This is the entrance to the GIAT (Groupement Industriel des Armements Terrestres, or, Industrial Group for Terrestrial Armaments) factory courtyard on the north-western side of Tulle. It was in the courtyard behind the blue gates where the menfolk of Tulle were assembled on the 9 June 1944 and the selection made of those who were to be executed. This was in retaliation for their (supposed) part in the attack on the German garrison of the town the previous day. Unlike Oradour, there is no attempt in Tulle to preserve things as they were. Apart from calling the principal street where the men were hung, "Rue des Martyrs", erecting a monument to the dead at its foot and putting up memorial stones in the cemetery, there is nothing about the town to remind one of the events of 1944. Even the Tourist Office does not volunteer information; you have to ask quite specifically about the event. The free town guide obtainable from the office takes you on a walk around the historic town centre, but nowhere near the sites of execution (it does not even mention the event).
© Michael Williams: revised February 2004