Scrapbookpages Blog

July 4, 2014

The famous old car in the ruins at Oradour-sur-Glane

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: — furtherglory @ 10:59 am

There is renewed interest in Ordour-sur-Glane because an 88-year-old German army veteran might soon be put on trial in Germany, as a war criminal, because he was there when the Germans did a legal reprisal against the citizens of the town.

Oradour-sur-Glane is now a popular tourist attraction, and an old car in the ruins is frequently photographed. I took photos of the car when I visited the ruins several years ago.

Famous old car at Oradour-sur-Glane

My best photo of the famous old car at Oradour-sur-Glane

There are many old cars in the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane, but the  most famous one is the car, shown in my photo above.

This old car allegedly belonged to Dr. Jacques Desourteaux, the town doctor who arrived back in the village just as the villagers were being assembled on the Fairgrounds. He had been visiting a patient in a nearby hamlet.  The car is just a burned-out empty shell: everything in the interior is gone except the steering wheel. The roof of the car is gone, but the luggage rack is still intact.

Old car with the fairgrounds in the background

Early morning photo of the old car with the fairgrounds in the background

Rear view of the old car at the fairgrounds

Rear view of the old car at the fairgrounds

Notice the bricks that have been placed under the car to keep it from sinking into the ground.

According to Sarah Farmer, in her book entitled Martyred Village, an effort was made in 1992 to preserve this famous old car. Restoration experts dismantled the car, sanded the body, painted the interior with tar to prevent further decay and waxed the outside to repel moisture.

The famous old car with a building in the background

The famous old car with a building on the fairgrounds in the background

The photo directly above shows the old car in front of a building. This photo was taken with a telephoto lens, which makes the car look closer to the building than it really is. A similar photo is shown on the cover of a video that I purchased in the bookshop of the Center of Memory, except that the direction of the car in the video photo is reversed.

According to Sarah Farmer’s book, Martyred Village, the car on the Fairgrounds, shown in the  photos above, is NOT the car, owned by Dr. Jacques Desourteaux.

In her book, Sarah Farmer wrote the following regarding the car:

“When Dr. Desourteaux arrived at the entrance to the town, soldiers forced him to drive up the main street and stop across from the marketplace, where he joined the assembled townspeople. He died with the others that afternoon. A few weeks later, the doctor’s brother and his nephew moved the Desourteaux car to the family property, where it still lies inside the garden wall. The car on the marketplace actually belonged to the wine merchant.”

The doctor’s brother was Hubert Desourteaux and his nephew was Andre Desourteaux.

The old car was at the entrance into the fairgrounds, as shown in my photo below.

The famous old car was parked at the entrance into the fairgrounds

The famous old car is parked at the entrance into the fairgrounds

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