The entrance to the village of Marsoulas
This view shows the entrance to the village of Marsoulas in the Haute-Garonne, Department 31, in the south of France. Marsoulas is about 280 kilometres due south of Oradour-sur Glane and is in the foothills of the Pyrenees. As can be seen on the sign in the background the place is described as: "Village Martyr 10 June 1944". The church and the memorials to the incident are to the left at the road junction ahead. The outline of the story is that a small unit from the Deutschland Regiment of the Das Reich Division was on anti-partisan patrol during 10th June 1944 when they were fired on from the church steeple by two members of the resistance and took immediate reprisal action, killing a total of 27 people. It is important to realise that although the Division as a whole was moving north to counter the D-Day landings, sections of it were still carrying out anti-partisan sweeps in the south as a part of Sperrle's plan for the suppression of the resistance (see Chapter 6 of In a Ruined State for more detail).
© Michael Williams: November 2007