Right Side Altar in Chruch
The photo above shows the transept on
the right side of the church, which has two side altars. On the
left side, the side altar was completely demolished. The broken
pieces have been piled up to resemble an altar, which is shown
in the photo below. This altar could have been blown up by hand
grenades thrown into the church by the SS soldiers in order to
kill the babies sitting in their prams.
The photo above shows a window and a
door that are in the secton where the broken altar is located.
In this view, the broken altar is on the left but out of camera
range. The book entitled "Oradour Village of the Dead,"
by Philip Beck contains the following information about this
door: "In the right transept a huge pile of charred human
remains was found in front of a little door which was locked.
Yet it appeared that this door had been open at first and two
women and eight children had got out that way. Their bodies were
found in the cellar of the presbytery." Beck didn't explain
how it was known that the people whose bodies were found in the
cellar had escaped through this door.
The photo above shows the side altar
in the right transept of the church. On the left edge of the
photo you can see a bit of the stone plaque on the wall, which
is shown in the photo below.
The photo above shows the stone plaque
with the names of French soldiers who died in World War I. It
is common to see memorials of this type in European churches.
Notice the two bullet holes near the bottom of the plaque. These
holes appear to have been made by shots fired from the back of
the church, and not from the narrow window that is in this side
altar. A close-up of the bullet holes is shown in the photo below.
The photo below shows the baptismal font
that is located in the side altar on the right hand side. The
font is made of stone, but has a wooden cover that apparently
didn't burn. On the wall is a small statue of two angels on a
bracket. There are several brackets of this type in the church
but this is the only one that has a statue which is still intact.
Both the left transept and the right
transept have bullet holes in the walls. Apprarently the SS soldiers
were firing across the church from both sides, taking the chance
on hitting each other in their zeal to shoot the women and children
in the church. Hundreds of spent shells were found on the floor
in the church. The photo below shows the bullet holes in the
wall but the statue on the bracket is undamaged.
In her book, "Martyred Village,"
Sarah Farmer mentions a blood stain on the floor near the right
transept; an attempt was made to preserve this stain but I did
not see it. Sixty years of rain have washed the church clean
and it does not show any smoke damage from the terrible fire
which burned some of the women and children alive.