A Former SS soldier has been arrested and charged by German authorities for his role in the murder of countless men, women, and children during a civilian massacre which took place in France during World War Two.
The suspect, named Werner C., who is 88, was also charged with hundreds of counts of being an accessory to murder due to his involvement in the 1944 slaughter in Oradour-sur-Glane in the south of France.
German prosecutors allege that Werner shot at least 25 men as part of a firing squad, and then helped his fellow soldiers set fire to a church full of people.
In that fire, 642 men, women, and children were burned alive.
Attorney Rainer Pohlen, who is defending Werner, told the AP that his client was at the village at the time of the massacre, but had no involvement in it, and didn’t fire a weapon nor kill anyone.
Pohlen said: “My client contests any participation in this massacre, which he finds a truly terrible act.”
The attack on Oradour-sur-Glane’s citizens was in retaliation for the kidnapping of German soldiers by the French Resistance.
According to all reports, the Waffen SS massacre in Oradour-sur-Glane was extremely gruesome. Residents were herded into barns and churches, the doors barricaded, and then the whole town was set ablaze.
Those people who were not killed in the various fires were shot as they tried to flee the town, and only a few survived.
Back in September of 2013, the president of Germany, Joachim Gauck met France’s Francois Hollande in Oradour-sur-Glane in a display of German/French reconciliation.
President Gauck spoke at that event saying he shared the pain and: “bitterness over the fact that the murderers have not been brought to justice.”
It remains to be seen what the outcome of the trial against the former SS soldier will be as prosecutors gather evidence to prove if Werner C. was involved in the horrific massacre in France.