Destroyed Oradour Church
The photo above shows the interior of
the church in Oradour-sur-Glane after it was destroyed by a fire
set by Waffen-SS soldiers on June 10, 1944. The main altar can
be seen in the center of the photo, below the three windows.
The left side of the top of the altar has been broken off. The
debris in front of the altar appears to be part of the roof.
According to the Official Report, the vault of the nave was still
in place the day after the fire, but collapsed some time later.
This photo is on the cover of a French documentary book entitled
"Oradour," which was published in 1944.
The photo above was scanned from a book
entitled "Oradour-sur-Glane, the Tragedy Hour by Hour,"
written by Robert Hebras, one of the survivors. It shows the
transept on the left side of the church as you face the altar
from the back of the church. In this photo, the roof over the
main part of the church has not yet collapsed.
On the left side of the photo above is
a woman standing with her back to the front door into the church.
Behind the first arch on the left side of the photo is where
the confessional box is located. On the right side of the photo,
you can see the communion railing which divides the section of
the church where the main altar is located from the main part
of the church where the pews were located. In this photo, all
the wooden pews in the church are gone; they were probably consumed
by the fire in the church, although the wooden confessional did
not burn. Note the statue in the upper right hand corner of the
photo; the top of the statue has been blown off.
The photo below shows the exterior shell
of the church after it was destroyed by fire. The tall steeple
that once topped the tower on the right side was burned when
the intense fire in the church spread upward. This photo was
taken in September 1944. Note the plaque behind the cross in
the front of the church; it was placed there in 1944 in honor
of the women and children who were burned alive when the SS soldiers
set fire to the church. On the lower right of the photo below,
is the roof over the market hall which collapsed, but did not
burn. This roof has since been removed and only the stone wall
behind it remains.