Das Reich War Crimes in France

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
Ostfront Enthusiast
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: 08 May 2004 05:03
Location: Australia

Das Reich War Crimes in France

Post by Ostfront Enthusiast » 03 Sep 2004 12:18

Hello,

I am aware of Das Reich having commited war crimes at Oradour-Sur-Glane (642 people killed) and at Tule (99 people killed). Were there any other proven instances of warcrimes in France, 1944, commited specifically by the II SS?

Regards

User avatar
PapageiStaffel
Member
Posts: 312
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 22:45
Location: France

Post by PapageiStaffel » 03 Sep 2004 22:07

I guess Oradour was qualified as crime against humanity. Anyway, the Das Reich did exactions and crimes against the civilians several times between Montauban and the Normandy. But Oradour and Tulle were the biggest ones.

Ostfront Enthusiast
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: 08 May 2004 05:03
Location: Australia

Post by Ostfront Enthusiast » 04 Sep 2004 03:23

Hello,

Do you know of any specific cases of these "several" crimes and, more importantly, do you have any sources? Any information would be appreciated.

Regards

User avatar
PapageiStaffel
Member
Posts: 312
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 22:45
Location: France

Post by PapageiStaffel » 04 Sep 2004 16:46

Hi,

After a short search on google :
1) Marsoulas 10th june 1944 28 deads
http://membres.lycos.fr/jeff31/

2) Mussidan the 11th june 1944
http://www.d-daytanks.org.uk/diary/june11.html

3) Maybe the Das reich was involved in Rouffignac and Piles.
No good sources for the moment.

I Keep on searching.

So long.

walterkaschner
In memoriam
Posts: 1588
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 01:17
Location: Houston, Texas

Post by walterkaschner » 05 Sep 2004 00:00

The day that the Das Reich cleared Terrasson, 11 June, another FTP maquis attacked an armoured train at Meussidan station, southwest of Périgueux. They were beaten off with the loss of nine killed and eight wounded. In reprisal local German forces shot fifty-two hostages, including the mayor.


Max Hastings: Das Reich: The March of the 2nd Panzer Division Through France (Holt, Reinhard & Winston, 1981) at 151. Hastings at p. 24-5 describes several reprisals taken by Das Reich against civilians in the last weeks before D-Day.

Note, however, that Hastings does not attribute the massacre at Mussidan to the Das Reich Division, but rather to "local German forces".

As to the incident at Marsoulas, note that by June 10 the bulk of the Das Reich Division had moved far north to around Limoges, over 300 km North of Marsoulas, which may raise a question as to the Division's participation in the reprisals taken there. There seems to me to be a tendency among the French to blame the SS for many atrocities which may well have been carried out by other elements of the Germany Army, or indeed by the French milice themselves. On the other hand, the weakened Deutschland Brigade was ordered to remain in Montauban, and a 600 man force under Major Wisliceny was detached as a local security group under the orders of Army Group G at Toulouse. This group might have been responsible for the massacre at Marsoulas, but I have no evidence one way or the other.

Regards, Kaschner

User avatar
PapageiStaffel
Member
Posts: 312
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 22:45
Location: France

Post by PapageiStaffel » 05 Sep 2004 01:49

In France, one doesn't blame only the SS for the crimes. The Waffen SS was a part of the german army and french considered them only as german soldiers. The french don't care if the soldiers who did these crimes belonged to the Heer or the SS.

Ostfront Enthusiast
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: 08 May 2004 05:03
Location: Australia

Post by Ostfront Enthusiast » 05 Sep 2004 02:07

Hello,

PapageiStaffel, that may well be true but the fact is I, and I daresay others, do care whether it was Das Reich or members of the Feldgendarmie or the Polizei or the Heer or whomever perpotrated these acts. In any case thankyou for the information, it is most interesting.

Walterkaschner, does Hastings list the specific number and instances of reprisals by Das Reich? Basically so far, from what I've read, I haved Oradour-Sur-Glane and Tule as definite, Montauban as possible and Marsoulas as unlikely but possible. I am still researching Rouffignac and Piles, does Hastings mention these?

Regards

walterkaschner
In memoriam
Posts: 1588
Joined: 13 Mar 2002 01:17
Location: Houston, Texas

Post by walterkaschner » 05 Sep 2004 23:56

Hi Ostfront Enthusiast!

Hastings describes several incidents of reprisals by the Das Reich Division which were carried out in the last weeks before D-Day, but his text is too lengthy for my miserable hunt-and-peck typing to copy here. A brief summary from pps. 24-5 from his book:

May 2 - Montpezat-de-Quercy, several houses set fire, extensive looting, several civilians assaulted.

May 11 - St. Céré, 24 civilians, including 4 women, seized for deportation;
Cardaillac, 2 women shot;
Lauze, 2 women shot;
Orniac, comprehensively looted;

June 1 - Limonges, 6 civilians shot;
Cadrieu, 1 civilian shot;
Frontenac, 2 civilians shot.

June 2 - Terrou, entire village burned to the ground, 29 oulying farms also burned.

June 3 - Figeac, 2 elderly men shot;
Viazac, 6 men and 1 woman shot.

no date given - Figeac ; 41 civilians shot, over 1,000 deported.

Note that some of these atrocities were in direct response to maquis action. Also note that Hastings' book does not carry with it biblical authority - although seemingly well researched and fair minded he does make mistakes - for instance "Otto Dickmann" for Adolph Dieckmann.

Hastings also recounts throughout the book several other atrocities committed against civilians by Das Reich on its way to Normandy, but most of these were incident to harrasing attacks by maquisards along the way, and seemingly committed during the heat of battle.

This was the case at, according to Hastings, "Rouffilac", by which may be meant your "Rouffignac". There are several villages with similar names in the South of France, but I suspect that the village in question was actually "Rouffilahc", which is a few km. North of Gourdon and nearer the route of the Division.

He makes no mention of Piles, nor, for that matter, does the Michelin Road Atlas of France.

Regards, Kaschner

Ostfront Enthusiast
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: 08 May 2004 05:03
Location: Australia

Post by Ostfront Enthusiast » 06 Sep 2004 01:41

Hello Walterkaschner,

Thankyou very much for this information, you have been most helpful! This should be plenty of information for what I need, I may have to go an get a copy of Hastings' book that you mention. Once again, many thanks.

Regards

PATRICK CHARRON
Member
Posts: 402
Joined: 23 Jan 2008 18:08
Location: FRANCE

Re: Das Reich War Crimes in France

Post by PATRICK CHARRON » 13 Jul 2011 18:05

Hello,
After reading most of the books books in English, French and German about the war crimes committed by the Das Reich in France in 1944, I think the most objective and comprehensive is the book division Das Reich. by Guy Penaud Editions La Lauze 2005 French Text
Hasting's book is interesting too but less complete and talk much about the SOE and Resistance.
Tulle hangings by Bruno Kartheuser Editions Krautgarten volume 3 and 4 French or German text, is the most comprehensive on the subject and also point out the role of the SD and Wehrmacht in reprisals operations in this part of France.The books of Weidinger and Taege are biased because written by former members of the division.
Today we have the statement of Kahn, who commanded the 3 / 4 SS I Pz.Gr. Rgt Der Führer, and testimony of Lammerding who recognize that Oradour was a war crime and that Diekmann had exceeded orders, at least regarding the murder of women and children.
The statement of Kahn can not be questioned like Barth's one under pressure from the communist authorities of East Germany.
Diekmann died, he is the ideal culprit. Therefore, he was highly rated by his superior Sylvester Stadler on june 1st, 1944, so a few days before Oradour’s massacre.
Did he cracked nervously after the various skirmishes with the Resistance and the captures of Kämpfe and Gerlach?
The case of Gerlach was for a longtime considered doubtful. Penaud mentions the testimony of a former xomen resistant FTP.
The reality seems to be that he follows the orders of Lammerding and Stadler. It’s the more accurate version if we
keep in mind the discipline and respect for orders in the chain of command in the Waffen SS.

It is important to distinguish the events in Tulle and Oradour as completely different.
Oradour paid for actions of the Resistance without the villagers have taken part in them. or acted against German troops in the village.
For Tulle it is quite different, because the FTP attacked the town and the number of deaths among the German was high.
It should be noted that FTP made prisoners, and those were later mostly executed.
The website of Michael Williams about Oradour is very well done and documented.
http://www.oradour.info/
Regards
Patrick

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”