top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

German president sees atrocity site

Gluck meets survivor of massacre where 642 died as Hollande talks of Syrian parallel

GERMAN president Joachim Gauck has visited the site of the 1944 Oradour-sur-Glane massacre with President Hollande and honoured the 642 men, women and children killed there by SS troops.

He was the first senior German dignatory to visit the Limousin site and shook the hand of one of the three remaining survivors, Robert Hébras, 88.

Mr Hébras was in his teens when his family died in the massacre and he and Mr Gluck chatted for a few moments before Mr Gluck and Mr Hollande put their arms round his shoulders as they walked out of the ruined church where nearly 400 women and children died.

Mr Gluck said: “If I look in the eyes of those who bear the imprint of this crime, I share your bitterness at the fact that the murderers were not held to account; your bitterness is mine, I carry it back to Germany with me and I will remain not remain silent.”

The village ruins have been preserved as they were left by the German troops who set fire to buildings containing the village’s men and the church containing the women and children.

Mr Hollande praised Mr Gluck’s “dignity” in visiting the site and his ability to “look in the face of the barbarity of the Nazis” and said his visit had confirmed the friendship between the countries and was an example to the rest of the world.

Speaking of the present crisis over Syria and the deaths of 1,400 people in a chemical weapons attack, he added that the visit was more than a symbol, it was a “promise to defend the rights of man each time they are violated”.
Photo: Elysée Twitter

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France