Course Hero Logo

Nazi massacre in France.txt - Oradour-sur-Glane is a...

Course Hero uses AI to attempt to automatically extract content from documents to surface to you and others so you can study better, e.g., in search results, to enrich docs, and more. This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 11 pages.

Oradour-sur-Glane is a commune (district) in the French region of Limousin (15kilometers west of Limoges, in the département of Haute-Vienne), where a Waffen-SSunit massacred 642 people, most of which were women and children, in one afternoon.The characteristics of the Oradour tragedy are the following: an arbitrary massacreof a civilian population by a regular military unit, under the responsibility of alegal authority, or by a paramilitary body acting within a territory, beyond theauthorities’ control.A. CONTEXTOn June 6th, 1944, the final phase of World War II began in France. On the WesternFront, German forces were concentrated on the North Sea, Channel, Atlantic andMediterranean coasts, practically vacating a substantial part of French territory.This was the case for the Massif Central region and its western side, Limousin.Only the main towns were permanently occupied. Specialized troops were combing thearea, moving into villages and the countryside, using violence there to create astate of terror. Arrests, cases of deportation, summary executions and firesalternated with quieter periods. Two armored divisions, transferred back from theEastern front in poor condition, were stationed in the region (in the départementsof Dordogne and Lot-et-Garonne), where they were being reconstituted with newequipment and personnel. Local military staff used them for operations against themaquis. These operations contributed to the military training of very youngrecruits, by placing them in “combat situations”.The local population was waiting to be delivered by the Allies. It was morally andmaterially weary after years of occupation and deprivation, the absence ofprisoners of war, and the requirements of forced labor in Germany, or for theAtlantic Wall, and feared repression following maquis activities.The announcement of D-Day led to an increase in resistance activities: sabotage ofcommunication infrastructure (railways, roads, telephone lines) and the liberationof certain towns, especially Guéret and Tulle, respectively the préfectures(administrative headquarters) of the Creuse and Corrèze départements. Germanreinforcements quickly put a stop to these premature liberations, which werefollowed by violent repression, intended to establish a durable state of terror, asin the case of Tulle.The commune of Oradour-sur-Glane had 1,574 inhabitants according to the 1937census, and 1,640 food ration card holders in the first semester of 1944. They werespread out among roughly twenty farming villages. About 300 of them, including thecraftsmen and shopkeepers, lived in the town, where the schools, the town hall andchurch, as well as the marketplace, fairground, train station and post office weresituated. From 1939 onward, Oradour-sur-Glane and the neighboring villages housedrefugees. First came Spanish republicans driven away by Franco’s forces; next,Alsatians evacuated from combat zones, then people expelled from Moselle – one ofthe three départements annexed by the Nazis in 1940 – and finally, Jews from France

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

End of preview. Want to read all 11 pages?

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Term
Winter
Professor
Mrs. cooper
Tags
The Republic, Waffen SS, The Grave,

Newly uploaded documents

Show More

Newly uploaded documents

Show More

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture