An ET entry by me commemorating the horrific massacre of an entire French village less than a week after D-Day in World War II. A Nazi SS unit commanded by one Adolf Diekmann killed 642 people in reprisal for something the French Resistance did. The Germans hadn’t even meant to attack Oradour-Sur-Glane; their intended target was a nearby settlement with a similar name. Oradour-Sur-Vayres. In a way I suppose it’s a good thing because the other town was larger and there would have been even more deaths. Sucks for Oradour-Sur-Glane though.
Diekmann’s CO professed to be horrified and requested a court-martial, saying, “I cannot allow the regiment to be charged with something like this.” But the slaughter Oradour-Sur-Glane was not really any worse than other atrocities that SS unit and others had committed in the war. (Lidice, anyone?) In my opinion, the commanding officer had seen the writing the on the wall and realized the Nazis were going to be be held to account for their actions, and he was trying to protect his own self. It would have been interesting to see how that court-martial turned out; as it was, Diekmann got killed on the front a few days later, before the Wehrmacht could do anything to him.
Jason uses the word “hecatomb” to describe the tragedy, in place of my much more mundane term “event.” I had to look up “hecatomb” and the definition is “A great sacrifice; an ancient Greek or Roman sacrifice of 100 oxen.” In this case I guess it just means a mass slaughter. I enjoy it when I increase my vocabulary.
Anyway, check it out. That article took a long time for me to write, and these people should be remembered.