Oradour-sur-Glane. On 4th September 2013 The French President Francois Hollande and the German President Joachim Gauck stood hand in hand with Robert Hebras, a survivor of the massacre of Oradour in 1944. It was a gesture of reconciliation at the scene of one of the worst massacres of the Second World War, 642 men women and children were murdered by the German SS Division Das Reich on 10th June 1944.
Mr Hollande and Mr Gauck were accompanied by two of only three living survivors of the Oradour massacre – Robert Hebras, 88, and Jean-Marcel Darthout.
Mr Hebras, who was 19 at the time, hid under the corpses of his frriends and neighbours who were machine-gunned by the 2nd SS Panzer Division.
The village has been left exactly as it was on that day as a memorial to them. Today, more than 300,000 people a year visit Oradour.
By Malcolm Clough