German warcrimes in France in 1940

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David Lehmann
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German warcrimes in France in 1940

Post by David Lehmann » 05 Jun 2003 10:52

Hi,

Near Lyon there is a memorial monument, the "Tata", dedicated to the French colonial troops, especially the Senegalese tirailleurs. The 19th and 20th June 1940, 188 men of the 25th RTS (régiment de tirailleurs sénégalais) + 4 men of the 405th RADCA (régiment d'artillerie de défense contre avions) + 19 european officers and NCOs who were POWs had been simply slaughtered by the Germans. All the French WIA of these units had also been executed. Many bodies and been burned ond others crushed by german panzers and the other white POWs from metropolitan units had to contemplate that. The Germans units involved were from the Grossdeutschland regiment and the SS Totenkopf division.
In the Oise region, next to the village of Erquivilliers 74 tirailleurs had also been executed and found in a common grave.
And the problem is that only few cities in France hold an inquiry about such slaughters commited in 1940. Often the only documented ones are the one commited under the following occupation. Also 20 senegalese in the Haute-Marne, shot down, a bullet in the head and burned.
During the Struggle between the 53rd regiment of the 7th colonial infantry division and the 7. Panzedivision from Rommel, taking place in Airaines (Somme) from 5th to 7th June 1940, the losses are heavy on both sides. Without munitions a French company surrenders. Black and white men are separated. The captain N'Tchoréré is simply shot down and later 109 bodies had been found in common graves. In Clamecy (Nièvre), in a POW camp, 42 black men are also exacuted and there are many other atrocities that aren't documented.
The Germans simply could not sustain that "Untermenschen" fought against them and considered them as beasts. The German propaganda also convinced the Germans that the colonial troops were used to eat the German POWs (!!!) and they also kill immediately the black men equiped with a machete. In fact the Germans really feared the French colonial troops since WWI and because of their skin colour they simply were not treated like the white French soldiers.

David

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 05 Jun 2003 11:05

N'Tchorere was shot out of hand because he refused to line up with the Senegalese other ranks.As an officer he thought his standing would overcome the racial divide but tragically not.

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Post by David Lehmann » 05 Jun 2003 11:18

This was captain Charles N'Tchoréré, commander of the 5th company of there marine infantry regiment :

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David

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Post by Peter H » 05 Jun 2003 13:48

Racial vilification of French African soldiers was at its best with the French Occupation of the Ruhr in 1923.Any German youths feed such nonsense as Senegalese troops raping German women,or eating German children,would certainly turn out rascist in the long run.At the same time many German publications of the 1930s still glorified the Asarkis of WW1.

De Gaulle also 'whitened' his Army of Liberation in late 1944 as it approached the German frontier.Around 20,000 West Africans were demobilised.I have no idea if this was due to more than French manpower reserves being then readily available,with some fear of more German retribution possible.

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Withdrawal from lines, french colonials

Post by alsaco » 05 Jun 2003 20:35

The "whitening" Moulded mentions resulted from the fact that in december 1944 the colonial regiments with african volunteers, engaged since two years in first line, Italy and then France, were on contact with german troops in the hills west of the Vosges, in a very cold weather, with much snow.
This type of weather generated lots of frozen feets, and blacks were not really prepared to fight in such conditions. It was therefore decided to replace them totally with FFI from central France having joined the first french army in september-october.
The change happened sometimes in very funny circumstances, the exchange of weapons and uniform being made in front villages. For other units, the FFI were added as a fifth company to existing structures. But for these colonial units, the mass "whitening" did create entirely new units.

The result was not allways perfect, and inexperience of maquis soldiers helped often the stabilisation of the situation in favor of germans. But nevertheless the inclusion of maquis volunteers was a success, building up a new army "Rhin et Danube", were old fighters from Africa and Italy and young recruits without military experience did develop a good military force, as was shown during the Alsace and then Germany campaign.

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Post by David Lehmann » 16 Jul 2005 00:45

Hello,

Racial vilification of French African soldiers was at its best with the French Occupation of the Ruhr in 1923.Any German youths feed such nonsense as Senegalese troops raping German women,or eating German children,would certainly turn out rascist in the long run.


About the subject there is a French book which was edited in 2004, and I think it could be a good source of information.

LA HONTE NOIRE
"L'Allemagne et les troupes coloniales françaises 1914-1945"
by Jean-Yves Le Naour

The "black shame (= la honte noire)" is an expression used by the Germans after WW1. It is in fact a worldwide propaganda campaign organised by Germany against the presence of French colonial troops in Germany. It is based on lies and systematic accusation of rapes of white women in the occupied areas. These rumors had to convince the German people and the world public opinion that France was an enemy of the "Kultur" and of the European civilisation. They wanted to depict France as hateful and militarist country, a country that wanted to introduce bastards and syphilis in the "pure German people". Hitler used these accusations also in "Mein Kampf" and in 1935 he ordered to sterilize all the children born from black/ "white" German couples, before killing them later. In France, Jean Moulin (prefect of Chartres) makes his first resistance action by protecting black troops but thousands have already been executed ... these executions are the results of the German propaganda ... the same that will depict the Soviets as "Untermenschen" that they have the right to kill.

Already mentioned here :
- 188 men of the 25th RTS + 4 men of the 405th RADCA + 19 European officers and NCOs executed (SS-Totenkopf and/or GD apparently)
- In Erquivilliers, 74 tirailleurs executed
- In Airaines, 109 French POWs from the 7e DIC executed (7.PzD apparently)
- In Clamecy, in a POW camp, 42 black men executed

Beside these 'racial' war crimes, there were several other reported atrocities in France during the invasion of 1940.
They involve mainly the SS-Totenkopf division :
- Le Paradis : 97 British POWs executed
- Mercatel : 5 British POWs hanged
- Pont de Gy : 23 French civilians executed, a young woman and a baby burned in their house, the other people were hindered to help them
- Etrun : 5 French civilians killed including
- Hermaville : 4 French civilians mutilated, 1 civilian killed and 22 farms burned down
- Aubigny-en-Artois : During the battle of Arras on 21st May 1940, elements of the SS-Totenkopf (mot) division are facing a British unit defending a bridge on the Scarpe River in the town of Aubigny-en-Artois (15 km west of Arras). In reprisal for this resistance, 98 French civilians from the town are executed by the Germans. The officer in charge, Obersturmbahn Fritz Kuchenlein will be hung on 28th January 1949 for his war crimes.
- Berles-Montchel : 45 French civilians executed
- Mingoval : several civilians executed
etc.


Such crimes will be followed by many others during the occupation of France. There were many retaliations against civilians after the actions of the French resistance :
- In the Glières : 573 houses have been burned, about 200 French civilians killed and 40 deported
- Le Mont Mouchet : the towns of Clavières , Auvers , Pinols , Dièges and Paulhac have been destroyed after the battle as a revenge.
… and many other people executed or deported in too many French towns and cities … And of course the well known massacres of Oradour-sur-Glane (642 French civilians killed and burned) and Tulle on 9th June 1944 (98 French civilians hanged).


Regards,

David

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Post by Peter H » 16 Jul 2005 10:23

David,

An English written book on the subject of Black massacres is coming out next year as well.

Hitler's African Victims: The German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940 by Raffael Scheck.

http://www.colby.edu/personal/r/rmschec ... tract.html

Regards,
Peter

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Post by Dexx » 16 Jul 2005 10:32

Hi,

do you know something about a warcrime perpetrated by the 267. ID in France in 1940?

Why I am asking is: I read the war diary of my grandfather (member of 267. ID) and he wrote something linke this (out of my memory): We came into a village with white flags. All of the sudden, one of your cars was attacked and two soldiers killed (the cook). Then we demanded artillery fire to be set at the village. After this males were rounded up and shot. I will never forget this day, because it was the first horrible "war scene" for me (I believe he used the word Feuertaufe=baptism of fire).

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Post by David Lehmann » 16 Jul 2005 12:56

Hi Dexx,

I can't really help about this one. The first thing would be to find the name of the village, the date etc. The issue is that there were probably many cases but very few are documented. Only very few cities made real researches about surrounding events and all the work was generally done later under the occupation. In June/July 1940 there was no administration, no civilian power anymore, everything had collapsed and nothing was organized.

Peter : the books seems indeed interesting.

Regards,

David

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Post by David Thompson » 16 Jul 2005 13:22

An off-topic post from Panzermahn was deleted by the moderator -- DT.

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Post by michael mills » 16 Jul 2005 13:44

What is the evidence for the executions of the colonial troops?

For example, were their bodies found in graves after the war? Were there reliable witnesses to the shootings?

Some two million French troops went into captivity as prisoners of war, and I imagine that there were many colonial troops among them. Has any reliable investigation been carried out into their fate? Has it been shown, for instance, that white French POWs survived their imprisonement, whereas colonial troops did not?

I know that the welfare of French POWs was looked after by a special department of the French Government at Vichy, which under the terms of the armistice of 22 June 1940 had access to all French servicmen held by the Germans. Did that department discover any maltreatment of French colonial troops by the Germans, including illegal executions?

The irony is that the French forces in Syria that opposed the Allied invasion in the summer of 1941 included a large component of Senegalese troops.

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Post by michael mills » 16 Jul 2005 13:48

Concerning the so-called "Rhineland Bastards", illegitimate children of German women by French colonial troops (not only Senegalese but also Moroccans and Algerians), it is certainly true that they were subjected to forced sterilisation.

But does David Lehmann have any reliable evidence that those persons were killed?

Most societies tend to discriminate against children fathered by foreign occupation troops, eg the Norwegian children of German troops, or the Korean and Vietnamese children of United States troops.

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Post by TH Albright » 16 Jul 2005 14:20

"..Aubigny-en-Artois : During the battle of Arras on 21st May 1940, elements of the SS-Totenkopf (mot) division are facing a British unit defending a bridge on the Scarpe River in the town of Aubigny-en-Artois (15 km west of Arras). In reprisal for this resistance, 98 French civilians from the town are executed by the Germans. The officer in charge, Obersturmbahn Fritz Kuchenlein will be hung on 28th January 1949 for his war crimes..."

David..would like more info/sources on this atrocity...was it Knochlein..the same officer who ordered the La Paradis....Sydnor did not mention this in "Soldiers of Destruction" and if true, was a major war crime....never mentioned in other sources about the Waffen SS. If it occured this would have been another "poster child" moment for Waffen SS "criminality". Knochlein was hanged for La Paradis..no mention of this atrocity was, to my knowledge, was introduced at his trial.

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Post by David Lehmann » 16 Jul 2005 18:59

Hello,

Ok, I will try to be more precise about the sources and give more details like which testified, the references of the civilians or French army archives etc. I did not have primary sources about such things, I have just red in various books all the things I have wrotten.

1) Concerning the German propaganda against France and its colonial troops I already mentioned the book of Jean-Yves Le Naour, here is the cover of that book :

Image

I only had a quick overview of the book for the moment. What I gave is roughly the abstract of that book.

2) The coming book by Raffael Scheck "Hitler's African Victims: The German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940" :

During its campaign against France in 1940, the German army killed several thousand black French POWs belonging to units drafted in French West Africa (Tirailleurs Sénégalais). The Germans had no orders requiring the killing of black prisoners, but a historically grounded racism provided a sense of authorization for the massacres, while certain battlefield dynamics helped to trigger them.
The stigmatization of black men in arms as perfidious and cruel savages dated from the German colonial wars in the first decade of the twentieth century. The Nazis activated this image in May 1940 with a massive propaganda offensive targeting the black soldiers in the French army. This racist indoctrination, however, was not sufficient to cause massacres given that the treatment of black French POWs was highly inconsistent. Drawing from works in social and military psychology, the book shows that situational factors, such as the finding of a mutilated German soldier, the battle fear associated with close combat, and the frustration of encountering determined resistance toward the end of the campaign, tended to “confirm” the prejudice against black combatants in the minds of German soldiers and to make massacres more likely.
Hitler's African Victims connects the massacres to the debates on the Nazification of the German army during World War II. Although the German invasion of France in 1940 is usually depicted as a traditional political and military conflict not shaped by ideological factors, the massacres of black soldiers show that it also carried features of a race war. It thus appears not as a hiatus but rather as a crucial link in the gradual barbarization of the German army that began with war crimes in Poland in 1939 and led to the racially motivated atrocities in the Soviet Union beginning in 1941. The book also places the abuses in the context of the treatment of non-whites stigmatized as “illegitimate combatants” in colonial wars.
Although the murders of captured black soldiers in France were, according to a contemporary source, “common currency” during the German invasion, they have been almost completely absent from the public memory of the war and from narratives of the campaign. No war crimes trials against the perpetrators took place, and the executions of black POWs were never considered in the recent public debates about German war crimes in World War II. The book therefore covers new ground and promises to be of great interest to experts as well as a broader reading public concerned with the crimes of the German army.



3) "Noirs dans les camps Nazis"
by Serge Bilé
Recently a book was also published about the blacks in the Nazi concentration camps. I never had this one in my hands and only heard about it on TV.

Image


4) Concerning most of the mentioned war crimes in France in 1940, I learned about them while reading
"La campagne de 1940"
a book written as a report after an international History congress about the Campaign of 1940. It took place on 16-18th 2000 November in Paris.
the book was written under the direction of Christine Levisse-Touzé
Editor : Tallandier
2001
ISBN : 2-235-02312-6

In this book, one chapter (pages 448-464) deals with war crimes in May/June 1940. It has been written by Julien Fargettas. At the and there is also a paragraph dealing with the progressive nazification of the German army like it will be discussed apparently in Scheck's book.


1) AROUND LYON

Near Lyon there is a memorial monument and cemetery, the "Tata", dedicated to the French colonial troops, especially the Senegalese tirailleurs. It was erected on 8th November 1942. The cemetery contains 188 graves of tirailleurs from the 25e RTS (régiment de tirailleurs sénégalais) who felt during the battle or who were executed after the battle. Most of these men have been executed as they were POWs next to Lyon on 19th and 20th June 1940.
Beside the Senegalese troops other people were executed at this occasion :
- 17 European NCOs from the 25e RTS
- 2 European officers (sous-lieutenant Cevear and sous-lieutenant de Montalivet) from the 25e RTS
- 4 gunners from the 405e RADCA (régiment d'artillerie de défense contre avions) (their execution has been witnessed by nuns – Service Historique de l'Armée de Terre 34 N 5)
- 1 French civilian of the town of Evreux (testimony of Mr Barriot)

On 19th June morning, there are combats in front of Lyon, on the national roads n°6 and n°7, defended by 2 battalions of the 25e RTS. The war crimes begin during the afternoon, around 15h00 and are at first perpetrated by the "Grossdeutschland" infantry regiment near the convent of Montluzin. The Germans are hunting the blacks and the WIAs are executed. The 2 French officers who took the defense of their black troops are also executed, as well as the 4 gunners.

2 tirailleurs are later found with a bullet in the head next to Limonest.

2 tirailleurs are at first shot in a street of Champagne-au-Mont-d'Or. 10 other blacks are later executed in this same town.

At Lyon itself, 20 tirailleurs are separated from the white troops of the POW column and shot. The Germans launched grenades on the regrouped dead bodies and burned them. They stopped the other POWs columns so that they contemplate the scene (note of Jean Marchiani – association des anciens des troupes colonials).

In the night of 19-20th June, 30 Senegalese are shot in the cellars of the prefecture of Lyon (communication of Mr Cohendy, deputy mayor, who was kept prisoner in the prefecture).

On 20th June there are other war crimes committed by the SS-Totenkopf division arriving on the national road n°7. In the town of Evreux, 9 blacks are captured, tortured, mutilated and shot or thrown in a burning farm. The farmer has also been executed after having been accused of hiding black troops (testimony from Mr Barriot and Mr Vialy recorded by the author)

At Fleurieux, blacks are burned in a farm.

At Lentilly, 12 blacks are forced to dig their graves before being executed.

At Chasselay, after a last stand tirailleurs (blacks and whites) are captured and separated according to their skin colour. The blacks are marching about 20 meters in front of the white column. 400-500m after the exit of the village, a German column (AFVs and trucks with troops) stops at the level of the blacks. The whites are ordered to lie on the ground. The German armoured column opens fire at 10m against the Senegalese (with their hands up) under the eyes of the white soldiers. Several men tried to escape and are systematically killed. After about 15 minutes, the white are ordered to move on. Arrived at a German HQ, they are grouped in a truck and sent to Lyon (testimony of corporal Scandariato, also found in "le Tata sénégalais de Chasselay", p.35, by Jean Poncet).
The group of white soldiers in this case were apparently saved by the arrival of a liaison motorcyclist with order to regroup them in a town in the vicinity (testimony of corporal Scandariato).
The testimony of a French NCO of this group indicates that the Germans AFVs crushed the black bodies while trying to stop fleeing POWs. He also indicates that the Waffen-SS have taken photos of the tragedy (testimony of adjudant Requier, SHAT 34 N 5).

More blacks, WIA or too tired to advance in their POW columns are later also executed on the road to Tarare. The executions near Lyon seem to stop on 20th June evening.

All these testimonies and findings were largely compiled thanks to the work of Jean Marchiani. In 1940, he was an important departmental state employee (secrétaire général de l'office départemental des mutilés, anciens combattants et victimes de guerre). Already in August 1940 he worked to regroup the bodies, to identify them and to give them decent graves. (departmental archives of the Rhône, 437 W 173).

In fact very few have been researched about the massacres of the French troops in May/June 1940. The administration of 1940 was knocked down, it could not do anything and probably also did not really wanted to study the question. The France of 1944-1945 after the liberation did not want to speak from the collapse of 1940 and worked only on the war crimes committed under the occupation but not during the combats of 1940. In all France, only 3 departments started more or less important inquiries about war crimes in 1940 against black troops.


2) IN THE OISE

The inquiry starts thanks to a witness (soldier in 1940) and a mass grave is found near Erquivilliers with 64 tirailleurs from the 16e RTS and 24e RTS (departmental archives of the Oise, 33 W 8259).

3) IN THE HAUTE-MARNE

Several civilians are requisitioned to bury dead German soldiers. During their work, they discover about 20 dead blacks hung in the trees with barbed wire. There hands are tied up and the bodies are burned. There are jerry cans at their feet. (The author is still performing more researches about these testimonies).

4) IN THE SOMME

During the fights between the 53e RICMS (Régiment d'Infanterie Coloniale Mixte Sénégalais) belonging to the 7e DIC and the 7.Panzerdivision (Rommel), taking place in Airaines from 5th to 7th June 1940, the losses are heavy on both sides. Out of ammunition, the 5th company surrenders. Black and white men are separated. The captain N'Tchoréré is a black but also the commander of the company. He was simply shot (Association des anciens du 53e RICMS, letter of colonel Le Bos).

According to the "association des anciens du 53e RICMS" and its "bulletin de liaison n°36 of 1954" the fate of the men present with captain N'Tchoréré remains unclear. These men were perhaps among the soldiers executed just next to Airaines (104 bodies) :
- in the gardens of a castle 21 bodies were found in a mass grave
- 83 other bodies were found in the vicinity, they had been thrown in a natural ditch known as the "Saut du Loup"
The information was provided by civilians who discovered the bodies but there are no eye witnesses of the executions themselves (association des anciens du 53e RICMS - bulletin de liaison n°36 of 1954).


But in most of the cases there are no civilian witnesses, they are either hidden in their cellars or on the roads as refugees and the bodies are found after the murders.

The military witnesses still able to testify are also rare, the European officers and NCOs being separated from the black troops.

The medic-lieutenant Auffret (16e RTS) during his march to the captivity witnessed German soldiers killing several Senegalese whose only mistake was to be too precipitated to access to the drink water. (SHAT, 34 N 1095).

5) IN THE NIEVRE

In Clamecy, in a POW camp on 18th June, after an altercation between a black POW and a German officer, the French soldier is executed. In retaliation 20 blacks and North-Africans are also executed. 21 French soldiers are ordered to bury the bodies. As they refuse and try to escape they are also executed. Later, in July, 2 Senegalese are found guilty of having a knife and are also killed. This results in 44 killed French POWs in this camp. (Janette Colas, société scientifique de Clamecy).


The blacks are described by the Germans as "beasts" (SHAT, 34 N 1097, medic-lieutenant Hollecker), "savages" (SHAT, 34 N 5, medic-lieutenant Le Floch), "dogs" ("le Tata sénégalais de Chasselay", p.52, by Jean Poncet and testimony of Mr Jeantet, mayor of Lentilly) and "niggers" (SHAT, 34 N 5, lieutenant Pangaud).

Lieutenant Pangaud was interrogated by a German officer who also told him : "these people are not human, they are beasts, they again proved it today" when describing the blacks.

Commandant Carrat (16e RTS) was interrogated by a German officer who told him : "an inferior race does not deserve to fight the civilizing German race" when talking about the French black troops. (SHAT, 34 N 1095).

Several Germans simply could not sustain that "Untermenschen" fought against them and considered them as beasts. The German propaganda also convinced the Germans that the colonial troops were used to eat the German POWs (!!!) and they also kill immediately the black men equipped with a machete, accusing them of mutilating the German soldiers. In fact the Germans really feared the French colonial troops since WW1 and because of their skin colour they simply were not treated like the white French soldiers.

The Germans during WW2 used the same kind of propaganda against the colonial troops then during WW1 when the allies were accused of driving "Mongols" and "niggers" against their white troops. (Annette Becker, "Les oubliés de la Grance Guerre. Humanitaire et cultures de guerre, 1998 and Louis Dimier, "L'appel des intellectuels allemands, p.45, 1914).

The German propaganda accusing the French occupant of massive exactions during the 20's led even the US president Wilson to order an inquiry led by general Allen. He concluded that there were no massive exactions as claimed by the Germans.

On 30th May 1940, Goebbels ordered to increase the hate against France by using the propaganda developed during the French occupation of the Rhine land and the Ruhr. The aim is to show that the French nation is in demographic decline and uses yellows, blacks and browns from its colonies. This must be seen as a racial infamy to have these troops next to the Rhine. The French are described as "niggered" sadists. The aim is to increase the hate of the German people against the corrupt France, contaminated by the freemasonry. (Wolfgang Geiger, "L'image de la France dans l'Allemagne nazie - 1933-1945", 1999).

On 21st June, colonel Nehring (staff of general Guderian) orders to be "harsh" against the French colonial troops. (Roger Bruge, "Juin 1940, le mois maudit", 1982).

Jean-Moulin, prefect of Chartres, who will be famous later in the resistance, is kept prisoner and tortured in the name of the fight against black troops (Jean-Moulin, "Premier combat").

The blacks are not seen as ordinary troops and even not as human beings. They have therefore not to be treated according to the rules of war.
Many of their bodies had been deprived of identification papers and taps. Generally it was also forbidden to give them a decent grave. The Kommandantur of Marcelcave (Somme) forbade for example to ornate the graves of the black troops. The bodies had to remain were they were and in the state in which they were, that means often in putrefaction on the ground. (archives of the city of Marcelcave).


Beside these 'racial' war crimes, there were several other reported atrocities in Belgium and in France during the invasion of 1940.

In Belgium :
- Deinze : the Germans used Belgian civilians as humans shields
- Vinkt on 27th – 28th May : 87 Belgian civilians are executed

In Frannce :

- At Courrières and Oignies (in the Pas de Calais), on 27th May : respectively 54 and 70 French civilians are executed (J.P. Azéma, "1940 l'année terrible", p.169, 1990)

Other crimes in France involve mainly the SS-Totenkopf division :
- Le Paradis : 97 British POWs executed
- Mercatel : 5 British POWs hanged
--> these 2 cases are documented in English litterature I guess.

- Aubigny-en-Artois : During the battle of Arras on 21st May 1940, elements of the SS-Totenkopf (mot) division are facing a British unit defending a bridge on the Scarpe River in the town of Aubigny-en-Artois (15 km west of Arras). In reprisal for this resistance, 98 French civilians from the town are executed by the Germans. The officer in charge, Obersturmbahn Fritz Kuchenlein will be hung on 28th January 1949 for all his war crimes.

--> This case is absent from the book of Levisse-Touzé but cited by colonel Gérard Saint-Martin in "L'arme blindée française – volume 1", p.290, 1998 and in colonel Pierre Rocolle's "La guerre de 1940", p.381, 1990). TH Albright, I am not sure the officer mentioned here is the same as Knochlein you are speaking about.

For the moment I have not details or sources for the followings. I had them from other books (perhaps from Bruge ? I will have to check) as those mentioned but I don't know anymore which ones at the moment :
- Pont de Gy : 23 French civilians executed, a young woman and a baby burned in their house, the other people were hindered to help them
- Etrun : 5 French civilians killed including
- Hermaville : 4 French civilians mutilated, 1 civilian killed and 22 farms burned down
- Berles-Montchel : 45 French civilians executed
- Mingoval : several civilians executed

Regards,

David

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Post by Andy H » 17 Jul 2005 12:47

The Germans units involved were from the Grossdeutschland regiment


Needless to say the GD History Vol I by Spaeter mentions nothing concerning the specific allegations.

He recounts in general terms the advance to Lyon and the actions in and around it. The 'Blacks' as he termed them, were in fact Morrocans and they had used a monastry as a defensive posistion with artillery etc. Spaeter says that this last combat cost the GD 10 dead & 30+ wounded.

Ideal speculation may suggest that the use of a monastry as a defensive posistion and the fact that these actions occured as the war was ending, may have been a factor in the alleged warcrimes, but its pure speculation

Andy H

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