Germans investigate World War II massacre

Jan. 30, 2013 at 3:20 PM
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ORADOUR-SUR-GLANE, France, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Germany has begun an inquiry into the World War II massacre of 642 people by German troops in the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane.

Acting on evidence found in the files of East Germany's Stasi secret police, investigators traveled to the village in central France, whose ruins have been preserved since the war, to note where different SS units were deployed, and to hear from witnesses and survivors, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.

On June 10, 1944, a detachment of SS troops surrounded the village. It is believed by some they sought retribution for the kidnapping of a German officer, but other say resistance members were based in a nearby village. Most of the victims were women and children, herded into a local church before it was bombed with grenades and burned. Men were locked in a barn, machine-gunned and then burned, the BBC said.

A survivor, Robert Hebras, said he welcomed the German inquiry.

"Lots of people concerned now are old men like me. Nonetheless it is good that Germany is taking responsibility for Oradour and remained concerned by it."

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