ASCQ (Near Lille, April 2, 1944) BY HJ
At the end of March, 1944, the 12th SS Panzer Division 'Hitler Jugend' set out on 24 rail trucks for Normandy to cover the coast in anticipation of an Allied landing. The convoy, under the command of SS Obersturmführer Walter Hauck, was approaching the small railway station of Ascq when a violent explosion blew the line apart. Stopping the train, it was found that two flat trucks had been derailed, holding up the whole convoy. Hauck, in a foul mood, ordered his men to search and arrest all male members of the houses on both sides of the track. They were assembled together and marched down the track about 300 yards where each man was shot in the back of the head. Altogether 70 men were shot beside the railway line and another 16 killed in the village itself. After an investigation by the Gestapo, six more men were arrested and charged with planting the bomb. They were all executed by firing squad. When the war ended, a search for the perpetrators was set in motion. Most of the SS men were found in Allied POW camps in Europe and in England. In all, nine SS men stood trial in a French Military Court at Lille. All were sentenced to death, including Hauck. The sentences were later commuted to a period of imprisonment and Walter Hauck was released in July, 1957.
Further information is available at:
Issue #49 of After the Battle Magazine has an article “The Ascq Massacre The murder of civilians by 12. SS-Panzer-Division in this Belgian village in March 1944” by Dr Jean-Marie Mocq -see http://www.afterthebattle.com/ab-con1.html
Mocq seems to have expanded the article into a book - see
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASI ... 50-4763032
The town of Ascq has a museum devoted to the incident:
Le Musée du Souvenir FREE
77, rue Mangin / Tel. 33 (0)3 20 91 87 57
The museum pays tribute to the victims of the Ascq Massacre (April 1944) through a collection of pictures, posters and personal effects. 86 people were shot to death by a SS convoy from the Russian front.
http://www.yourcounty.co.uk/france/vill ... asque.html
http://www.tourisme.fr/office-de-touris ... d-ascq.htm
News article about the 60th anniversary of the incident:
Have any of the forum members visited Ascq and the museum dedicated to the tragic incident?