Sewing machines in the ruins
The photo above shows an old treadle
sewing machine with an iron pot behind it. This type of sewing
machine was operated by a foot pedal and did not require electricity.
Oradour-sur-Glane has become a symbol
for the innocent French people, who through no fault of their
own, were targeted by the German barbarians. The SS version of
the story is that the villagers were killing German soldiers
in illegal guerilla warfare, including the village women who
were allegedly fighting in the Communist resistance movement.
Nothing shows the innocence of the Oradour-sur-Glane women more
than the many sewing machines found among the ruins; the women
were spending their time in domestic pursuits and had no interest
in the war going on all around them.
The photo below shows a sewing machine
that has been placed on a window sill near the street. Earlier
photos taken in the village show that the sewing machines have
been moved around over the years.
The village of Oradour-sur-Glane, which
was destroyed by Waffen-SS soldiers in Hitler's elite army on
10 June 1944, has been preserved in a ruined state, just as it
was found by horrified residents returning to the village on
June 11th, after being gone on the day of the massacre.
When I visited the village in October
2004, it was my impression that the ruins have been picked clean
by souvenir hunters during the 60 years that the village has
been a tourist attraction. Only the sewing machines and a few
other objects of no value are left now.
The photo above shows the interior of
one of the ruined buildings and the empty shells of other buildings
in the background. In the foreground of the photo above is an
old sewing machine, one of many that has been placed strategically
among the ruins. It seems that almost every household in the
village had a sewing machine.