Posted by: baworldtraveler | March 19, 2011

Oradour-Sur-Glane, a Unique WWII Memorial Near Limoges. Souviens-Toi/Remember!

One day I met a fellow traveler who had just returned from a vacation in France. She told me about a place that had left a strong impression on her. It was a village burned down in June of 1944. Nearly all of its residents (over 642) were killed by the Nazis. Men were taken to the barns and killed, women and children were locked in their church, shot, and then the church was set on fire. The burned-out village was kept as a memorial to remind us of man’s inhumanity to man.

I scoured all the travel books until I found a description of Oradour-sur-Glane. I immediately knew it was the place I was looking for. It is located not far from Limoges. It is one of those places you will never forget. I highly recommend making time to experience it if you are in the area. You are asked to walk in silence through the empty streets, passing ruin after ruin. Signs are posted to indicate what type of shop or residence had once existed. Ruins of bicycles, sewing machines, cars, and telephone poles serve as a reminder that people like you and I once lived there.

So many times we see burned out villages on television. It is different when you walk through street by street of ruin. There is a museum that shows all that remained in the ashes. It was most impactful because they left the items in the very condition they were in when retrieved, not cleaned up.

I found some excellent videos that will convey a slight sense of what it was like to experience the place. Please take the time to watch all of them. I have put them in the order in which I think they are best viewed. They will each give you a slice of “Oradour” that, when combined, will provide you with a rich experience and a lot of good content.

Start with this video. It is like a documentary and provides you with a narrative in English of what it was like days before the massacre, followed by a chronological accounting of what transpired on the day of the massacre. It is the longest video (9 minutes). If you can only watch one, watch this one because it provides the complete story.

Video 1

Source: YouTube video “Oradour – Death of a French Village 10th June 1944” by dewART.

Now that you know the story, the video below combines old photos before its destruction, shots of it today and some photos of the few survivors. It will touch you.


Source: YouTube “Oradour-sur-Glane”

The video that follows give good shots with captions of what happened there. It is yet a different perspective from the video above.

Video 3
Source: Your Tube “Oradour-sur-glane A Warning from History” by GlenStorm101

See more on Oradour-Sur-Glane at wikipedia.



  1. […] This was first blogged by baworldtraveler and I am grateful for the eye-opener. TrackBack URI […]

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