Scrapbookpages Blog

August 22, 2015

“The Fat Jew” and giving credit where credit is due

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:39 am

You can read about “The Fat Jew,” and his failure to give credit where credit is due, in this news article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-fat-jew-vs-the-internet_55d2360de4b07addcb43ad7f?cps=gravity_2425_5713587080350818370&kvcommref=mostpopular

Now that I have gotten your attention, I am trying to locate a man named Dominic Campbell, who sent me a poem, entitled Death of a Village, which I put up in 2004, on this page of my website:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Story/poetry01.html

Someone wants to include Dominic’s poem in a novel that they are writing, and would like to give him proper credit. I am pretty sure that the novel will be from the correct point of view, and not from the other side of the story, which I have included on my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/index.html

My photo of the ruins of the Oradour-sur-Glane church

My photo of the ruins of the Oradour-sur-Glane church

June 25, 2015

Watch what you write on Facebook, lest you go to prison for two years

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:06 am

I have just learned, from this news article, that a modern-day “Nazi” has been sentenced to TWO years in prison in France, although the law in France only allows for ONE year in prison for Holocaust denial.

The following quote is from the news article:

A criminal court in Normandy has sentenced French Nazi ideologue Vincent Reynouard to two years in jail for denying the Holocaust in Facebook postings.

Although Mark Zuckerberg officially allows Holocaust denial on Facebook, and Facebook even has a Holocaust page, the law in France does not allow Holocaust denial anywhere.

This quote is also from the news article:

Mr. Collet, who attended the trial, said Mr. Reynouard argued in court that his goal is the “rehabilitation of national socialism.” He has inundated YouTube with more than 120 videos. In one 44-minute video, Mr. Reynouard criticizes Mr. Collet’s commemorations for failing to take into account the French civilians who died in the Allied invasion. More controversially, Mr. Reynouard adds there is “no proof” that the gas chambers ever existed.

I am not a fan of Mr. Reynouard. I think that he has made many minor mistakes, and that he has not studied the Holocaust enough to be an expert. He is entitled to his opinion — but not in France. He should come to America, where he can say anything he wants, at least for now.

My photo of the inside of the church at Oradour-sur-Glane

My photo of the inside of the church at Oradour-sur-Glane

I disagree with Mr. Reynouard on the subject of Oradour-sur-Glane.

Many years ago, I wrote on my website about his conclusions regarding Oradour-sur-Glane, compared to my conclusions:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Story/VincentReynouard.html

In the article on my website, I was playing Devil’s Advocate. I agree with Reynouard, except for a few details that he got wrong.

This quote is also from the news article:

Mr. Reynouard was convicted in France in 2007 for Holocaust denial, or négationnisme, and went to prison in 2010 to serve a one-year sentence. His incarceration attracted some attention at the time. Hundreds signed a petition to press for his release and the repeal of the French law banning the denial of crimes against humanity.

[…]

Mr. Reynouard, a former mathematics teacher who was sacked by the French Education Ministry for his views in 1997, has also sparked controversy in Belgium. A court in Brussels sentenced him to a one-year jail term in 2008 for “denying the genocide committed by the German national-socialist regime.” The sentence was confirmed by a court of appeal in 2011.

June 22, 2015

Madame Rouffanche, the “lone survivor” of the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 10:27 am
Altar in the ruins of the Oradour-sur-Glane church

Altar in the ruins of the Oradour-sur-Glane church with 3 windows behind it

This year, I let the June 10th anniversary of the Oradour-sur-Glane tragedy go by without blogging about it. Now I am going to answer a comment made on one of my previous blog posts.

The following comment was made by Anthony Godly:

Was Mme Roufanche ever in the church? After escaping through that church window She hid in a garden (in daylight?). Miraculously, the younger woman with a child was shot and killed whilst trying to escape from the church through that same window, only seconds before Mme Roufanche – a much older Woman – manage to climb up to that window. Did Mme Roufanche have any burn marks, cuts or bruises?

Here is my answer to Mr. Godly’s question:

We don’t  know if Madame Roufanche had any “markes,  cuts or bruises” because she checked into a hospital under an assumed name, and no one was ever allowed to see any of her “burn marks, cuts or bruises.” She stayed in hiding in the hospital for more than a year.

Madame Marguerite Rouffanche, the lone survivor of the massacre in the church, had allegedly managed to escape from the burning church in Oradour-sur-Glane by using a ladder to climb up to a broken window behind the main altar in the church, then allegedly leaping out of a window, which was 9 feet from the ground.

Madame Rouffanche allegedly leaped through this window behind the altar in a church

Madame Rouffanche allegedly leaped through this window behind the altar in a church

Although allegedly hit by machine gun fire from German soldiers, and wounded 4 times in the legs and once in the shoulder, this 50-something, overweight woman was able to crawl to the garden behind the presbytery where she hid among the rows of peas until she was rescued, 24 hours later, at 5 p.m. the next day, and taken to the hospital in Limoges where she was admitted under an assumed name. It took a full year for her to recover from her wounds.

In 1953, she testified before a French military tribunal in Bordeaux about the massacre of the women and children in the church.

The window on the left is the middle window in the church

The window on the left is the middle window in the Oradour-sur-Glane church

Madame Rouffchance had to first climb up this ramp to get to the window

Madame Rouffchance had to first climb up this ramp to get to the window in the Oradour-sur-Glane church

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the middle window, rolled down the embankment and then stuck the landing

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the middle window, rolled down the embankment and then stuck the landing

The German attack on the village of Oradour-sur-Glane was prompted by the kidnapping of Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe, the battalion commander of the 3rd Battalion of Das Reich Division, on the night of 9 June 1944. Representatives of the French resistance had sent a ransom note to the “Der Führer” battalion command post on the morning of the 10th of June.

Acting on this information, Sturmbannführer Otto Diekmann, a close personal friend of Kämpfe, took two platoons from 3rd Company/1st Battalion/Regiment “Der Führer” to Oradour-sur-Glane to search for him.

On the search for this “beloved officer,” Diekmann’s men had discovered a burned-out German ambulance that had been set on fire, apparently by the French partisans, near the southern entrance to the village of Oradour-sur-Glane.

The driver of the ambulance had been tied to the steering wheel with wire. He had been burned alive, along with the man sitting next to him in the passenger seat, and four wounded soldiers inside the ambulance.

Before entering Oradour-sur-Glane, the SS rounded up the residents of the hamlets on the south side of the village, because this was the vicinity where the burned out ambulance was found. By coincidence, the one woman who allegedly survived the massacre, Madame Marguerite Rouffanche, lived in a hamlet on the south side of the village.

I believe that Madame Rouffanche was a partisan, who was fighting in World War II as a resistance fighter, aka an illegal combatant.

The destruction of Oradour-sur-Glane had the desired effect because, immediately after the massacre, the Communist partisans, who had been wreaking havoc in the Limosin area, gave the order to stop fighting.

The order was intercepted by the Germans and this immediately lifted their morale. The reprisal had worked; this was basically the reason why reprisals were allowed at that time, although such bestial cruelty as the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane is, understandably, no longer legal under international law.

In a rambling autobiography entitled “SS Panzergrenadier,” former Waffen-SS soldier Hans Schmidt, with whom I have personally spoken, wrote about the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre from the SS point of view. In a footnote on page 377 of his book, Schmidt debunks the official story that the villagers were innocent.

They were illegal combatants who were stopped by a legal reprisal.

January 30, 2014

Today’s Germany — no country for old men

Filed under: Germany — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 7:48 am

In a news article in The Daily Beast, which you can read in full here, Michael Moynihan wrote that “There Should Be No Statute of Limitations on Prosecuting War Crimes.”

He means German war crimes, of course.  No Allied soldier, who served in World War II, was ever put on trial for war crimes, and none ever will be put on trial.  Only the losers are war criminals. Only the winners are allowed to make up new laws, after a war is over.

At the end of World War II, the Allies made up ex-post-facto laws, under which the Germans were put on trial by the Allies in the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal and the American Military Tribunal held at Dachau, Germany.  One of these ex-post-facto laws was called “common design” or “common plan.” Under the new common design law, anyone who was anywhere near the place where a war crime, or a Crime Against Humanity, had been committed, was guilty simply because he was there.

Under the new laws made up by the Allies after the war, the Waffen-SS was declared to be a criminal organization, as was the National Socialist political party, known to Americans today as the Nazis.

If Germany had won the war, the Germans might have designated the US Marines as a criminal organization, along with the Democratic political party.  Anyone who belonged to either of these organizations would have automatically been a war criminal, under the new laws.

The ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane

My photo of the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane

Moyniham’s article includes a great photo of the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane, a village in France, where a German soldier named Werner C. was present when the Germans did a reprisal action against the village for the kidnapping and murder of German soldiers, including Major Helmut Kämpfe, a beloved German officer, who was believed to have been killed at Oradour-sur-Glane.

This quote, regarding the Oradour-sur-Glane reprisal, is from Wikipedia:

A few days later, survivors were allowed to bury the dead. 642 inhabitants of Oradour-sur-Glane had been murdered in a matter of hours. Adolf Diekmann claimed that the episode was a just retaliation for partisan activity in nearby Tulle and the kidnapping of Helmut Kämpfe.

Under the Geneva Convention of 1929, a reprisal was legal.  Under the Geneva Convention of 1949, which is currently in effect, reprisals are no longer legal.

This quote is from the article written by Michael Moynihan:

…. German prosecutors, mining information from East German secret police files, have assembled a case against former Waffen-SS soldier Werner C. (German privacy laws protect the accused’s identity), an 88 year old from Cologne who acknowledges being present in Oradour-sur-Glane on that grim day [June 10, 1944] but claims to not have participated in the orgiastic violence.

But they are right to haul—or wheel—a geriatric SS man present at a notorious, if largely forgotten, massacre into the courtroom. Countries who don’t reckon with the past, shunting memories of political and institutional violence to the side in favor of “moving forward,” risk banalizing totalitarianism. For instance, a recent Gallup poll found that “residents in seven out of 11 countries that were part of the [Soviet Union] are more likely to believe its collapse harmed their countries than benefited them.” And Germany saw a recent wave of nostalgia for East German dictatorship (bloodlessly called “Ostalgie”), because there was no commensurate Nuremberg Trial, no nie wieder, no truth and reconciliation at the collapse of Soviet communism.

It’s unclear what role Werner C. played in the massacre, though years of rigorous academic research of Nazi crimes both inside and outside Germany have punctured the myth of soldiers merely “following orders,” lest the poor conscript too became a victim of fascism. If Werner C. pulled a trigger or pulled the pin from a grenade, or pushed children into a locked church in Oradour, he should breathe his last breath inside a prison. A small measure of justice, 70 years later, and reassurance that not all the perpetrators have “escaped the penalty of their crime.”

If Werner C. is put on trial in Germany, it will not be because he “pulled a trigger or pulled the pin from a grenade, or pushed children into a  locked church in Oradour.”  He will be put on trial and will be automatically convicted because he was there when a reprisal was conducted against the villagers in Oradour-sur-Glane. If he was there, he is guilty under the ex-post-facto law, known as “common design.”

John Demjanjuk was recently convicted, in Germany, under the “common design” law, which set a precedent for new charges to be brought against any former German soldier, who is still alive.

What really happened in Oradour-sur-Glane, that caused the German soldiers to do a reprisal?  Ever heard of “the tragic well” in Oradour-sur-glane? The photo below shows the tragic well.

The tragic well where bodies of German soldiers were found in Oradour-sur-Glane

The tragic well where bodies of German soldiers were found in Oradour-sur-Glane

You can read about the bakery, where burned bodies were found by the German soldiers when they entered the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Tour/Ruins/Bakery.html

You can read the SS version of what happened at Oradour-sur-Glane on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Story/Synopsis02.html

My photo of an old car in the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane

My photo of an old car in the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane

You can read the notes that I wrote, after my visit to the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane, on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Story/TripNotes2.html

October 18, 2013

Madame Rouffanche, the only survivor of the massacre in the Oradour-sur-Glane church, tells her story

Filed under: World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:23 pm

One of the regular readers of my blog asked a question, in a comment on my previous Oradour-sur-Glane post, about how a German soldier managed to put a fire bomb inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church without burning himself up, or allowing the women inside the church to extinguish the fire.

The question is

Were the strings (wicks) short, and the soldiers were blown up with their victims?

or were [the stings or wicks] long enough to give them time to escape the church for safety — and allow people inside to extinguish them?

The only person, who could answer this question, would be Madame Rouffanche, the lone survivor of the Church, who is now dead. However, she did testify in the trial of the SS soldiers after the war.

The answer, according to the testimony of Madame Rouffanche, is long and complicated, so bear with me, while I explain the story with words and pictures.

Madame Rouffanche was over 50 years old, and overweight

Madame Rouffanche was over 50 years old, and overweight

The photo below shows the front of the Oradour-sur-Glane church, where women and children were burned alive on June 10, 1944 by SS soldiers, including some soldiers from the French province of Alsace.

The front of the ruined church in Oradour-sur-Glane

The front of the ruined church in Oradour-sur-Glane

The photo above shows the front of the Oradour-sur-Glane church. On the left side, there is an open doorway, with no door, which is the entrance into the sacristy, sometimes called the vestry. The sacristy was the room that contained the ceremonial clothing of the priests, called the vestments. In the photo above, the main door into the church is on the right, at the top of the steps into the church tower.

Madame Marguerite Rouffanche, the only survivor of the fire in the church, said that SS soldiers entered through the front door, and placed a “smoke bomb” near the choir, which was in the back of the church.

Damage from the smoke bomb inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church

Damage inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church

The photo above shows the damage to the floor of the church near the communion rail which was in the front of the Oradour-sur-Glane church.  You can see a bit of the remains of the Communion rail on the right in the photo. This photo contradicts the testimony of Madame Rouffanche who said that a smoke bomb was placed in the back of the church.

The photo below shows that the location of the floor damage is close to the altar of the church, not in the back of the church, as Madame Rouffanche testified in court. The damage might have been caused by a hand grenade, or something else thrown into the church, as there is no smoke damage.

Damage to the church floor was in the front of the church

Damage to the church floor was in the front of the church

Madame Rouffanche testified that the women and children rushed to the front of the church and tried to escape through the sacristy door. The  women broke open the sacristy door and some of the women entered the sacristy, but were gunned down by SS soldiers who were standing guard outside.

The photo below shows the inside of the damaged sacristy of the church. Soldiers were standing outside this door, shooting the women who tried to escape.

Door to the outside of the sacristry

Door to the outside of the sacristy

The photo above shows the inside of the sacristy. The original door, which probably burned in the fire, has not been replaced, but you can still see the enormous hook that once fastened this door from the inside. The room is filled with rubble and the stair on which Madame Rouffanche said that she sat is no longer there. Through the doorway you can see the courtyard of the church.

Door to the sacristry from inside the church has been nailed shut

Door to the sacristy from inside the church has been nailed shut

The door to the sacristy, from inside the church, has been replaced with a wooden door that has been nailed shut.  Note the child’s pram that has been placed strategically inside the church.  The heartless German soldiers were killing babies in their prams inside the church.

Window inside the sacistry was too high up for the women to escape

Window inside the sacristy was too high up for the women to escape

The sacristy was an unfamiliar place to the women in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane. In those days, women were not allowed to go beyond the communion rail, unless they were cleaning the church. They were not allowed near the main altar unless they were placing flowers there or decorating the church. The sacristy was a private room that only the priests and the altar boys could enter; it was off limits to women.

The following testimony was given by  Madame Rouffanche in the 1953 Military Tribunal at Bordeaux, as quoted in the Official Publication:

“Shoved together in the holy place, we became more and more worried as we awaited the end of the preparations being made for us. At about 4 p.m. some soldiers, about 20 years old placed a sort of bulky box in the nave, near the choir, from which strings were lit and the flames passed to the apparatus which suddenly produced a strong explosion with dense, black, suffocating smoke billowing out. The women and children, half choked and screaming with fright rushed towards the parts of the church where the air was still breathable. The door of the sacristy was then broken in by the violent thrust of one horrified group. I followed in after but gave up and sat on a stair. My daughter came and sat down with me. When the Germans noticed that this room had been broken into they savagely shot down those who had tried to find shelter there. My daughter was killed near me by a bullet fired from outside. I owe my life to the idea I had to shut my eyes and pretend to be dead.

Firing burst out in the church then straw, faggots and chairs were thrown pele-mele onto bodies lying on the stone slabs. I had escaped from the killing and was without injury so I made use of a smoke cloud to slip behind the altar.

The altar inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church had 3 windows behind it

The altar inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church had 3 windows behind it

In this part of the church there are three windows. I made for the widest one in the middle and with the help of a stool used to light the candles, I tried to reach it.

The widest window was the one in the middle

The widest window was the one in the middle

The wall underneath the window where Madame Rouffanche climbed

The wall underneath the window where Madame Rouffanche climbed up

I don’t know how but my strength was multiplied. I heaved myself up to it as best I could and threw myself out of the opening that was offered to me through the already shattered window. I jumped about nine feet down.

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the window on the left

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the window on the left side; note the plaque under the window

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the middle window and stuck the landing

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the middle window and stuck the landing

Note that the ground underneath the church windows slants down to a retaining wall that is 10 feet high.  The window, where Madame Rouffanche jumped is 9 feet from the ground.

From there, she crawled around to a garden behind the church and hid between the rows of peas until she was found the next day at 5 p.m. and taken to a hospital.

Madame Rouffanche checked into the hospital under an assumed name, just in case the SS soldiers should try to track her down and kill her. After all, she was the only witness to what happened in the church, so her life was in danger.

Many accounts of her escape from the church say that Madame Rouffanche used a “ladder,” but it is more likely that it was a stool, as Madame Rouffanche mentioned in her testimony. The space between the back of the altar and the wall under the window is only about two feet wide, hardly wide enough to use a ladder.

Strangely, the bodies of 15 to 20 children were found piled up behind the alter in the narrow space where Madame Rouffanche said that she had used a stool to climb up to the window, according to the Bishop’s Office report.  Why didn’t the children climb up and jump out of the window?  They didn’t need a stool; the children could have stood on each other’s shoulders and climbed out.  But for some reason, they didn’t.

The bottom edge of the middle church window is around 9 feet from the floor of the church. The wall under the window is about six feet straight up and then it is an additional three feet up a slanted section of the wall. Apparently, Madame Rouffanche shoved the children aside and climbed out by herself, leaving the children to burn to death.

The stool or ladder, which Madame Rouffanche used, apparently burned up in the fire in the church, as it is no longer there.

Madame Rouffance said that she picked the middle window for her leap to freedom because it was wider than the other two; her photo shows that Madame Rouffanche was not skinny, so thankfully, there was a window wide enough for her leap.

In her court testimony, Madame Rouffanche said that she did not climb up to the window until after the church had been set on fire by the SS soldiers. By this time, most of the women in the church were already dead. She had survived the gas bomb that was set off in the church and the shots fired into the sacristy, as well as the grenades tossed through the doors and windows and she had not been wounded by the hundreds of shots fired by the soldiers inside the church. She testified that she went behind the altar, hiding behind a cloud of smoke, and found a stool that had been used to light the candles on the altar.

Back in 1944, when I used to go to Mass in a Catholic Church in a small town in America, the altar boys used a long stick to light the candles; they did not climb up on a stool.

The bars which are on the Oradour-sur-Glane church window today were not there when Madame Rouffanche made the leap from the window, according to a staff member at the Center of Memory.

The staff member at the Center of Memory also told me that Madame Rouffanche was not injured when she jumped from the window because shrubbery near the building broke her fall. The shrubbery might also have prevented her from rolling off the ledge, since the ground under the window slants down to a retaining wall. Today this area has been closed off and there is no access to the spot where she landed after leaping from the window.

The bodies of 23-year-old Henriette Joyeaux and her 7-month-old son, Rene, were identified after they were found buried near the church. According to Madame Rouffance, another woman had also climbed up to the window and had called out to her to catch her baby which she then threw out the window.  Meanwhile, there were 15 to 20 children cowering behind the altar, while Madame Rouffanche and the other woman completely ignored them, and only tried to save themselves.

Madame Rouffanche didn’t manage to catch the baby.  The baby fell to the ground and began crying, which alerted soldiers nearby, and they began shooting. Madame Joyeaux and her baby were both killed.  Their bodies were buried, and were only found later.

Madame Joyeaux was from Soudanas, part of the commune of Panazol; her maiden name was Hyvernaud. In her story, Madame Rouffanche referred to the other woman as Madame Hyvernaud. Madame Germaine-Marie Hyvernaud, a resident of Oradour-sur-Glane and probably one of her relatives, was also among the 52 victims whose remains were identified.

These were the final words of Madame Rouffanche to the court:

“I ask that justice be done with God’s help. I came out alive from the crematory oven; I am the sacred witness from the church. I am a mother who has lost everything.”

In my humble opinion, Madame Rouffanche was not “the sacred witness from the church,” but a woman who lived near the hamlet where German soldiers were burned alive in an ambulance.

Here is the real story of Madame Rouffanche:

Just outside the southern entrance to Oradour-sur-Glane, in the tiny hamlet of La Ferme de l’Etang, the SS soldiers came upon the horrible scene of a recent ambush of a German Army ambulance. Four wounded German soldiers had been burned alive inside the ambulance; the driver and another soldier in the passenger seat had been chained to the steering wheel and burned alive.

Before entering the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, the SS rounded up all the residents of the farming hamlets near the southern entrance of the village, where the ambulance was found, and took them in trucks to Oradour-sur-Glane, including family members of Madame Marguerite Rouffanche.

Madame Rouffanche, who lived in the hamlet of La Ferme de l’Etang, allegedly survived the massacre by jumping out of a window in the church; she testified under oath that the SS soldiers had set off a smoke bomb in the church in an attempt to asphyxiate the women and children, and had then set fire to the church, burning some of the women and children alive.

What really happened?  Did Madame Rouffanche hide when her relatives were taken to Oradour-sur-Glane.  Did she survive because she was never inside the church?

October 17, 2013

French citizens were gassed in Oradour-sur-Glane massacre, according to German newspaper, The Local

Center of Memory at Oradour-sur-Glane

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

A German newspaper for English speakers has an article about German President Joaquin Glauck’s visit to the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane; he is the first German official to be granted the right to visit the “Martyred Village” where 642 innocent French victims were killed in a massacre on June 10, 1944.

President of Germany on a recent visit to Oradour-sur-Glane

President of Germany on a recent visit to Oradour-sur-Glane

This quote is from an article in The Land newspaper, which you can read in full here:

Gauck is the first German leader to visit Oradour-sur-Glane, where ruins from the war have been preserved as a memorial to the dead. They include a church where women and children were locked in, before toxic gas was released and the building set on fire.

My photo of the ruined church at Oradour-sur-Glane church

My photo of the ruined church at Oradour-sur-Glane church

Oradour-sur-Glane church as it looked before the fire

Oradour-sur-Glane church as it looked before the fire

Oradour-sur-Glane was a French village where German soldiers carried out a reprisal action during World War II.  I have blogged at length about the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane, including this blog post.

You can read the official story of the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane on my website here.

This quote is from the official story on my website:

The authors of the booklet, “Oradour-sur-Glane, A Vision of Horror,” point out that what was most striking about the destruction of the village was “the methodical, systematic and even scientific manner in which it was perpetrated.” As the booklet explains, “The German insistence in asking whether there were any munitions dumps was evidently a step of prudence which may be explained by the desire to protect against explosions which the fire might cause and of which they might be the first victims.”

The SS soldiers brought with them all the equipment necessary to destroy the village including bombs, grenades, cartridges, and incendiary bombs, a collection of modern weapons which the authors call “the last word in science and progress!”

According to the authors, “An asphyxiating gas container intended for the liquidation of the unfortunate victims in the church was specially brought in by lorry.” In the opinion of the authors, “The Germans have distinguished themselves from other peoples by their delirious taste for torture, death and blood.” The official story is that the German beasts made plans in advance to gas the women and children and to carry out this terrible crime in the sanctity of a church.

Bodies found in Oradour-sur-Glane church

Body parts found in the Oradour-sur-Glane church

Unburned bodies found in the church appear to be the victims of an explosion.

The lone survivor of the church was a woman named Madame Rouffanche, who testified for the prosecution during the 1953 military tribunal at Bordeaux.

This quote is from her testimony, as published in the Official Publication:

“Shoved together in the holy place, we became more and more worried as we awaited the end of the preparations being made for us. At about 4 p.m. some soldiers, about 20 years old placed a sort of bulky box in the nave, near the choir, from which strings were lit and the flames passed to the apparatus which suddenly produced a strong explosion with dense, black, suffocating smoke billowing out. The women and children, half choked and screaming with fright rushed towards the parts of the church where the air was still breathable.”

According to Madame Rouffanche, the only witness, who was inside the church and survived, the so-called “toxic gas” was actually “dense, black, suffocating smoke billowing out.”  It was NOT cyanide gas, nor any other kind of gas.

As for the alleged fire in the church, one whole side of the church had no damage from a fire, nor from smoke.

The photo below shows the unburned confessional inside the church.

Confessional inside the Oradour-sur-Glane did not burn

Confessional inside the Oradour-sur-Glane church did not burn

Side altar in Oradour-sur-Glane church as no smoke or fire damage

Side altar in Oradour-sur-Glane church has no smoke or fire damage

Close-up of side altar in Oradour-sur-Glane church has no smoke or fire damage

Close-up of side altar in Oradour-sur-Glane church has no smoke or fire damage

The French have hated the Germans for centuries.  Their derogatory term for a German is Boche.  I hope that the French were able to show at least a little respect for the German leader that they finally invited to see the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane after almost 70 years of lies about the the town.

The massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane was a REPRISAL, which was legal during World War II. According to international law during World War II, under the Geneva Convention of 1929, it was legal to violate the laws of war by responding with a reprisal against civilians in order to stop guerrilla actions that were against international law.  Civilians in Oradour-sur-Glane were fighting as illegal combatants, and this is why the Germans did a reprisal in order to stop them.  The reprisal worked since the illegal fighting stopped after the massacre.

There are two sides to every story.  You can read both sides of the Oradour-sur-Glane story on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Story/index.html

July 27, 2013

World at War TV series misconstrues the Oradour-sur-Glane reprisal

Filed under: Germany, TV shows, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 3:29 pm
Entrance into the ruined village of Oradour-sur-Glane which is now a memorial site

Entrance into the ruined village of Oradour-sur-Glane which is now a memorial site

I wrote a previous blog post about Oradour-Glane, a French village that is shown in the British TV series entitled World at War.  At that time, I had not actually seen the World at War episode that starts with a speech by Sir Lawrence Olivier, which I quoted in my previous blog post. I also blogged about the tragedy at Oradour-sur-Glane on this blog post.

Today, I watched several World at War episodes, and I learned that the one which starts and ends with Oradour-sur-Glane is the very last episode.  The Oradour-sur-Glane reprisal, which was done by the Germans in an attempt to stop the war crimes perpetrated by the French Resistance, is purported to be the way that Germany fought World War II, attacking villages and killing civilians for no reason.  Instead of reporting the truth, that Oradour-sur-Glane was a reprisal action, the false portrayal of the destruction of this French village is used to demonize the German Army and the German people.

A series of photos of Oradour-sur-Glane is shown in the last World at War episode, as Sir Lawrence Olivier intones these words:

“Down this road, on a summer day in 1944. . . The soldiers came. Nobody lives here now. They stayed only a few hours. When they had gone, the community which had lived for a thousand years. . . was dead. This is Oradour-sur-Glane, in France. The day the soldiers came, the people were gathered together. The men were taken to garages and barns, the women and children were led down this road . . . and they were driven. . . into this church. Here, they heard the firing as their men were shot. Then. . . they were killed too….”

The photo below shows the church, which is mentioned in the World of War, as the place where women and children were killed …. by German soldiers.

The ruined church at Oradour-sur-Glane

The ruined church at Oradour-sur-Glane

After the opening scenes in the World at War episode, which shows Oradour-sur-Glane, there is a photo of the ruined church, much like my photo above. Then a photo of the altar in the church is shown, and a photo of the windows in the church.

The photos below show the road, down which the soldiers came, on a summer day in 1944.  What summer day was it, exactly?  June 10, 1944.  The date should have been mentioned in the World at War, because the destruction of the village took place FOUR DAYS after the Normandy invasion.

Ruins along the road into Oradour-sur-Glane

Ruins along the road into Oradour-sur-Glane

Ruins on the road into Oradour-sur-Glane

Ruins along the road into Oradour-sur-Glane

Why did German soldiers take time out to go to a remote village and kill innocent women and children in a Church, of all places?  The World at War documentary doesn’t tell us, so we are left to conclude that the Germans were intent upon killing innocent civilians, not winning the war.

What does the evidence show about the atrocity at Oradour-sur-Glane?  This issue was not addressed in the World at War episode.  I previously blogged about the evidence, as shown in the photos that I took when I visited Oradour-sur-Glane.

You can read about another reprisal action in France, which I wrote about on this blog post.  French civilians fought throughout World War II as terrorists, aka illegal combatants.  You can read about the French Resistance on my website here.

My photo below shows the entrance road, early on a foggy morning, before the arrival of the many tour groups which stop here.  The entrance road comes to a dead end where it intersects with the main street, called Rue de Emile Desourteaux, which is shown in the fog in the background.

The photos of the road into Oradour-sur-Glane were very dark on the show World at War

The photos of the road into Oradour-sur-Glane were very dark on the show World at War, much like my photo taken in 2001

The entrance road, on the left, ends at the fairgrounds

The entrance road, on the left, ends at the fairgrounds in the center of the village

Well on the Fairgrouds at Oradour-sur-Glane was shown in The World at War

Well on the Fairgrounds at Oradour-sur-Glane was shown in the World at War

My photo immediately above shows a well, which is at the edge of the Fairgrounds in Oradour-sur-Glane. A photo similar to this one was shown in the TV series World at War.

Why this photo?  It has nothing to do with the tragedy at Oradour-sur-Glane.  However, the photo below does have something to do with why the Germans did a reprisal at the village.

The "tragic well" is shown on the right

The “tragic well” is shown on the right

One of the first sights on the entrance road is the “Tragic Well,” where dead bodies that had been thrown into the well were found. The photo above was taken inside the enclosure of an old farmstead near the entrance into the town. It shows an old well with a wooden cross placed beside it.  The cross was put up by the Germans.

According to defense testimony at the Nuremberg IMT, the SS claimed to have found a number of bodies of German soldiers who had been executed in Oradour-sur-Glane.  Some of these bodies were found in the “Tragic Well.”

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 allegedly murdered in the village by the SS soldiers, the bodies of only 52 were ever identified.

The entrance street into the ruined village is the former road to St. Junien, a town that is 13 kilometers southwest of Oradour-sur-Glane. The Waffen-SS soldiers who destroyed this peaceful village on 10 June 1944 were coming from St. Junien, but they didn’t use the present entrance road to enter the village. Instead, they traveled south and entered the village at the southern end, which is now closed off. Originally, tourists were allowed to enter the ruined village from three gated entrances, including the present entrance, which is currently the only entrance.

A new town has been built right next to the ruined village.  The photo below shows the church in the new town.

Church in the new town of Oradour-sur-Glane

Church in the new town of Oradour-sur-Glane

You can see photos of the ruined Oradour-sur-Glane church on my website here.  Each side has it’s own version about what happened at Oradour-sur-Glane. You can read all the different versions of the story on my website here.

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 https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/oradour-sur-glane-shown-in-the-tv-series-the-world-at-war/

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.

Read more at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Story/OfficialStory.html

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.

Read more at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Story/Synopsis02.html

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 http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Oradour-sur-Glane/Story/BordeauxTrial.html

November 17, 2012

The claim that German soldiers were crushed to death in a wine press in a French village

Filed under: World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:06 am

After a reader of my blog made a comment in which a reference was made to a book which claims that German soldiers were crushed to death in a wine press in the French village of Oradour, I ordered the book so that I could read this for myself.

The book is Gold in the Furnace by Savitri Devi.  This quote is from page 110 of the book:

…. not a word must ever be said or written — and not a word is ever said, if they can help it — about their atrocities; not a word about what went on in the torture chambers of Ham Common, a few miles from London, during the war, and in similar ones in other places, in all Democratic countries as well as in Soviet Russia; not a word either, about the manifold horrors perpetrated on Germans, also during the war, by that scum of the earth which composed, by the many honest Frenchmen themselves, the bulk of the French “resistance”; not a word for instance, about the rascals who, having caught hold of twelve German officers and tied them up, slowly pressed them to death between the iron teeth of an enormous winepress in a village in the centre of France named Oradour;

There are two villages in France with the name Oradour: Oradour-sur-Glane and Oradour-sur-Vayres. A map on the Wikipedia website shows the location of Oradour-sur-Glane. I previously blogged about Oradour-sur-Glane here.

According to Sarah Farmer, the author of a book about Oradour-sur-Glane entitled Martyred Village, the name Oradour comes from the Latin word oratorium which means “place of prayer.” Oradours were “rudimentary square chapels at the intersection of important roads.”

The Official Publication of the Oradour-sur-Glane survivors says that the Lantern for the Dead in the cemetery there dates back to Roman times when it was the custom to bury people at an intersection. The church in Oradour-sur-Glane was originally built in the 12th century according to Sarah Farmer’s book.

The ruins of the church in Oradour-sur-Glane

The photo below shows the Oradour-sur-Glane cemetery; in the foreground is an ancient Lantern for the Dead which probably dates back at least to the 12th century. It is the tall stone column on the left. In the background on the right is the Ossuary which contains the ashes of the victims of the massacre in Oradur-sur-Glane on 10 June 1944. On the side of the Lantern you can see an opening which looks like a place for something to be burned.

Lantern for the Dead in Oradour-sur-Glane

This quote from Wikipedia explains that Oradour-sur-Glane was selected for a reprisal by the SS because of a mistake:

Early on the morning of 10 June 1944, Diekmann informed Weidinger at regimental headquarters that he had been approached by two members of the Milice, the French secret police that collaborated with the German Gestapo, who claimed that a Waffen SS officer was being held by the Resistance in Oradour-sur-Vayres, a nearby village. The captured German was alleged to be Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe, commander of the 2nd SS Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion (another unit of the “Das Reich” division), who may have been captured by the Maquis the day before.

On 10 June, Diekmann’s battalion sealed off Oradour-sur-Glane, having confused it with nearby Oradour-sur-Vayres, and ordered all the townspeople – and anyone who happened to be in or near the town – to assemble in the village square, ostensibly, to have their identity papers examined. In addition to the residents of the village, the SS also apprehended six people who did not live there but had the misfortune to be riding their bikes through the village when the Germans arrived.

All the women and children were locked in the church while the village was looted. Meanwhile, the men were led to six barns and sheds where machine-gun nests were already in place.

One of the the “six barns and sheds” mentioned on the Wikipedia page was the Denis Wine and Storage “shed” which is shown in the two photos below.

On the left is the ruins of a wine storage place in Oradour-sur-Glane

The photo above shows the intersection of the St. Junien road and Rue de Emile Desourteaux; the Denis Wine and Spirits storehouse is on the left. Notice the pile of metal bands for wine barrels. This view is looking north toward the upper town with the tram station in the far background. A white sign on the corner of the building in the center of the photo tells visitors that the St. Junien road is the only exit from the village.

The photo below shows the interior of the ruins of the storehouse. The bodies of a few women were found in this barn, along with the men that were killed here.

Wine storage place with iron bands for wine barrels

The fact that there was a wine storage building in Oradour-sur-Glane indicates that wine might have been made there and that there might have been a wine press in the village.

But what about Oradour-sur-Vayres?  Was there any wine making done there?  I checked Wikipedia and found a map which shows the two villages named Oradour were in almost the exact same location, a mere 15 miles apart.

This quote is from the Wikipedia page on Oradour-sur-Vayres:

The massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane was supposed to take place there as some Germans had been killed by the Maquis there. Source: Time magazine World Battlefronts: Murder at Oradour Monday, Jul. 24, 1944

So now we know that, only six weeks after the reprisal, Time Magazine was reporting the story of the mistake that the SS had made in executing the innocent people of Oradour-sur-Glane when it was really the village of Oradour-sur Vayres that had killed German soldiers.  Is this the village of Oradour to which Savitri Devi was referring when she mentioned the German soldiers who were crushed to death in a wine press?

Oradour-sur-Glane is now a popular tourist attraction.  Entrance to the ruined village is through the Museum which is shown in the photo below.  The ruined village is on the other side of the road, opposite the Museum.

The red building is the Museum at Oradour-sur-Glane

Photo show two large posters in the Oradour-sur-Glane Museum

The top photo above shows Area 1 of the exhibits, which is about the rise of Nazism in Germany. The bottom photo shows Area 2 which is about the Terror in the East, Terror in the Limousin and Preparing to “make an example” out of Oradour-sur-Glane. The exhibits explain the story only from the French point of view. From the German point of view, the civilian partisans were the “terrorists” who were fighting illegally in violation of the rules of the Geneva Convention of 1929.

Entrance to the ruins is free, but there is a charge for the exhibits in the Museum. The two photos above were scanned from a book entitled Centre of Remembrance for Oradour, Permanent Exhibition, which I purchased from the book store in the Center of Memory. The exhibit begins with the story of the Nazis and then continues on with the history of Oradour-sur-Glane.

I visited the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane several years ago.  Upon entering the ruins, one of the first sights that I saw was “The Tragic Well” where bodies were found.  Allegedly, these were the bodies of villagers that had been thrown into the well.  But could “The Tragic Well” have held the bodies of German soldiers who had been killed by the villagers?  Since I have read about the soldiers who were killed in a wine press, I am re-thinking “The Tragic Well,” which is shown in the photo below.

The Tragic Well is marked by a cross on the right side of the photo

The following quote from the Museum book about the exhibits explains why the innocent village of Oradour-sur-Glane was chosen to be made into an example:

On 9 June the Waffen-SS ‘Der Führer,’ one of two amoured infantry units in the ‘Das Reich’ regiment took over Limoges and its surrounds. The general staff of the four companies commandeered accommodation in Limoges while the 1st battalion with staff and four companies settled themselves to the west in Rochechouart and Saint-Junien.

From archival material we know about meetings that were held. On Friday 9 June, the Milice met in Limoges. On the morning of Saturday 10 June first in Limoges, then in Saint-Junien, Waffen SS officers and SS police posted to Limoges met. The Milice would follow their operations. Several days earlier, on 5 June, a memo from the SS General commanding the division mentioned “making an example” and this was confirmed in another memo sent this same Saturday 10 June saying it would be put into action.

Troops were billeted in the evening of 10 June in Nieul. Oradour lies between Saint-Junien and Nieul.

I previously blogged about Oradour-sur-Glane here.

June 11, 2012

Who burned whom alive in France during World War II? Oradour-sur-Glane and the hamlet of Rouffilac

Filed under: World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:04 pm

Yesterday was the anniversary of the destruction of the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane by German SS soldiers.  I didn’t blog about it because I thought that no one would be interested in this story anymore.  Today, I did a search to find out if any other blogger had mentioned Oradour-sur-Glane. I found this quote here:

On June 8, 1944, Major Adolf Diekmann, at the time summering in the Périgord with his Nazi battalion, stopped just beneath the cave in the hamlet called Rouffilac. He demanded that the proprietress make him and his men some crepes. She refused—so Diekmann burned her and 15 others to death in the bakery. The same group of soldiers killed 99 people the next day in Tulle, and the day after that burned alive 642 more in Oradour-sur-Glane, including 205 children. Diekmann was killed in battle before he could be tried for war crimes.

Note that Diekmann’s Nazi battalion was “summering” in the south of France, two days after the Normany invasion, with not a care in the world. Diekmann was not concerned with the war that was going on around him.  He wanted crepes for breakfast and when he didn’t get what he wanted, Diekmann burned 16 people alive in the bakery.

I was not familiar with the tragedy which involved the burning of 16 people in a bakery in Rouffilac, so I googled it but I could not find any source which confirms this atrocity.  Could this blogger have confused the burning of women and children in a bakery in Rouffilac with the story of the burning of people in a bakery in Oradour-sur-Glane?

The ruins of the bakery in Oradour-sur-Glane

It is known that members of the Maquis (a French Resistance group) came back to the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane and stayed for two days immediately following the massacre. Could it be that some of the bodies found in the ruins were moved to the bakery by members of the Marquis?

The ovens are on the left, inside the ruins of the Oradour-sur-Glane bakery

The Official Publication of the Oradour-sur-Glane Remembrance Committee and the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Oradour-sur-Glane includes the following information:

“A special envoy of the French Interior Force (the Resistance) who visited Oradour in the first few days specified that the charred remains of a father, mother and three children were gathered from inside a baker’s oven. We ourselves found, not far from this baker’s oven, a fire damper, still half full of coal, in which was discovered human bones (lumbar vertebrae) in an advanced state of charring. Faced with such a finding, it is clear that one is allowed to surmise a great deal.”

Apparently the SS surmised something quite different, based on the discovery of charred bodies at the bakery. According to a book by H. W. Koch, entitled Aspects of the Third Reich, the still smoldering body of Major Helmut Kämpfe was seen at an Oradour bakery by Diekmann’s men and the body was identified by the Knight’s Cross found on the body. Members of the Milice, the French secret police, had told the SS the day before that the Maquisards in Oradour were planning to burn Kämpfe alive. Other sources claim that Kämpfe was killed in the village of Breuilaufa, where his first grave was found in 1945.

Only 52 of the 642 victims of the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre were ever identified; the others were missing and presumed to have been killed there on 10 June 1944, although no death certificate was ever issued for them.

There are two sides to every story, but you don’t often hear the German side of what happened in World War II.  In his autobiography, entitled SS Panzergrenadier, former Waffen-SS soldier Hans Schmidt, who became an American citizen after World War II, wrote about the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre from the SS point of view.

According to Schmidt’s book, the Waffen-SS soldiers of Das Reich Division, the perpetrators of the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre, had been stationed from April to June 1944 in the Toulouse area for “rest, recuperation and replenishment,” after fighting the Russians on the Eastern front.

Schmidt wrote that, during the occupation of France, “German soldiers usually got along very well with the locals.” But, according to Schmidt, this changed soon after the start of 1944 when the French underground became more active. Schmidt blamed the British government for encouraging the French Resistance activity.

Schmidt wrote that

about one hundred soldiers of Das Reich had been murdered or kidnapped by the ‘heroes’ of the Maquis (terrorists!) before the division embarked, by road and train, on the difficult trip to Normandy. In doing so, Das Reich had to traverse the mountainous area in the surroundings of the city of Limoges where partisans were especially active.

In his book, Schmidt tells about the kidnapping of Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe, the battalion commander of the 3rd Battalion of Das Reich Division, on the night of 9 June 1944. Representatives of the French resistance had sent a ransom note to “Der Führer” battalion command post on the morning of the 10th of June. Acting on this information, Sturmbannführer Otto Diekmann, a close personal friend of Kämpfe, took two platoons from 3rd Company/1st Battalion/Regiment “Der Führer” to Oradour-sur-Glane to search for him.

On the search for this “beloved officer,” Diekmann’s men had discovered a burned-out German ambulance that had been set on fire, apparently by the partisans, near the southern entrance to the village of Oradour-sur-Glane. The driver of the ambulance had been tied to the steering wheel with wire. He had been burned alive, along with the man sitting next to him in the passenger seat, and four wounded soldiers inside the ambulance, according to Schmidt’s book.

Before entering Oradour-sur-Glane, the SS rounded up the residents of the hamlets on the south side of the village, because this was the vicinity where the burned out ambulance was found. By coincidence, the one woman who survived the massacre, Madame Marguerite Rouffanche, lived in a hamlet on the south side of the village.

Madame Rouffanche leaped out of a church window, that was 10 feet from the ground.  She survived, although she was allegedly shot five times by the SS soldiers.  How fortunate that there was one survivor who could testify about what happened in the church!  And she just happened to live in the hamlet, near where SS soldiers had been burned to death in an ambulance!

Madame Rouffanche jumped out of the middle window

The Bishop’s Report of the Oradour-sur-Glane tragedy says that the bodies of 15 to 20 children were found behind the alter where Madame Rouffanche jumped.  Why didn’t the children jump out of the window?

Madame Rouffanche testified in court that she did not climb up to the window until after the church was set on fire by the SS soldiers. By this time, most of the women and children in the church were already dead. According to her story, she had survived the gas bomb that was set off in the church and the shots fired into the sacristy, as well as the grenades tossed through the doors and windows and she had not been wounded by the hundreds of shots fired inside the church. Hiding behind a cloud of smoke, she went behind the altar and found a stool that was used to light the candles on the altar. She used the stool to climb up to the window where she then jumped out.

If you don’t believe the official story of Oradour-sur-Glane, including the lies told about the bodies found in the bakery, you could go to prison in France, where it is against the law to deny the official story.  I’m not sure if the law applies to the story of the bakery in Rouffilac where 16 people were burned to death because Adolf Diekmann did not get crepes for breakfast while he was “summering” in France.

 

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