Miles off topic, but thought it worth mentioning.
Just came home from a summer holiday in France last night.
Went to a place that I'd always wanted to visit called 'Oradour Sur Glane'. Here's some history:
While i was walking around looking at the ruin of what must have been a typically pretty French village, i saw on my map the village forge. I thought it would be too much to expect, but to my surprise the anvil was still sat where the village blacksmith had left it all those years ago and it still had whatever hardie tool he had last been using in place. The heat of the fire when the SS torched the place must have been intense, the hardie tool appeared to have melted a bit. There was no visible sign of the actual forge, i can only assume it was destroyed when the roof came down.
This is how i saw it:
where 452 of the women and children were killed was also burnt down, and the heat in there must also have been intense, as this is what remains of the bell:
Note the bullet holes inside the church walls:
High and low hits, women and kids height.....
From what you can see there now, it would be hard to imagine what it would have been like if you've never seen anything like it before. I saw similar scenes on a smaller scale in Kosovo, so i could picture how it might have looked quite graphically in my minds eye. Pictures only show so much, you don't get the smells that come from burnt flesh and decay.
The museum/memorial is excellent. It displays artefacts from the rubble in a sort of tomb setting near the graveyard. Plaques from very many different people/organisations hang around the memorial expressing their condolences and thoughts of remembrance. Here's a shot of a typical display in the museum, note the cigarette case with the glancing bullet strike of what i gauged to be a 9mm, possibly from an MP40 or even a Luger:
I like to think that the spirits of the innocents are kicking around the souls of the SS barstewards in whatever afterlife that waits for us. In particular, i hope that young Jean-Paul Haas (who was only 2 months old when the heroes of Hitlers elite decided he was a threat) is providing the SS with an eternity of diarrhoea drenched nappies infused with the essence of the strongest garlic and whatever that superglue like substance that baby dung consists of to bathe in:
Was this his little pram up near the alter?:
If anybody on here ever gets out to France, it's well worth a look. It was left as it was for people to see, so it's not disrespectfull to visit.