Looks to me that this is the ruins of the infamous church,
Dolf has ascertained that it's the barn, not the church.
where the people fled, but were trapped, and died, because the resistance had stored explosives, and other weoponry as well as fuel there.
They didn't flee, they were corralled into the church by the SS.Two-hundred women and 207 children - from grandmothers to infants - were forced into the town church, where they killed with machine gun fire, grenades and incendiary devices. Then the SS troops heap straw and church pews on the victim's bodies and set the pryre alight.
The Resistance didn't store explosives there, either. In fact, the Resistance weren't in Oradour at all.
What exactly happened is still a close guarded mystery,
It is absolutely astounding that an event which is covered in minute detail by at least two mass-market books in English readily available in the US (not to mention the accounts published in France in the past 50 years), an event which resulted in a trial covered by all the major newspapers in France in the late 1940's - could be considered "a closely guarded mystery."
It is a mystery to the willfully ignorant who wish to peddle SS-whitewashing conspiracy theories at the expense of the facts.
If you have facts about a Dutch reporter supposedly being told to stop asking questions about Oradour - then post the facts instead of insinuations and heresay. The latter are little more than static.
As I have mentioned before, two excellent investigations into the massacre are Sarah Farmer's Martyred Village and Max Hasting's Das Reich: The March of the 2nd SS-Panzer Division Through France 1944
Michael, you wrote:
One interesting element is that the members of the Waffen-SS unit that carried out the (excessive) reprisal action in Oradour were largely Alsatians who had been drafted into the German forces, ie they had been French citizens prior to 1940.
That's correct. In 1947, the French government tried former members of the Waffen-SS, both German and French, for the massacre at Oradour. It also passed the "lex Oradour" - a law which stipulated that a person could be tried for war crimes even if he was only a member of a unit implicated in a war crime.
The trial became a political imbroglio, especially because most of the 14 French defendants presented themselves as "malgre-nous" - unwilling W-SS conscripts forced into perpetrating war crimes- which raised sensitive political issues at a time when France was attempting to reintegrate Alsace.
A handful of defendants werefound guilty and sentenced to death or imprisonment, but by 1958 all sentences were commuted, with the desire for justice superseded by the need to politically reintegrate Alsace into France. As is sometimes the case with war crimes trials - the "small fish" triggermen stood trial while the "big fish" senior officers - e.g. 3rd Company CO Otto Kahn, divisional CO Heinz Lammerding, etc. escaped justice.
It is entirely legitimate to refer to the explosives and fuel allegedly stored in the church, the explosion of which was the immediate cause of the deaths of the women and children who had either been imprisoned or had taken refuge there.
Actually it's not. The "explosives in the church" theory has been a staple of Revisionist writings for decades - in the memoirs of Nazi apologist (and LSSAH veteran) Hans Schmidt and on the web pages of the white-supremist site Stormfront. It's an allegation that doesn't collaborate with the testimony of the victims, or the accounts of Maquis partisans and SOE agents, forensic evidence or in short, any of the facts.
It is clear that a number of men of the village were rounded and executed by gunfire. One version of the event is that the SS unit involved intended to execute the men of the village as a reprisal for a Resistance attack, but not the women and children, and that the deaths of the latter in the burning church was an unintended accident, due to the explosion. I do not know whether that version is true, but so far as I know it has not been conclusively disproved.
It's been pretty conclusively disproved, unless one wants to believe Elvis walks a (flat) earth and Jews control all the banks and the media.
Some of the facts about Oradour that SS apologists consistently ignore are in the WWII German reaction to the event - General Gleininger's apology to the Bishop, the Gestapo's attempt to capture all the survivors, the censors preventing the funeral notices of the victims to be published by the newspapers, the condemnation of the Vichy government representative who visited the massacre site, the "court-martial proceedings" allegedly started against SS-Sturmbannführer Diekmann.
There was a cover-up with Oradour - and it was the WWII German occupation authorities who were responsible. These authorities realized what modern SS apologists do not - that Oradour wasn't just an "atonement action" gone awry due to an "excess of zeal" but perhaps one of the most counterproductive counterinsurgency actions in the entire 20th century. On-the-spot commanders such as Diekmann and Kahn not only violated the guidelines for reprisals set by their own divisional commander, their actions were so brutal and on so massive a scale that they destroyed whatever frayed bonds existed between Vichy and the occupation authorities, completely failed in their attempt to supress the Resistance through terror, and in essence handed a moral victory to the Allies.