The Story of Oradour-sur-Glane
The story of the Massacre from the SS
point of view - for the Official story, click here.
The SS justification for the Oradour-sur-Glane
massacre centers on their claim that the destruction of the village
was a reprisal, which was legal under international law up until
the Geneva Convention of 1949. Reprisal does not mean revenge.
It is a legal term defined in international humanitarian law.
It means that an Army has the right, during war time, to respond
in kind when guerrilla fighters violate international law, and
there is no other way to stop them from continuing their illegal
activity except by a reprisal action. The SS did not follow every
attack by the French resistance with a reprisal. Most of the
time, the guerrillas were captured and sent to concentration
camps such as Natzweiler-Struthof,
Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and Dachau.
This reprisal action was taken because
the SS believed that the Oradour-sur-Glane villagers were heavily
involved with the Maquis, a French Resistance group; they claimed
to have discovered that almost every house in Oradour was filled
with weapons and ammunition.
Even the women of Oradour-sur-Glane were
involved in resistance fighting, according to a report by Obersturmführer
Karl Gerlach, ordnance officer of the 2nd SS Assault Gun detachment
of "Das Reich" Division, who had escaped from the village
after being captured by the Maquisards. He told of seeing women
in Oradour-sur-Glane wearing yellow leather jackets and steel
helmets which he identified as the clothing of the Resistance
fighters. His report was recorded in the Division Tagebuch for
9 June 1944.
According to Sarah Farmer, who wrote
a book entitled "Martyred Village," Robert Hebras joined
the Maquis a mere three weeks after the massacre, along with
his boyhood friend, Andre Desourteaux, a resident of the village
who was a postal worker in Limoges. In the early days of the
French resistance movement, the postal workers, telephone operators
and railroad workers were among the first to organize in the
guerrilla warfare against the German occupation of France. The
postmaster in Oradour was also among the survivors, allegedly
because he was out delivering mail when the village was attacked.
In November 1945, the International Military
Tribunal at Nuremberg indicted Alfred Jodl and Wilhelm Keitel,
the two top German generals of the Wehrmacht, on charges of participating
in a common plan to commit war crimes by violating the Laws and
Usages of War under the Hague Convention of 1907 and the Geneva
Convention of 1929. Among the war crimes listed was the massacre
at Oradour-sur-Glane, which was declared to be a violation of
Articles 46 and 50 of the Hague Convention. There was no mention
that the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre was a violation of the 1929
Geneva Convention because it wasn't; it was a reprisal, which
was legal under international law at that time.
Article 46 of the Hague Convention states
that the lives of persons and private property must be respected
by the Military Authority over the Territory of the Hostile State,
which in this case would have been the authority of the Germans
over occupied France.
Article 50 of the Hague Convention states
that no general penalty shall be inflicted upon the population
of an occupied country on account of the acts of individuals
for which they cannot be regarded as jointly or severally responsible.
However, the perpetrators of the Oradour-sur-Glane
massacre were not Wehrmacht soldiers under the command of Jodl
or Keitel, but rather soldiers in the Waffen-SS, an elite volunteer
army which had divisions of men from many other countries, including
The Waffen-SS was an army of around one
million men, which was separate from the regular German Army,
called the Wehrmacht. The letters SS stand for Schutzstaffel,
which means protection squad in English. Americans sometimes
confuse the SS with the SA, which was the Sturm Arbeitung, or
Storm Troopers. The SS originally started as Hitler's body guards,
while the SA was the private army of the Nazi political party
which fought street battles with the Red Army of the Communists
in the early days.
By the end of World War II, 60% of the
Waffen-SS soldiers were volunteers fighting in SS divisions from
other countries besides Germany; they had joined the SS to fight
against Communism. The French division of SS soldiers, called
the 33rd Waffen-Grenadier der SS Charlemagne, fought bravely
on the eastern front and then defended Berlin to the last man
Around one-third of the SS soldiers who
participated in the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre were from Alsace,
a former French province that had been annexed into the Greater
German Reich after the fall of France in 1940. Alsace was originally
a German state, but was taken by the French after the Thirty
Years War which ended in 1648. Germany reclaimed it in 1871 after
winning the Franco-Prussian war. France took Alsace again after
World War I. Because of this centuries old tug-of-war, Alsatians
had mixed loyalties.
One of the Alsatians admitted to having
voluntarily joined the SS; the rest were malgré-nous,
or men who claimed in their trial testimony that they had been
drafted into the German army against their will. According to
the Official Publication of the survivors, some of these Alsatian
soldiers were from the town of Schiltigheim in Alsace. Ironically,
there were also Alsatian refugees in Oradour, including some
who were from Schiltigheim. They had fled Alsace to avoid being
drafted into the German Army.
The French province of Lorraine had also
been incorporated into the Greater German Reich, but there were
no men conscripted into the SS from Lorraine, according to Robert
Hebras, one of the last remaining survivors of the Oradour-sur-Glane
massacre. Hebras wrote in his account of the tragedy that he
does not believe that the Alsatians were forced to join the SS.
According to Hebras, the Alsatians were unable to furnish any
proof at their trial that they had been conscripted into the
The Waffen-SS was despised by the Allies.
The SS had a bad reputation because it was SS soldiers who guarded
the Nazi concentration camps, although the guards were part of
a separate SS group. The SS also had a reputation for being extremely
dedicated to their cause and for being the bravest fighters,
but to the Allies, who were fighting "the Good War"
on the same side as the Communist Soviet Union, the SS men were
murderers who were the personification of Evil.
After the war, the Allies designated
the SS as a criminal organization which meant that all soldiers
in the SS, including Waffen-SS soldiers who had fought heroically
on the battlefield, were automatically war criminals, regardless
of whether or not they had personally committed any atrocities.
However, this rule did not apply to the Alsatians in the SS because
the provisional French government had passed a law after the
Liberation which did not allow for Frenchmen to be prosecuted
for war crimes. For example, one of the accused SS soldiers in
the Malmedy Massacre case was a French citizen and because of
this, the charges against him were dropped before the trial began.
Following the Normandy invasion, the
German Army, and especially the SS, had come under heavy attack
by the Maquis, a resistance group that in today's War on Terror
would be called insurgents or illegal combatants. The Waffen-SS
Das Reich Division, which had been ordered from Bordeaux to the
Normandy front, took 17 days to complete what would normally
have been a three-day journey, suffering numerous casualties
en route, as they were attacked by the Maquisards.
The Maquis was working closely with the
British, who gave them supplies and coordinated their efforts.
In the days immediately following the Allied invasion at Normandy,
the leader of the Free French, Charles de Gaulle, was making
plans to become the President of France after it was liberated
from the German occupation. From his headquarters in London,
he directed the British to drop money and ammunition to the resistance
fighters in rural areas, rather than supplying the 25,000 Communists
who were in Paris. He did not want the capital city of Paris
to be liberated by the Communists because this would have resulted
in a Communist government in France after the war. The Maquis
fought in the outlying areas, hiding in the hamlets and villages
of rural France; de Gaulle wanted all the Allied ammunition to
be given to them.
The Maquisards set land mines, wrecked
trains, blew up bridges and railroad tracks, ambushed German
soldiers, kidnapped high-ranking German officers, killed wounded
SS soldiers, and directed British and American planes in the
bombing of German troop trains. There were also French collaborators
who were helping the Nazis in the fight against Communism, particularly
the Milice, the secret police, which helped the German Gestapo
in arresting the resistance fighters.
The destruction of Oradour-sur-Glane
had the desired effect because, immediately after the massacre,
the Communist partisans, who had been wreaking havoc in the Limosin
area, gave the order to stop fighting. The order was intercepted
by the Germans and this immediately lifted their morale. The
reprisal had worked; this was basically the reason why reprisals
were allowed at that time, although such bestial cruelty as the
massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane is, understandably, no longer legal
under international law.
In a rambling autobiography entitled
"SS Panzergrenadier," former Waffen-SS soldier Hans
Schmidt, who is now an American citizen, writes about the Oradour-sur-Glane
massacre from the SS point of view. In a footnote on page 377
of his book, Schmidt debunks the official story that the villagers
were innocent. The following quote is from his book "SS
"Almost every French village
in the Limoges area claimed after the war to have been a hotbed
of resistance against the German occupiers. It was so nice to
play the heroes after four years of submission. Alas, according
to postwar French reports, of all the villages in the vicinity,
Oradour-sur-Glane was allegedly totally innocent of anti-German
terrorist activities. It just shows how dumb the Germans are,
always picking on the innocent."
According to Schmidt's book, the Waffen-SS
soldiers of Das Reich Division, the perpetrators of the massacre,
had been stationed from April to June 1944 in the Toulouse area
for rest, recuperation and replenishment, after fighting the
Russians on the Eastern front.
Schmidt claims that during the occupation
of France "German soldiers usually got along very well with
the locals." But, according to Schmidt, this changed soon
after the start of 1944 when the French underground became more
active. He blames the British government for encouraging the
French Resistance activity.
Schmidt wrote that
... about one hundred soldiers of
Das Reich had been murdered or kidnapped by the 'heroes' of the
Maquis (terrorists!) before the division embarked, by road and
train, on the difficult trip to Normandy. In doing so, Das Reich
had to traverse the mountainous area in the surroundings of the
city of Limoges where partisans were especially active.
Oradour-sur-Glane was right in the heart
of this area, only 14 miles from Limoges.
In his book, Schmidt tells about the
kidnapping of Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe, the battalion
commander of the 3rd Battalion of Das Reich Division, on the
night of 9 June 1944. Representatives of the French resistance
had sent a ransom note to "Der Führer" battalion
command post on the morning of the 10th of June. Acting on this
information, Sturmbannführer Otto Diekmann, a close personal
friend of Kämpfe, took two platoons from 3rd Company/1st
Battalion/Regiment "Der Führer" to Oradour-sur-Glane
to search for him.
On the search for this "beloved
officer," Diekmann's men had discovered a burned-out German
ambulance that had been set on fire, apparently by the partisans,
near the southern entrance to the village of Oradour-sur-Glane.
The driver of the ambulance had been tied to the steering wheel
with wire. He had been burned alive, along with the man sitting
next to him in the passenger seat, and four wounded soldiers
inside the ambulance, according to Schmidt's book.
Before entering Oradour-sur-Glane, the
SS rounded up the residents of the hamlets on the south side
of the village, because this was the vicinity where the burned
out ambulance was found. By coincidence, the one woman who survived
the massacre, Madame Marguerite Rouffanche, lived in a hamlet
on the south side of the village.
According to Schmidt, "For the Germans,
all indications pointed to Oradour as a hotbed of the Maquis.
Reprisals were in order. In spite of later French claims to the
contrary, weapons were found hidden in houses of the village.
Following Hitler's orders, the men of the town were to be executed
and all the houses leveled."
The Official Publication of the Oradour-sur-Glane
Remembrance Committee and the National Association of the Families
of the Martyrs of Oradour-sur-Glane includes the following information:
"A special envoy of the French
Interior Force (the Resistance) who visited Oradour in the first
few days specified that the charred remains of a father, mother
and three children were gathered from inside a baker's oven.
We ourselves found, not far from this baker's oven, a fire damper,
still half full of coal, in which was discovered human bones
(lumbar vertebrae) in an advanced state of charring. Faced with
such a finding, it is clear that one is allowed to surmise a
Apparently the SS surmised something
quite different, based on the discovery of charred bodies at
the bakery. According to a book by H. W. Koch, entitled "Aspects
of the Third Reich," the still smoldering body of Major
Helmut Kämpfe was seen at an Oradour bakery by Diekmann's
men and the body was identified by the Knight's Cross. Members
of the Milice, the French secret police, had told the SS the
day before that the Maquisards in Oradour were planning to burn
Kämpfe alive. Other sources claim that Kämpfe was killed
in the village of Breuilaufa, where his first grave was found
Only 52 of the 642 victims of the Oradour-sur-Glane
massacre were ever identified; the others were missing and presumed
to have been killed there on 10 June 1944, although no death
certificate was ever issued for them. It was known that members
of the Maquis were back in the ruins of the village for two days
immediately following the massacre; it is possible that some
of the bodies were moved to the bakery.
The official list of the victims indicates
that the majority of the men in Oradour-sur-Glane were unemployed.
How did they manage to survive, with no source of income, in
the middle of a war? What did they do to while away their time?
One explanation could be that they were members of the French
Resistance who were receiving money, as well as weapons, in parachute
drops by the British.
As for the myriad of sewing machines
that were found in the ruins, it could be that the women in Oradour-sur-Glane
were sewing arm bands for the FFI, the French resistance army,
that General Dwight D. Eisenhower had just declared to be legal
combatants after the successful invasion at Normandy. The arm
bands were decorated with the Cross of Lorraine, the symbol of
de Gaulle's Army. Monsieur Dupic, whom Vincent Reynouard accused
of being a member of the French Secret Army, was a fabric merchant.
His house was well stocked with food and wine, and this is where
the SS soldiers stayed the night after the destruction, according
to the Official Story. The body of Monsieur Dupic, one of the
52 that could be identified, was found in his garden. He had
apparently hidden when he saw the SS men enter the town.
Another curious thing about the ruins
of Oradour-sur-Glane is the great number of cars that were stored
in the garages there. In her book "Martyred Village,"
Sarah Farmer explained that the Nazis had confiscated the cars
in occupied France, but people in the town of Limoges had hidden
their cars in Oradour-sur-Glane. A car would have been a handy
thing for a resistance fighter to have, especially for the Maquisards
who were fighting in rural areas. However, it was an hour-long
trip by tram from Limoges to Oradour-sur-Glane to pick up a hidden
car, and then another hour-long trip back to the city after using
the car, which would have been very inconvenient for a resident
of Limoges. Gasoline was rationed and not easily obtained, so
few people used cars during the German occupation of France.
In his book, Schmidt claimed that
While the reprisals were being carried
out, the women and children of the village had been ordered into
the village church for their own safekeeping. Then the unthinkable
happened: The church caught fire, and "somehow" an
inferno developed that would cost most of the women and children
their lives. Young SS-soldiers tried desperately to help people
trapped in the church but not many could be saved.
A retired German Army officer, Eberhard
Matthes, supports Schmidt's claim. In 1980, Matthes gave a sworn
affidavit in which he stated that during a visit to the ruins
in 1963, two older women in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane
told him that they had been saved by SS soldiers who risked their
lives to go inside the burning church to rescue them. These women
also told Matthes that the SS had not started the fire in the
According to Hans Schmidt,
The Maquis had hidden armaments and
explosives underneath the roof and elsewhere in the church, and
that it was this material that had caused the catastrophe.
Today visitors to the church can see
the bronze bells which melted and crashed down from the burning
tower, although a short distance from the main door of the church,
a wooden confessional box located in the transept of the left
side altar, did not suffer any burn damage at all. So how could
flames from a fire, that was allegedly started by the SS in the
church, have spread to the stone tower, which was not connected
to the nave of the church?
Matthes also stated in his sworn affidavit
that during another visit to Oradour-sur-Glane in 1964, a man
there told him that the explosion in the church was a bomb that
was set off by a civilian, who had escaped through the vestry,
after setting a fuse. His purpose was to blame the Germans for
this monstrous act so that more people would join the French
According to Matthes, this informant
had speculated that the civilian who set off the bomb may not
have been a Frenchman. Members of the Maquis included Polish
partisans in the Polish Home Army and Russian soldiers who had
defected and fought on the German side, but then deserted the
German Army. There were also 26 Red Spaniards, who were Communist
refugees from the Spanish Civil War, living in Oradour-sur-Glane,
as well as Jews who were hiding from the Nazis.
The door to the vestry, or sacistry,
through which the person who allegedly set off the bomb escaped,
is located on the left side of the main altar in the front of
the church. Madame Rouffanche claimed that this door was broken
down by the women after a "smoke bomb," that had been
carried into the church by two soldiers, exploded in the back
of the church. Other versions of the story claim that the bomb
exploded near the communion rail in the front of the church where
there is now a hole in the stone floor.
Madame Rouffanche said that she entered
the sacristy and sat down on the steps, but then went back inside
the church and escaped by climbing up a ladder and jumping out
a window behind the main altar. Another woman also climbed up
the ladder with her baby in her arms and jumped out the window.
After the massacre, the bodies of 15 children were found behind
the main altar. Why didn't the children follow Madame Rouffanche
up the ladder and escape through the broken window?
A similar case, in which SS soldiers
were wrongly blamed, was a massacre that took place in the Polish
town of Jedwabne on July 10, 1941 during the German invasion
of the Soviet Union. 1600 Jews in the town were viciously murdered
by the Polish residents, two weeks after the German soldiers
had left. Innocent men, women and children were forced into a
barn and then burned alive. The perpetrators claimed that they
had been ordered by the Germans to commit this crime, but a trial
in 1949 proved that this was a lie.
In another section of his book, Schmidt
makes the assertion that SS soldiers were instructed not to desecrate
churches or cemeteries. This flies in the face of well-known
stories that the SS used Jewish grave stones for target practice
and then paved the streets of the concentration camps with the
broken stones, as depicted in the movie "Schindler's List."
But according to Schmidt, the French Resistance knew that "German
soldiers were careful not to infringe on religion and thereby
on the churches in occupied territories" so that was why
they chose a church to hide their weapons. Schmidt wrote that
the Maquis had boasted, after the war, about "hiding weapons
and explosives (and escaped allied airmen) in cloisters, churches
and other religious institutions" to outwit the Germans.
One of the problems with the SS version
of the story, as told by Schmidt and other former SS soldiers,
is the testimony of Heinz Barth, a Sargent and platoon leader
in the 3rd Company, Panzergrenadier Regiment 4, Das Reich Division.
It was Barth's company that perpetrated the massacre in Oradour-sur-Glane,
but for some unknown reason, he was not among the SS men put
on trial in Bordeaux in January 1953 to answer for the crime.
Barth had been wounded in the war and one of his legs had been
In 1981, Barth was arrested at his home
in East Germany, then a Communist republic, where he had been
living in plain sight for 35 years in the town where he was born.
He was interrogated for two years before he was finally brought
to trial in 1983; Schmidt claims that Barth was tortured in order
to force him to confess to events that could not have happened.
In the Communist court system, the procedure is to obtain a confession
before the trial and then the accused repeats his confession
on the witness stand during the proceedings. Barth was sentenced
to life in prison, since Communist East Germany did not have
the death penalty. After two years of alleged torture, he had
admitted everything in court and confirmed the official story
that no weapons had been found in the town of Oradour-sur-Glane.
Because of Barth's confession, the survivors' story has been
proved in a court of law, while the SS has no official proof
of their claims.
Barth was released in 1997 after serving
16 years of his life sentence. By that time, he was almost 80
years old, and he had lost the government pension to which he
was entitled as a war veteran. Schmidt wrote that former SS soldiers
had helped to get Barth released and "there are also indications
that the Paris government acted in his behalf: all French legal
actions concerning Oradour had ended twenty years before Barth's
arrest by the Communists."
Comparisons are often made between the
destruction of Oradour-sur-Glane and a similar German reprisal
against the town of Lidice in 1942. Both of these reprisals took
place on the same day, the 10th of June, although two years apart.
The Czech village of Lidice was destroyed in reprisal for the
assassination of Reinhard von Heydrich, the governor of the German
protectorate of Bohemia and Movaria, now the Czech Republic.
Czech partisans, who were trained by British agents in England,
had parachuted into Bohemia and had then shot von Heydrich after
ambushing his car. Von Heydrich had to be eliminated because
he was a good administrator, whose fair policies did not inspire
the Czech people to resist.
During the destruction of Lidice, the
men of the village were executed, but only seven women were shot,
according to William Shirer who wrote "The Rise and Fall
of the Third Reich." The rest of the women were sent to
the women's concentration camp at Ravensbrück and the children
were taken to Germany to be raised by German families.
In sharp contrast, the women and children
of Oradour-sur-Glane were singled out for worse treatment than
the men, according to the official story. They were held inside
a solidly-built stone church where they were first blinded and
choked by billowing clouds of black smoke from a gas bomb which
the soldiers had allegedly brought with them, according to the
official version of the story. Then the women and children were
allegedly blown up with hand grenades tossed through the broken
windows, while at the same time, hundreds of cartridges were
fired by soldiers, who had entered the crowded, smoke-filled
church, aiming low so as to better hit the children.
The SS version of the story suggests
that the hand grenades and cartridges had been stored by the
local resistance fighters in the church and that they went off
after a fire started when a bomb was set off by one of the partisans
who had sneaked into the church. The men of Oradour-sur-Glane
were not executed until after the first explosion in the church,
according to the two women who spoke to Matthes in 1963. The
explosion provided the proof that there were weapons stored in
Otto Diekmann, the commanding officer
who ordered the reprisal at Oradour-sur-Glane, returned to his
headquarters in the late afternoon, and gave his report to his
commanding officer. Diekmann had gone to Oradour-sur-Glane to
search for his friend and fellow officer, Helmut Kämpfe,
the commander of Der Führer Battalion 3, who has been kidnapped
by members of the FTP, the French Communist resistance, on 9
The following quote from Diekmann's Report
was included in Otto Weidinger's book, "Comrades to the
The Company had encountered resistance
in Oradour, the bodies of executed German soldiers were found.
It then occupied the village and immediately conducted an intensive
search of the houses. Unfortunately this failed to turn up Kämpfe,
however large quantities of weapons and ammunition were found.
Therefore all the men of the village were shot, who were surely
The women and children were locked
up in the church while all this was going on. Then the village
was set on fire, as a result of which the ammunition that was
stored in almost every house went up. The burning of the village
resulted in fire spreading to the church, where ammunition had
also been hidden in the roof. The church burned down very rapidly
and the women and children lost their lives.
Some former SS men believe that Diekmann
committed suicide by deliberately getting himself killed at Normandy.
He had been court-martialled because, in ordering the reprisal,
he had exceeded his orders and he knew that he would soon be
put on trial by the SS.
German Army General Erwin Rommel demanded
the court martial of Diekmann, and even said that he would conduct
it himself. Compare this with General George S. Patton tearing
up the court-martial papers of the American soldiers who committed
the Dachau massacre. Ironically, the killing of over 500 Waffen-SS
Prisoners of War, who had surrendered at Dachau, was motivated
by the anger that American soldiers felt after seeing dead bodies
of prisoners on a train outside the camp, while the Oradour-sur-Glane
massacre may have been touched off by the anguish of the SS soldiers
at seeing the charred bodies of wounded Waffen-SS men who had
been burned alive in an ambulance just outside the village.
The Official Publication, which is the
story of Oradour-sur-Glane according to the survivors, ends with
the following condemnation of the Nazis:
"The race of lords tried to impose
upon us the benefits of German Kultur; the resplendent, superior,
fertile and eternal Kultur with, as its finest flower, Nazism
and its sweetest fruits, the S.S.
In our country, its consecration was
sought by complete application of its scientific method to all
acts of existence, by the progressive subjugation of the will,
the desires, the preferences and the instincts! It was the codification
of all virtues, all feelings, the stark mathematics of beauty,
good and truth, yes, those illusory and sterile regulations,
that empty and excessive discipline and it was consequently work,
then feast, then pleasures, in that very particular order, mass
produced obligations, standardised consciences and finally happiness
obligatory for everyone with enthusiasm to order and joy on command.
"strength through joy", as they proclaim in a well-known
slogan. Well-known, yes, and celebrated! Strength through joy!
and joy .... through strength! "
The "race of lords" is probably
a reference to the term Herrenrasse which in America is translated
as "the Master race." Former Waffen-SS soldier Hans
Schmidt points out in his book that, in all of his training in
the SS, the word Herrenrasse was never used.
Strength through Joy (Kraft durch Freude)
was the name of a program for workers in Nazi Germany. Compulsory
deductions were made from the wages of the workers to pay for
the Strength through Joy benefits, which included such things
as a free vacation at a time when ordinary people didn't take
vacations and only the idle rich went on holiday. The Volkswagen,
which was conceived and designed by Ferdinand Porsche, was developed
on the orders of Hitler as an inexpensive car that would be affordable
for everyone. It was originally called the "KdF-Wagen,"
named after the Nazi program; the development of the KdF-Wagen
was subsidized by the workers' deductions and the factory town
which built these cars was originally named KdF-Stadt. The KdF-Wagen
was offered to the workers through a savings program, with deductions
from their pay checks, but World War II interrupted the delivery
of the cars. The Strength through Joy program also built sports
facilities, provided free visits to the theatre, and financially
supported traveling cabaret groups.
The severe criticism of the German work
ethic and the Strength through Joy program in the Official Publication
might explain the prevalence of guerrilla fighters who fought
against the German occupation of France, after the country was
defeated in World War II, although the inhabitants of Oradour-sur-Glane
apparently accepted the yoke of the Nazis because none of them
had even the slightest involvement with the French Resistance,
according to the official story.
Schmidt points out, in his book, that
the records of the proceedings of the military court in Bordeaux
are sealed until well into the 21st century. Charles de Gaulle
ordered the records sealed for 100 years, which means that the
complete story will not be known until the year 2053. From the
point of view of the SS, this secrecy is proof that the official
version of the story is not the whole truth.