The Centre de la Mémoire reopened
at 09:00 on Monday 15th June 2020.
Due to Covid-19 it is necessary for all visitors
over the age of 11 to wear face
masks and all persons to observe social distancing.
No reservations are necessary, but entry to the permanent exhibition
is controlled, so as to allow safe separation to be maintained.
The SS Panzer Division Das Reich, destroyed the French
village of Oradour-sur-Glane on 10th June 1944 during WWII and today it is preserved,
Ruined State. This website describes the history, background and events
leading up to the Nazi war-crime of the massacre of the inhabitants of
what is today called the Martyr village of Oradour-sur-Glane. This
atrocity was carried out in the afternoon of Saturday 10th June 1944 by soldiers of the
Der Führer Regiment of the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division, Das Reich. On
that day, without giving any explanation for their actions, they killed a
total of 642 men, women and children, leaving only a few unintended survivors. They
then destroyed the entire village of Oradour and to this day there is no
universally accepted explanation for the massacre. In order to gain some
lasting impressions from
the tragedy, visitors to the ruins today are exhorted in both French and English to:
The narrative, In a Ruined State, gives a full description of
what happened on the 10th June 1944 at Oradour and reviews all the
current explanations offered by different authors for the attack on the
village. In addition there are over 200 photographs in the Picture
Gallery and much supporting information in the
Appendices, including advice on how to get there and places to stay
during a visit. If short of time, read the
Summary and look at the Recommended viewing list, but for a
fuller understanding, it is recommended to read all of, In a Ruined
State. Additionally, the Appendices themselves are worth
reading, as they contain much relevant detail about the background to
the affair, biographical notes and what happened afterwards to those
Sewing machine posed in the
ruins of Oradour
Memorial to the 642 victims
of the massacre
Oradour Church (main site for the murder
of the women and children)
The car of Doctor Desourteaux on the
Champ de Foire in Oradour
Contact the author Michael Williams at ...
Note 1: In the
literature, Oradour-sur-Glane is often spelled as, Oradour sur Glane (without
the hyphens) and is frequently referred to simply as, Oradour, see
the Oradours of France. Oradour-sur-Glane is
pronounced as: "Oradoor-sur-Glarn".
Note 2: The 10th of June 1944 was also the date for other war-crime killings by
the Waffen-SS in France and elsewhere during WWII, see
the 10th of June as a date in WWII history.
Note 3: There is an annual ceremony in Oradour-sur-Glane to mark the anniversary
of the massacre, see
Note 4: All spelling and date formatting on this website follows the British
English conventions, see Dates, commonly
misspelled words & accents.
Note 5: The Favicon for this website, which
should be displayed in the address bar of your web browser, shows a cross of
Lorraine superimposed on a standard French flag.
Note 6: This website includes information about a range of persons, places and
organisations involved in the events at Oradour-sur-Glane, including:
a) French survivors who were present on the 10th of June 1944 and listed under
Dramatis Personae including, Robert Hébras,
Mathieu Borie, Clément Broussaudir, Jean-Marcel Darthout, Yvon Roby, Hubert
Desourteaux, Jacques Desourteaux, Jean Desourteaux, Roger Godfrin, the Pinède
children, Pierre-Henri Poutaraud, and Marguerite Rouffanche.
b) German forces personnel involved, were those of the
members of the Der Führer Regiment of the 2nd SS-Panzer Division, Das Reich
and include: Georg René Boos, Heinz Barth, Adolf Diekmann, Karl Gerlach, Otto
Kahn, Helmut Kämpfe, Heinrich Lammerding, Johannes Seefried, Sylvester Stadler, Otto Weidinger
and Heinz Werner.
c) Organisational information, such as, The
Order of Battle of Das Reich in June 1944 is shown, as is an example of the
SS rank structure and notes on
Hugo Sperrle, the Commander-in-Chief
West of the German armed forces and whose orders were used to justify the
attack. In addition there are
notes on language and terms used during the
d) As well as the various personnel listed above, there are basic notes on:
Len Cotton (an RAF man shot down over France and sheltered in Oradour) and
Georges Guingouin a commander of the French Resistance whose capture of
Helmut Kämpfe triggered the attack.
Note 7: All unvisited links are shown in Blue and
change colour to Purple when visited.
Note 8: Site optimised for a desktop PC with a 1280 x 1024 screen
and the text size set to Medium in the View menu of Internet
Note 9: Please report any broken
links, or errors of any kind to:
Note 10: There are no
cookies or spyware of any kind at all on this website.
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© Michael Williams ...
Friday 10th March 2000 ... this page was last updated on
Tuesday, 15 September 2020