“Not an “attraction” but a powerful piece of history”
Although one of the most visited tourist attraction in our area, the quote above from Trip advisor sums it up for me. Oradour-Sur-Glane is a powerful piece of history and a must place to visit. Oradour-Sur-Glane is known throughout France as one the most horrific acts of violence during the war. On the 10th June 1944 German Soldiers killed a total of 642 men, women and children and destroyed the entire village without giving any reason for their action to the inhabitants and to this day there is no universally accepted explanation for the massacre. After shooting the men, the women and children were ordered into the church which was then set on fire. Only one person survived the fire. Oradour now remains as it was after the massacre and was dedicated a memorial museum in 1999.
There is lots of information about Oradour on the internet, but nothing can describe actually being there and walking the streets. Things really have been left as they were. There is an English site http://www.oradour.info that explains in detail about the events leading up to the massacre, the massacre itself and the aftermath. Oradour village is free to enter, there is an option to visit the museum before entering the village to understand the story behind the massacre.
The New town of Oradour has been built next to the old town and is a pleasant place to visit. There are restaurants, street cafes and bars and it is a popular place in Summer.
”We were unbelievably moved by the history of this village. Having read a little about it before our trip it had prepared us for what we would see. However, it had not prepared me for what I might feel and I struggled to hold back the tears to read the plaque outside the church and to then enter and see the twisted, burnt, metal remains of a toddler pushchair was overwhelming. The village is not presented in a theatrical way – it is as it was left when the final search for tiny fragments of human remains was completed.
Visiting the cemetery and seeing names – and even some pictures – was also poignant.
Nothing I can write would explain how this village will make you feel and be thankful that you were not there on that terrible day.”