Liam Power describes a visit to the scene of one of the biggest atrocities of WW2

In July 2017, we arrived in Roscoff port. After the best part of the day travelling with our caravan in tow, we camped overnight in Nantiat, west central France. Next day we took a short drive to a village located about fifteen miles from Limoges, in which my friend Gerry thought I’d find it interesting.

Since he’d been here before he was going to do his own thing, we’d meet up later. In the scorching sun of around 30 degrees, my immediate impression was how new and bright the buildings looked. It wasn’t long before I came across a spectacular huge ornate plaque made of black marble with gold inscriptions, headed up, Oradour-sur-Glane. Although in French, it was obvious it was a memorial to 642 people.

After visiting the nearby Memorial Centre Museum, I was soon to learn some of the history, the horrific story behind this village which dampened my earlier excitement and enthusiasm. On my return home, I was fascinated to learn more.

On 10 June, 1944, just four days after D-Day, the original village of Oradour-sur-Glane, in Nazi-occupied France was destroyed, when the majority of its inhabitants, including women and children, were massacred by a German SS Panzer Division, under the command of Adolf Diekmann, Sylvester Stadler and his designated successor Otto Weidinger.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own