On June 10th 1944, only a few days after the Allied landings in Normandy, German troops entered the sleepy village of Oradour-sur-Glane in central France and rounded up men, woman, and children.
Within hours 642 lay dead and dying. The men were massacred by machine gun fire in cattle sheds and the woman and children were locked in a church that was set on fire. After the massacre, the SS set fire to houses and cars in an apparent attempt to erase their crime against humanity.
After the war, Charles De Gaulle declared that the village of Oradour should be rebuilt adjacent to where the town had previously stood, and that that the burnt-out remains of the old village should be preserved as a poignant reminder to future generations of the atrocities of war. Despite a trial at Bordeaux, the SS unit that massacred the town was never brought to justice. A sign above the entrance to the martyred village reads “Souviens-Toi” — “Remember.”