German and French leaders visited a ghost town to remember the massacre at Oradour. Yahoo! News reports on Sept. 4 that Francois Hollande and Joachim Gauck spent time in the French village that has been abandoned since World War II. A survivor of the massacre was invited to the event and described the past in an emotional scene.
German President Joachim Gauck and French President Francois Holland comforted survivor Robert Hebras as he remembered the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane. SS troops killed more than 600 people in the village during World War II. The area remains as a ghost town and has not been rebuilt.
The French government decided to turn Oradour-sur-Glane into a living memorial by not restoring the village after the war. Robert Hebras visited the site with the German and French leaders to point out the past. He still remembered the location of the school and other aspects of the crumbling village. Hebras is one of the few survivors, but he lost his family in the massacre.
The area is considered a historic monument, but time and weather are having an impact on the village. There have been requests for the French government to continue to preserve Oradour-sur-Glane and prevent it from decaying. It already contributes an annual amount to help the village.
There is a current investigation against several of the SS men involved in the massacre. Andreas Brendel stated that the six men were part of the “Das Reich” Division and participated in the June 10, 1944, atrocity.