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June 9, 2013

June 10th, the anniversary of the Oradour-sur-Glane tragedy

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:35 pm
The Center of Memory at Oradour sur Glane with the ruined village in the background

The Center of Memory at Oradour-sur-Glane with the ruined village in the background

June 10th is the anniversary of the tragedy in the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane in 1944. I previously blogged about Oradour-sur-Glane at

There are two sides to the Oradour-sur-Glane story: the official version and the German side of the story.

The official story of the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane is told in a 190-page book entitled Oradour-sur-Glane, a Vision of Horror. This is the Official Publication of the Remembrance Committee and the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Oradour-sur-Glane, written by Guy Pauchou, sub-prefect of Rochechouart, which is a nearby town, and Dr. Pierre Masfrand, the curator of the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane.

The book tells the official story of the destruction of the peaceful village of Oradour-sur-Glane on June 10, 1944 when 642 innocent men, women and children were brutally murdered for no reason at all and the whole town was destroyed by Waffen-SS soldiers in Hitler’s elite army.


Ruins of the church in Oradour-sur-Glane

Ruins of the church in Oradour-sur-Glane

One of the first sights that can be seen on the entrance road into the ruined village is the “Tragic Well,” where dead bodies that had been thrown into the well were found.  The photo below was taken from inside the enclosure of an old farmstead; it shows the old well with a wooden cross placed beside it.

The "Tragic Well" at Oradour-sur-Glane

The “Tragic Well” at Oradour-sur-Glane

According to Philip Beck, who wrote a book about Oradour-sur-Glane, entitled Oradour, Village of the Dead, the names of the victims whose bodies were found in the well are unknown. Out of the 642 people murdered in the village by the SS soldiers, the bodies of only 52 were ever identified. But according to defense testimony at the Nuremberg IMT, the SS claimed to have found a number of bodies of German soldiers in the well.

Old car at the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane

Old car at the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane

Here is the German version of the Oradour-sur-Glane story:

On 10 June 1944, two platoons of soldiers in the 3rd company of Der Führer regiment of Das Reich division in the Waffen-SS army, under the command of Captain Otto Kahn and accompanied by Battalion Commander Adolf Diekmann, went to the village of Oradour-sur-Glane for the express purpose of searching for another battalion commander, Major Helmut Kämpfe, a beloved officer and a close personal friend of Diekmann, who was missing. It was known that Kämpfe’s car had been ambushed and that he had been kidnapped by members of the Maquis, who were part of the FTP, a French Communist resistance organization, commanded by Georges Guingouin. It was believed that the Maquis was planning to ceremoniously execute Kämpfe that very day.

Diekmann had received information that morning from two collaborators in the French Milice (secret police), who told him that Kämpfe was being held prisoner in Oradour-sur-Glane and that the Maquisards, as the resistance fighters were called, were planning to burn Kämpfe alive. This information was confirmed by German intelligence reports.

Another SS officer, named Karl Gerlach, had been kidnapped the day before by the Maquis and taken to Oradour-sur-Glane, after he had offered to give information to their leader in exchange for his life. In the village, Gerlach saw members of the Maquis, including women who were dressed in leather jackets and wearing steel helmets, the clothing of Resistance fighters. He escaped, wearing nothing but his underwear, just as they were preparing to execute him. He gave this information to Diekmann and showed him the location of Oradour-sur-Glane on a map.


Body parts of victims in church, still wearing unburned clothing

Body parts of victims found in the Oradour church, still wearing unburned clothing

The photo above shows unburned body parts, found with clothing still intact, in the ruins of the Church in Oradour-sur-Glane.

The photo below shows the burned corpse of Dr. Jean Desourteaux, the mayor of the town. His body was one of only 52 victims that could be positively identified.

Burned body of Desourteaux, the mayor of Oradour-sur-Glane

Burned body of Mr. Desourteaux, the mayor of Oradour-sur-Glane

In spite of the fact that the evidence shows that the church in Oradour-sur-Glane was destroyed by bombs stored in the church by the resistance fighters in the town, the official story, that you must believe if you don’t want to go to prison, is that the German soldiers set fire to the church.

Vincent Reynouard was imprisoned because he contradicted the official story of Oradour-sur-Glane.

In 1953, a trial was conducted by a French tribunal in Bordeaux.  You can read about the trial at

More about soap made from Jews….it wouldn’t suds and it wouldn’t foam

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:28 am
Bar of soap made from Jewish fat

Bar of soap made from Jewish fat

Soap made from Jewish fat is honored

Eyal Ballas at grave of soap in Hod Hasharon

The photo above shows Eyal Ballas, the director of the film Soaps, at a grave in Israel.  The words on the tombstone, where soap made from Jews was buried, read “Soap from martyrs.”

This morning, I searched for more news about the soap made from Jewish fat and found this quote here:

Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt told The Jewish Week that “there is no proof that the Nazis made Jews into soap in a mass fashion … There were attempts, but it was never practical.”

I interpreted this as an attempt by Ms. Lipstadt to save the myth of the Jewish soap, just as the myth of the gas chamber at Dachau has been saved by claims that there was no mass gassing at Dachau, but a few people were gassed for the purpose of testing and for the training of the SS men in how to gas prisoners.

The “attempts” at making soap from Jews was mentioned in the testimony at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal on February 19, 1946.

This quote is from the Nuremberg testimony:

In the Danzig Anatomic Institute semi-industrial experiments in the production of soap from human bodies and the tanning of human skin for industrial purposes were carried out. I, submit to the Tribunal, as Exhibit Number USSR-197 (Document Number USSR-197), the testimony of one of the direct participants in the production of soap from human fat. It is the testimony of Sigmund Mazur, who was a laboratory assistant at the Danzig Anatomic Institute.
“Q: ‘Tell us how the soap was made out of human fat at the Danzig Anatomic Institute.’

“A: ‘In the courtyard of the Anatomic Institute a one-story stone building of three rooms was built during the summer of 1943. This building was erected for the- utilization of human bodies and for the boiling of bones. This was officially announced by Professor Spanner. This laboratory was called a laboratory for the fabrication of skeletons, the burning of meat and unnecessary bones. But already during the winter of 1943-44 Professor Spanner ordered us to collect human fat, and not to throw it away. This order was given to Reichert and Borkmann.

” ‘In February 1944 Professor Spanner gave me the recipe for the preparation of soap from human fat. According to this recipe 5 kilos of human fat are mixed with 10 liters of water and 500 or 1,000 grams of caustic soda. All this is boiled 2 or 3 hours and then cooled. The soap floats to the surface while the water and other sediment remain at the bottom. A bit of salt and soda is added to this mixture. Then fresh water is added, and the mixture again boiled 2 or 3 hours. After having cooled the soap is poured into molds.’ “

“The fat of the human bodies was collected by Borkmann and Reichert. I boiled the soap out of the bodies of women and men. The process of boiling alone took several days- from 3 to 7. During two manufacturing processes, in which I directly participated, more than 25 kilograms of soap were produced. The amount of human fat necessary for these two processes was 70 to 80 kilograms collected from some 40 bodies. The finished soap then went to Professor Spanner, who kept it personally.

“I used this human soap for my personal needs, for toilet and for laundering. For myself I took 4 kilograms of this soap.” I omit one paragraph and continue the quotation.

“Reichert, Borkmann, Von Bargen, and our chief professor, Spanner, also personally used this soap.”