In Oradour-sur-Glane, a collection so that the site does not fall into ruin

In Oradour sur Glane a collection so that the site does not

French President Emmanuel Macron continues his memorial journey. After the landing beaches last week, he is, this Monday, June 10, in Oradour-sur-Glane, in Haute-Vienne. 80 years ago, on June 10, 1944, SS members of the Das Reich division massacred civilians and burned down this village. Results: 643 dead and a martyred village, symbol of Nazi barbarism. 80 years later, the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane can be visited, but are also deteriorating. To preserve them and rebuild what needs to be rebuilt, the Heritage Foundation has launched a long-awaited collection by the grandchildren of the martyrs and survivors of Oradour-sur-Glane.

Maurice Gauthier remembers the massacre, of which his grandfather was one of the victims: “ My grandfather made cakes. When he came out, there was an SS man at the door. And my grandfather said : ”No, but I have cakes in the oven ! What do we do with it? ? And the SS answered him in French :NOTDon’t worry, your cakes, we’ll take care of them. And then my grandfather was with the other men and he was shot. And the church was burned. »

We are right in front of the Campin café pastry shopcontinues Michel Gauthier. It was my grandparents’ cafe. » Of this café, only a ruin remains. Because nature and time are at work on what remains of the storefront, cracked by significant cracks. “ The facades no longer hold up, the walls on the sides are barely holding up. The storm in 1999 did a lot of damage. A fireplace like this, for example, there were plenty of in the town. This one resisted, but there were plenty of others who fell that day », laments Michel Gauthier.

A call for donations launched by the Heritage Foundation

It is for this reason that a call for donations was launched a year ago by the Heritage Foundation. The money collected should primarily make it possible to restore the facades of homes, explains Benoît Sadry, president of the National Association of Families of the Martyrs of Oradour-sur-Glane.It is absolutely necessary to preserve the buildings in elevation and the three-dimensional perspective of the village. Because it is not only a village with a church and ten houses around it, it is a village where there were 300 buildings, including 120 residential houses. And this explains the choice of Oradour by the Nazis that day. »

We have the example of Lidice in the Czech Republic.continues Benoît Sadry. It is a village almost as important as Oradour-sur-Glane, but of which absolutely nothing remains, and, in fact, it is more difficult to remember because there is no longer any physical traces. And somehow, as long as there are physical traces of this village, that means that the Nazis didn’t quite succeed. »

Preserving the memory of the massacre in stone is all the more important as the witnesses disappear, notes Agathe Hébras, granddaughter of Robert Hébras, last survivor of the massacre, died last year. I remember hearing him say, ”Oh look, that wall has fallen, that object, I can’t see it anymore.” Over the last ten years, he has often warned about the fact that he We had to pay attention to the ruins. »

The Oradour-sur-Glane massacre leaves 643 dead.  Robert Hébras, the last survivor and witness to the massacre, died last year.

Restore without distorting

The ruins are falling apart. The difficulty is therefore to repair, without distorting, continues Agathe Hébras. “OWe can’t rebuild, because it doesn’t make sense to rebuild a ruin. Therefore, a ruined building must be preserved in the best possible state of destruction. We will therefore have to make choices, building by building, to know if, in certain cases, we do not do a little reconstruction to be able to maintain an island. It’s a very delicate question, the question of ruin. »

Work will begin, because 800,000 euros in donations have already been collected by the Heritage Foundation, out of the 20 million cost of restoring the site. If the objective is not achieved, the difference will be covered by the State.

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