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Oradour-sur-Glane, France
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Location
    (1806- )
    Population of 2,188 (as of 2006)
    Known in Occitan as Orador de Glana
    25 kilometres north-west of Limoges, Limousin region of central France
    Commune and main village in the Haute-Vienne department in the Limousin region in west-central France
    Original village destroyed by a Nazi Waffen-SS company in a massacre which killed 642 inhabitants, including women and children (Jun. 4, 1944)
    Ordered by Charles De Gaulle to be preserved as a national landmark, memorial, and museum
    Separate new village was built post-WWII, northwest of the massacre site (1953)
    One of France's most popular tourist destinations
    The original town is a popular tourist attraction despite being the site of one of a horrific tragedy.
    The second town outlawed marriages and celebrations in June for over four decades.
    Between 1953 and the early 60s, public activities, communions, and baptisms were also banned.
    The townspeople dressed their children entirely in black for generations following the massacre.
    It has had a historically rocky relationship with the French State, for years banning French politicians from making appearances.
    It has historically been commemorated by French authorities as a way of downplaying Vichy France's complicity in the Nazi's atrocities.
    It was called 'the Martyred Village.'
    It remains one of the most fascinating artifacts of WWII history.
    It was a thriving and active community before its destruction.
    Charles De Gaulle was insistent on it remaining a monument to the cruelty of the Nazi occupation.
    Like Pompeii, the original town has been carefully preserved in its ruined state.
    Its name is ironically derived from the Latin word 'oratorium,' meaning a place of prayer (the worst of the violence took place in a church the Nazis had detonated with citizens inside).
    The perpetrators of the war crimes on the original town were convicted but eventually released without fulfilling their whole sentences, outraging the victims' families and most of France in the process.
    French president Jacques Chirac dedicated a memorial museum, the Centre de la mémoire d'Oradour, near the entrance to the original village (1999).
    It was the site of the first visit by a German president to the site of a major World War II monument to a Nazi massacre on French soil (Sept. 4, 2013).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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