Collective Punishment

From Wikipedia, the tragic story of Oradour-sur-Glane:

“Early on the morning of 10 June 1944, Diekmann informed Weidinger at regimental headquarters that he had been approached by two members of the Milice; a paramilitary force belonging to the Vichy Regime. They claimed that a Waffen-SS officer was being held by the Resistance in Oradour-sur-Vayres, a nearby village. The captured German was alleged to be SS-Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe, commander of the 2nd SS Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion (another unit of the ‘Das Reich’ division), who may have been captured by the Maquis du Limousin the day before.”

During World War II, the French Resistance were qualitatively the same as the German army.  They didn’t have any tanks or planes or tens of thousands of highly trained soldiers or anything but hey, exactly the same.

So then this happened:

“On 10 June, Diekmann’s battalion sealed off Oradour-sur-Glane, having confused it with nearby Oradour-sur-Vayres, and ordered all the townspeople – and anyone who happened to be in or near the town – to assemble in the village square, ostensibly to have their identity papers examined. In addition to the residents of the village, the SS also apprehended six people who did not live there but had the misfortune to be riding their bikes through the village when the Germans arrived.

All the women and children were locked in the church while the village was looted. Meanwhile, the men were led to six barns and sheds where machine guns were already in place.

According to the account of a survivor, the soldiers began shooting at them, aiming for their legs so that they would die slowly. Once the victims were no longer able to move, the soldiers covered their bodies with fuel and set the barns on fire. Only six men escaped; one of them was later seen walking down a road heading for the cemetery and was shot dead. In all, 190 men perished.

The soldiers proceeded to the church and placed an incendiary device there. After it was ignited, women and children tried to escape through the doors and windows of the church, but they were met with machine-gun fire. A total of 247 women and 205 children died in the carnage. Only 47-year-old Marguerite Rouffanche survived. She slid out by a rear sacristy window, followed by a young woman and child.  All three were shot; Marguerite Rouffanche was wounded and her companions were killed. She crawled to some pea bushes behind the church, where she remained hidden overnight until she was rescued the following morning. Another group of about twenty villagers had fled Oradour-sur-Glane as soon as the soldiers had appeared. That night, the village was partially razed.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, the formal written narrative of a 20 year old American B-17 navigator – shot down over Avord, France in late April, 1944 and thereafter hidden by the French Resistance until he was finally flown to England on 6 August, 1944 – was obtained in 2011. The report includes the following hand-written notation, dated August 15, 1944: ‘About 3 weeks ago, I saw a town within 4 hours bicycle ride up the Gerbeau farm where some 500 men, women, and children had been murdered by the Germans. I saw one baby who had been crucified.'”

Hey, the French civilians totes deserved this.  It was French partisans who kidnapped and killed a Nazi officer.  These French villagers simply should have had the foresight to know that when they made a meager gesture of resistance against a crushing, murderous occupation they totally opened themselves up to a super fair retaliation in the form of 90 year-olds being burned alive and babies being crucified.

Sorry bro, but if you start a “war” you have to finish it.

Go Israel!

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