives of the city of Marcelcave).
Beside these 'racial' war crimes, there were several other reported atrocities in Belgium and in France during the invasion of 1940.
In Belgium :
- Deinze : the Germans used Belgian civilians as humans shields
- Vinkt on 27th – 28th May : 87 Belgian civilians are executed
In Frannce :
- At Courrières and Oignies (in the Pas de Calais), on 27th May : respectively 54 and 70 French civilians are executed (J.P. Azéma, "1940 l'année terrible", p.169, 1990)
Other crimes in France involve mainly the SS-Totenkopf division :
- Le Paradis : 97 British POWs executed
- Mercatel : 5 British POWs hanged
--> these 2 cases are documented in English litterature I guess.
- Aubigny-en-Artois : During the battle of Arras on 21st May 1940, elements of the SS-Totenkopf (mot) division are facing a British unit defending a bridge on the Scarpe River in the town of Aubigny-en-Artois (15 km west of Arras). In reprisal for this resistance, 98 French civilians from the town are executed by the Germans. The officer in charge, Obersturmbahn Fritz Kuchenlein will be hung on 28th January 1949 for all his war crimes.
--> This case is absent from the book of Levisse-Touzé but cited by colonel Gérard Saint-Martin in "L'arme blindée française – volume 1", p.290, 1998 and in colonel Pierre Rocolle's "La guerre de 1940", p.381, 1990). TH Albright, I am not sure the officer mentioned here is the same as Knochlein you are speaking about.
- Pont de Gy : 23 French civilians executed, a young woman and a baby burned in their house, the other people were hindered to help them
- Etrun : 5 French civilians killed including
- Hermaville : 4 French civilians mutilated, 1 civilian killed and 22 farms burned down
- Berles-Montchel : 45 French civilians executed
- Mingoval : several civilians executed "
A dark age for freedom and humanity,indeed...
In Battlefield history and relics