On June 10, 1944, a Nazi SS Division (Das Reich) surrounded the village
of Oradour-sur-Glane in France then ordered everyone in the town, 652 persons,
to assemble in the town square.
Once there, they were told by the Nazi commandant they were suspected
of hiding explosives and as a result there would be a search and a check
of identity papers. The entire population was then locked up, the men in
barns, women and children in the church.
The Nazis then set fire to the entire village and began shooting the
villagers with machine guns, then set the barns and the church on fire,
burning the men, women and children alive, and shooting anyone who survived.
A total of 642 townspeople -- 245 women, 207 children, and 190 men were
Three days after the massacre, a Catholic Bishop found the charred bodies
of fifteen children in a heap behind the burned out altar inside the church.
The village of Oradour-sur-Glane was never rebuilt, forever standing
as a silent monument to Nazi atrocities.