The masacred vilage

Friday 16 August 2002

Ouradour isn’t in Normandy but the events that happened there just 4 days after D-day were related to D-day and were so exceptional that I have decided to add a page on it.

The SS Das Reich was an SS division known for it’s cruelty. It had exterminated villages in the east of Europe during the early years of the war.

On D day they were stationed in Toulouse. When the invasion happened they were dispatched towards Normandy. Instead of heading straight for Normandy they found time to terrorise the village of Ouradour near Limoge.
They arrived at the outskirts of the village and split into three groups. One went up the main street, one circled the village to the left, the other to the right. The group going through the town got to the other side and split in to to two going round the town to meet the others coming round. Having completely encircled the town the troops started closing their circle ensuring that nobody escaped.

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The whole town was assembled on the village green near the cemetery. Anybody who was too ill or disabled to go to the green or anybody who disobeyed was shot. The towns people weren’t unduly worried at this stage as they had nothing to reproach themselves and nothing and nobody to hide.
The men were separated from the women and children and led away to different parts of the town. The women and children were led to the church.

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The men had been separated into small groups held in garages and workshops.

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They were systematically shot.
The women and children were in the church. The doors were closed and the church was set fire to. One women managed to get up to a small window behind the alter she dropped her baby through the window, a drop of 12ft broken by a bush.

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She followed. An other women tried to follow but the cries of the baby had brought the germans back into the church and she was shot. The other woman managed to get away. All the others perished. The flames leaping up the bell tower melted the bell.

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The SS then set fire to all the houses to hide the evidence of their deeds. The flames were visible 15 miles away. People that saw them came on the tram to see what was happening. The first to arrive were shot.

It used to be said that the SS had mistaken this town for another where there were resistants. It is now beleived that they chose Ouradour because they knew that there were none.

Any message or comments?


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