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Oradour Sur Glane,ex SS soldier to face charges


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See that an 88 year old ex SS soldier has been charged with taking part in this massacre,will be interesting to see if it gets to court but i dearly hope so and that the German's do not do as the French did with previous alleged perpetrators and not bother in the name of reconcillation,i have no axe to grind against the Germans but feel that charges are right,what are your views on this putting aside the alleged kidnapping/execution of the doctor/general by the resistance.Linky.....

http://news.sky.com/story/1192372/ex-ss-soldier-88-charged-over-nazi-massacre

Edited by jarrett
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This thread may be charged and may even get closed pdq in common to a lot of such debates on ww2 forums as being considered inappropriate to the general aims of the forum. I cannot find a link to this piece but having said that we are all entitled to our views and opinions and at the end of the day a crime is still a crime, regardless of perpetrator or the reasons, moral and criminal law seeks to define that. His innocence or guilt has yet to be proven.

 

Such events as OSG have taken place for centuries and continue to today throughout our 'civilised' societies. The (some may argue subjective) bringing to justice of perpetrators continues to be undertaken in the West and can only serve to convey societies commitment to bring those that commit such acts to justice.

 

Does this process act as a deterrent to potential acts in the future or is it societies demand for punishment? Certainly from what I've seen in the past 20 years it doesn't seem to significantly deter such behavior internationally. Will the prosecution of an 88 year old man serve a purpose (guilty or not guilty), or is this even about purpose?

 

If the evidence leads to a guilty verdict could we consider this simply as a crime that has been brought to justice and due punishment discharged? I am sure most victims would want justice sought regardless of his age or the time passed.

 

I watch this post with interest.

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Yep will be interesting to see how long this thread runs!!

 

There are lots of interesting points in this case though like the fact that some of the perpetrators were from Alsace. Perhaps if there had not been such haste to 'move on' after the war there would have been a more rigorous prosecution process and the issue would not still be running.. On the other hand it is understandable why nations would want to put this sort of thing behind them given the horrors they had lived through.

 

At the end of the day this is a German not French prosecution and shows a determination to come to terms with the past so it can't be simply a case of 'victors justice'.

 

I'm not sure there is any value in drawing an equivalence between the Resistance and terrorist organisations, although I can see it can be done. There are lots of myths and untruths spoken about the French Resistance but ultimately they didn't ask for the Germans to invade so I know where I stand on that one!

 

Like I say not sure how long this thread will survive!

 

Cheers

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I'm not sure there is any value in drawing an equivalence between the Resistance and terrorist organisations, although I can see it can be done. There are lots of myths and untruths spoken about the French Resistance but ultimately they didn't ask for the Germans to invade so I know where I stand on that one!

Cheers

 

Indeed.

I find it insulting to compare their (or our Dutch resistance) with terrorists.

 

Resistance killed German soldiers and collaborators not random civilians.

 

Best to close this thread if it leads to people accusion the few on the good side (resistance) of terrorism when so many chose to fight with the Germans....

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we have to draw a line somewhere.

the resistance was not more then a terrorist group that acted without uniforms or markings.

they did their part against the greater evil but still, where do we draw the line that enough is enough with prosecution?

 

If you act against the law ( which was ruled as German occupied country) , you are resistance fighter for the overruled government , but a terrorist for the "new" leaders. Consider both are right.

About Oradour sur Glane , the French resistance may be seen as the factor that the German action got out of control.

Women and Children were drawn together in the church , and resistance men hidden in the tower had lots of ammo and demolition charges. I read that those men paniced , lost their senses and let it explode so they were not taken alive and face torture and death. Arms ,legs and bodyparts were found in the wide environment of the building. Proof they were not shot to death but got killed by explosion. Not hard to understand the German SS troops went insain and finished it by killing all the men and boys , thinking they were under fire by the resistance.

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25 Pounder ..........deep breath...

...I don't know where you read that load of rubbish about 'the church being blown up by resistance stored explosives' etc .............but that is exactly what it is ..complete and absolute utter rubbish.

I strongly suggest you do a bit more research .

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25 Pounder ..........deep breath...

...I don't know where you read that load of rubbish about 'the church being blown up by resistance stored explosives' etc .............but that is exactly what it is ..complete and absolute utter rubbish.

I strongly suggest you do a bit more research .

 

Having been there I have to agree with Bob. It is a place you will never forget and so well worth a visit. The silence is tangible.

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I feel that if their is a case to answer then the man should be put before the court, a crime is a crime even if it was perpetrated almost 70 years ago. Whether or not the resistance could be classed as terrorists is irrelevant as the massacre involved civilians including many women and children.

As regards the plainly ridiculous story about explosives in the church I think this was a story put about by the SS for obvious reasons.

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the dutch resistance killed innocent people too, there were nice germans, there were bad troops who sold gear to the black markets.

war is dirty business. face it, everybody did what they need to do to survive, even if it meant poaching, signing up for the wrong side or fight as germans called it terrorist groups.

fact is, let it be the past. what good is it to prosecute 92 year olds?

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we have to draw a line somewhere.

the resistance was not more then a terrorist group that acted without uniforms or markings.

they did their part against the greater evil but still, where do we draw the line that enough is enough with prosecution?

There were many factions to the French resistance and a lot of infighting but they had a common enemy and to call them a terrorist group is an insult or why would they have a Resistance museum in Paris?by the same token the British/American and other nationalities parachuted in by soe/oss to assist them are terrorists,somehow i doubt it,how many airmen would have got back to the UK without their help,not many.

Mistakes were made and no doubt innocent civilians were killed but bombing raids claimed a much larger toll of civilians and i recall seeing somewhere that approx 3000 French civilians were killed on D Day and the days that followed,i think that unless you have lived under occupation by an enemy force we will not view it as someone who has,i have been to OSG and all the signs say silence,it was the most moving place i have visited in my life,more so than a concentration camp and i found it hard to talk as i was choked,go to any French town and see how many were deported,drive the roads of Belgium and France and see a little memorial to a Resistance fighter and if you do put a flower on it,i think then you may begin to understand.

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The whole OSG incident is one of potential embarrassment to the French government since the German soldiers involved included those recruited from the German occupied French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine so you had the potential that this massacre was carried out by some who were French by birth.

 

It will be interesting to see what happens but not sure how this thread fits this forum?

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I hope this thread will stay open here, so please keep it cool!:D

 

Just for an update from the area, It has all the locals talking about how the Germans have taken the matter seriously 70 years later. As one said to me only this morning while delivering near there that its a shame France could not make the same effort. but This is now becoming old news because they are more interested in the François Holland scandal today

:D

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I do not understand the compelling need to find a living person to take account for something done so long ago. This is not me passing any sort of judgement - I guess the only people who could explain why are those who were in some way affected by the incident. Those of us who were not should be grateful for our isolation from the incident, and maybe we have no right to comment further.

 

But having said that, then if you have to to find someone accountable, it seems appropriate to prosecute someone who at least had some influence or control over the events. I fail to see how prosecuting a soldier from down in the ranks who pulled the trigger achieves anything other than a symbolic 'eye for an eye' (of course there may be more compelling evidence against this person of which I / we are not aware). Surely these soldiers were acting under a command structure, meaning they were ordered to carry out a task. Its not like the soldier could simply down his weapon and 'walk off the job' without fear of being shot for desertion or refusing to act on an order. I would imagine many of these German soldiers found what they were tasked to do quite horrific but they really had no choice. Just like some of the allied bomber crews. I just don't see how we can fairly judge these people so long after an event we did not experience.

 

Perhaps the most extreme example of this in recent years has been the attempt by a group of Holocaust survivors / relatives to sue the French Rail system for damages on the basis that they must have known that the trains carrying Jews to camps were taking them to their death. If the Burt Lancaster film 'The Train' was anything like a realistic portrayal of how the rail system was being controlled by the German Army, any train driver / controller who refused to take a train to its destination was liable to be in serious trouble.

 

It is so easy to say 'just forget about retribution and move on' - but if you or your family were affected in some way, how on earth could you?

Edited by N.O.S.
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The comments given by fellow mebers here only goed to show how complex these matters are.

A clear black/white view isn't evident.

 

Prosecution so long after the event may at least let people know time may not make them safe.

If it deters people commiting these acts isn't likely but should we just say "ah its so long ago, lets let them get away with i"t because they are so old now"?

Just ask those who didn't get a chance to grow old or those having lost friends and relatives......

 

And yes, its easy to sit here and Judge or give my opinion. Just lets hope we never get involved in anything like this in our lives.

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