ORADOUR-SUR-GLANE, France (AP) — Holding hands in quiet tribute, the presidents of Germany and France are visiting the scene of the largest massacre in Nazi-occupied France nearly seven decades ago.
Wednesday’s visit by German President Joachim Gauck to the southwestern French town of Oradour-sur-Glane is the first by a serving German leader.
On June 10, 1944 — four days after the Allied D-Day landings — an SS armored division herded hundreds of civilians into barns and a church, blocked the doors and set fire to the town. A total of 642 men, women and children died. Only six people survived.
French President Francois Hollande and Gauck joined hands inside the church’s ruins.
Oradour-sur-Glane today remains a phantom village.