The revisionists tried to blame the massacre on

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The revisionists tried to blame the massacre on members of the maquis, allegingthey were “all Communists and Jews.” These maquis men, allegedly settled in thetown, were said to have stored munitions in all the houses, and explosive materialin the church, and to have hidden there when the Waffen-SS arrived. They were saidto have panicked, and triggered gunfights and explosions. Then, through a huge
conspiracy, they allegedly kept these activities quiet, told the witnesses what tosay, bribed the defendants on trial, and fabricated the whole story! According tothese defenders of the Nazis and some supporters of the Vichy regime, Communistresistant fighters were responsible for the massacre.However, a historical account can be reconstituted through access to German andFrench archives. It is not necessarily welcome when it puts the event of the“Oradour massacre” in the context of Nazi war practices, and those which werecommon in occupied France.The SS general in command of the Das Reich division called for the organization of“a brutal gang discrimination operation”; a formal order was not necessary in suchcircumstances. In Nazi vocabulary, “gangs” invariably meant Communists and Jews.The “discrimination” mechanism combined psychological action and arbitraryviolence. Its goal was to convince a population that the persons being“discriminated” against were responsible for its misfortune, and these persons wereultimately to be blamed for the repression itself.For such an operation to be as efficient as possible, it had to appear exclusivelyarbitrary: the victims were not supposed to be able to understand why a tragedy hadbefallen them. The “Why us?” question had to remain unanswered.“Brutal action” was overtly prepared during military staff meetings. It was carriedout by a unit on the move between two camps. On their path there was a small town,known to the local SS police (the KdS of Limoges), and the French Milice, forsheltering or having sheltered Communists and Jewish refugees – French or foreign –including some that had been incorporated into a Groupement de travailleursétrangers (GTE number 643) by the authorities.The Oradour massacre and war crimes were a “brutal operation” to “discriminate” theFrench Resistance, intended to “exclude them from the national community”(according to Lammerding), and to have them blamed for the tragedy. In this case,“discrimination” was aggravated by the murder of women and children in a church:this transgression made killers and victims incapable of reconciliation in thefuture. This incapacity became a long-term burden for the descendants of bothgroups, for whom it is infinitely difficult to imagine cohabiting. A crime such asthat of Oradour-sur-Glane, committed in the name of a Nazi conception of Europe,remains an obstacle in the context of the European Community.

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

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