The entry to the Memorial of Vendée is dark. It is somber. Any soul with a soul pauses. This site evokes the many monuments to death that most of us have seen in reverence in many times across our lives.
It is no small coincidence that today, June 10, all of France also remembers another June 10, this time 1944. All the media -- TV, radio, internet -- mark this day with special reverence. Four days after D-Day 1944, the German Army was bringing forces from the Eastern Front toward the Atlantic. In Eastern Europe, the tactic of gather, separate, and massacre was well practiced by the Nazi's. The SS force that was headed through this region was experienced and willing. One village, pointed out to them as a hotbed of the French Resistance, was to be among the last atrocities of this war. The SS arrived and separated men from others. The men were put in barns. The children and women in the churches. All at the signal were gunned down and burned. 642 villagers in Oradour-sur-Glane died. That was today minus sixty years.
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This page last updated on 6/10/2004 6:18:15 PM.