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LAMMERDING Heinz

( Gruppenfц+hrer SS, organizer of the massacre in the village of Oradour)

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Biography LAMMERDING Heinz
photo LAMMERDING Heinz
The village of Oradour, which is located on the banks of the river Glane, near Limoges in southwestern France, peacefully existed for a thousand years without experiencing more severe shocks than crop failure, or clogging of drainage.

The village of Oradour shared the fate of Lidice Czech and Belarusian Khatyn. What caused the Nazis savage attack against the civilian population Oradour? For many years, this tragedy was shrouded in mystery ... Even the fire of the Second World War, initially bypassed the village side, sparing its people - a simple peasant folk. Sometimes a Oradour were German soldiers but at night with a roar rushed to the front freight trains. However, neither Hitler's attack on France, nor any of its occupation by German troops did not violate measured way of life of these people.

That is, until a hot June day in 1944, when the troops entered Oradour 2-Panzer Division "Das Reich". In broad daylight, carried out a bloody massacre, they killed a man all villagers. Men were herded into a barn and shot, and women were locked in the church, which he then threw grenades. Soldiers blew up all the houses, slaughtered animals, the children were sent to concentration camps. In this crazy day at the hands of Nazi executioners killed more than six hundred inhabitants of Oradour.

Historians do not stop to ask: why? For a long time, this massacre was explained as a punitive action in response to the SS intensified after the successful Allied landing in Normandy on the French Resistance movement. But only recently appeared, and another version - that the Germans had no intention to destroy the village. They expected that farmers will be given them gold, which, as invaders mistakenly believed had been hidden in a quiet Oradour.

This village is still dead, as it was on that fateful day fifty years ago. Charred skeleton of the car from which the Germans had pulled a country doctor and shot him, and still stands on the deserted cobbled village street. In the charred ruins of the butcher's shop and now stand scales, and across the street you can see a broken sewing machine - mute evidence of the brutal massacres of the tranquil village.

Avengers of the division "Das Reich arrived in Oradour hot Saturday afternoon, four days after the landing of Allied troops in France. The day was bright, quiet, many people were fishing on the banks of the river Glan, others sipped wine and played cards in the village cafe.

The SS men stormed into the village on trucks and motorcycles. Before that they had participated in the battles on the Eastern Front. Division "Das Reich" belonged to an elite combat units of the SS, which were particularly brutal. They duly did their dirty deed in the East in full accordance with the instructions of the Fuhrer - arranged the brutal massacres of the civilian population.

Of course, the division arrived in France in 1944, was not the one that went to war with the Soviet Union. The division commander, General Heinz Lammerding had many awards, but he saw as the war ground down by thousands of young people, color and pride of the nation Germany.

In March 1944, in battle near the town of Cherkassy on the Eastern Front have been killed and captured twelve and a half thousand people from fifteen thousand, made up the combat power of his division. Two and a half thousand surviving soldiers were the backbone of the new division. She replenished recruits of various nationalities, designed under the banner of the Third Reich ". Naturally, the soldiers, who were visiting on the Eastern Front, considered themselves on all counts above neobstrelyannyh newcomers joined the ranks of Division "Das Reich".

After the Allied landings in Normandy, this part of the command was ordered to make a dash in a northerly direction. But every step of the Germans was accompanied by endless skirmishes with the "maki" - fighters of the French Resistance. The Allies, having air superiority, provide the necessary supply of partisans, and those seeking to accelerate the liberation of their country, pinned down the enemy advance north.

Attacks and sabotage are so frequent, that the invaders were forced to stop and check every pile of manure on the road, because a similar booby trap could take away several lives.

Over against them sabotage the Germans took revenge immediately and without mercy, and punishment comprehended all at hand. Participated in the punitive operations against innocent civilians and combat strength of the division "Das Reich". Occupants acted in accordance with the orders of Hitler, who demanded to punish severely anyone who raises his arms to the soldiers. During such shares to the SS has become commonplace to fill the pockets of the spoils. Lammerding himself and two of his close officers, Otto Dickman and Helmut Kampf, too, were not averse to collect more money, not to live in poverty after the war. In the late night conversations over the best generals brandy, all three expressed confidence that the war will be complete and inevitable defeat of Hitler. With that kind of attitude is quite logical to defer any savings for a rainy day.

Mayor Dieckmann, located in Saint JUNIEN, not far from Oradour. He was in charge of a single emergency vehicles from the transport service division. According to him, the car is all divisional documentation. He ordered the lieutenant-the Austrian Bruno Walter enhance the safety car.

On the night of June 9, Dickman felt SAINT JUNIEN not in his element. He was very nervous. Dickman believed that in the vicinity of the settlement there were at least two thousand guerrillas who were only awaiting the slightest possibility of attack on him, his people and his car loaded with classified.

But in a closely guarded car had no documentation, no military orders. It is assumed that the car is a fantastic amount of weight in six million pounds at current prices. It was stolen gold, which guaranteed Dieckmann, Lammerdingu Kampf and comfortably life after war. They did not dare to send their prey in Germany, because there was a danger that it can intercept or steal. In addition, the railway line was unreliable because of attacks by enemy aircraft. And besides, Dieckmann and his associates feared that in case of leakage of information extraction is unlikely to save. Nothing to do but pull trophies for a.

Partisans became known that the Division "Das Reich" was ordered to launch a movement against the Allied troops on Normandy beaches. The British warned the leadership of the resistance on the possible arrival of the Germans in the area of combat operations after three days and asked to delay their advance.

At midnight on June 9 Dickman ordered a driver with a cargo accompanied by a detachment of SS men start moving in a northerly direction. According to one of the plans developed Lammerdingom and his accomplices should have been a time to hide the gold in the valley of the Loire, and by going with the division to the front. Whatever happens, Diekmann had the duty as soon as possible to remove gold from the area of action "maki". For travel Dickman chose an unsuccessful night, when the Germans prevailed in the camp mess. Although severe punitive actions still held almost daily, the domination of the occupiers have not been the undivided. The French felt the approach of the liberators. They knew that the landing of Allied troops in Normandy was not a diversionary landing operation and that the days of the Germans found. "Poppies" ambushes, sabotage, theft of fuel from the stockpile. Movement of all German convoys in the night was fettered.

According to intelligence reports, in a forest of Saint-Zhyunena adjacent to the road to Bellak, where the division was supposed to stay that night at the first camp, the largest one group of partisans. Dickman spetsgruzoviku ordered to move to another route, which took place near Oradour.

In front of the truck was moving staff car, and before it - an armored personnel carrier with the office of heavily armed soldiers. Under the plan they were supposed to arrive in Bellak thirty minutes, but the local "maki" violated all the calculations SS. They were ambushed on the way of another German column, heading a parallel route. When the guerrillas saw that the armored headlamp lit place where "poppies" concealed weapon, it was for them a complete surprise. Instantaneous change in the plan of attack, they decided to attack the approaching convoy. Young, inexperienced men, eager to take revenge on the enemy during the long years of occupation have caused ill-prepared, but a powerful blow. The guerrillas threw grenades into an armored personnel carrier, killing its entire crew, except one soldier, who managed to escape. The rest of the Germans struck a dagger submachine gun fire six guerrillas under the command of some of Raul.

But the enthusiasm of the attackers is much superior to their skill. A powerful explosion destroyed an armored personnel carrier at first, and then staff car, complete with ammunition, lifted into the air a lot of shrapnel and burning debris. From them, as well as from indiscriminate return fire, five guerrillas were killed.

When the firing subsided and the smoke cleared, Raul was the only French witnessed the incident. On the road blazed armored skeletons and staff car. The truck did not turn on, and Raul hurled at him another grenade. After the explosion the guerrillas threw a smoking tent and peered into the back. There were small wooden boxes the size of a box of shoes. Each box was bandaged braid. Slide the automatic side, Raul cut the ribbon with a knife and opened one of the boxes. It turned out to be gold. Judging by the number of boxes, weight of the goods is not less than one half.

Risking their lives, the guerrillas pulled out a box of the truck, dug a shallow pit near the road, crossed it their trophies and covered with earth. Knowing that if the Germans are identified the bodies of dead guerrillas, their families would be executed, he had thrown the bodies and wreckage of vehicles with gasoline and set on fire. Then Raul jumped on his bicycle and sped from the scene.

When Heinz Lammerding learned that the entire production had disappeared, he was seized with fury. Half-ton of gold, through which he intended to escape the madness of war and launch a new, prosperous life, horrible, in his opinion, in the hands of French partisans. General ordered immediately to scour the countryside in search of the lost production, but then he was told the second for the day a bad news: Major Kampf was missing and presumed captured by the guerrillas.

Kampf was a close friend of General, and his disappearance has caused a Lammerdinga new rage.

Disappearance Kampf and the attack on a truck with gold - for all they were fighting instruments division - served as a pretext for postponing trips to the front of General. He did not want to join the battle, not ascertained the fate of his "retirement fund", in the hands of those dirty peasants ".

Lammerding asked permission of the authorities to deal with the perpetrators of the attack on the convoy, and his request was granted.

According to postwar testimony of an eyewitness-telephone operator, General Dieckmann rudely reprimanded for hasty decision to send a car with such a small guard and consulted with him how to return the gold.

The Germans assumed that the guerrillas attacking the night guard, were from the locality Oradour. Not only because this village was the closest to the place of ambush.

One of the SS, captured guerrillas managed to escape and he reported Dieckmann, that interrogation, he was taken to Oradour. This predetermined the tragic fate of a small French village and its inhabitants.

Command the punitive operation against the inhabitants of Oradour was appointed Nazi thug captain Kahn, known for his unprecedented cruelty against the guerrillas and civilians on the Eastern Front.

Historians believe, however, that the soldiers were not going uchinyat Qana massacre, when arrived at the village, their goal was to find the missing gold. But residents in one voice asserted that they knew nothing about gold, and such unanimity aroused suspicion punitive. They thought it was a conspiracy and the conspirators decided to teach a lesson.

Massacre perpetrated by Kahn on Oradour, was as senseless and brutal, as the destruction of Warsaw, Minsk, Kiev.

The Germans raided the village at the end of the day and immediately cordoned off its. Peasants who had worked all morning in the field, have already returned home. They were herded into the church and a barn. SS men with fixed bayonets scoured the neighborhood in search of those who managed to hide. One of the soldiers, Heinz Barth, a Frenchman by birth, but wore SS uniform.

Now, waving a gun, he yelled and frightened residents: "Today, blood will flow!"

In the eyes of the inhabitants of Oradour Germans with grenades and explosives blew up all the two hundred fifty-four houses in the village.

Fifteenth Roger Gofrenu miraculously managed to escape.

"I suggested two of the senior sisters to hide with me - the boy explained later - but they refused. I felt that the Boches have decided that day to destroy us ".

White rocket vzvivshayasya in the sky, was suspended for the channel signal that the villagers assembled in the church.

I started massacre.

Frail elderly and disabled who could not get to the place of execution, shot on the spot. Those who tried to flee, were mowed down with machine-gun bursts. Rounds to punish the Nazis did not spare.

Having driven to the church more than four hundred and fifty women and children, the Germans set fire to a powerful charge, emitting poisonous black smoke. Unhappy people began to choke. The soldiers then started to throw grenades through the windows. When the explosions died away, the SS men opened the door and began to pour fire space covered by machine gun fire. The flames engulfed those who have not yet had time to blow a bullet, grenade fragments and debris of collapsed walls.

Two hundred men trapped in the shed, were shot with machine guns.

Dickman, accompanied by two representatives of the local police began to beat the testimony of the suspects in collaboration with the guerrillas, demanding that they showed him where the hidden gold.

The SS man on the spot shooting those who refused to answer.

Jean Dart, wounded in both legs, miraculously managed to stay alive. Saved four more, including a woman who, having received several wounds, still jumped from the window of the church, located above the altar. She hid in the garden, where she was, almost alive, and found the next day.

Dickman was beside himself with rage: the massacre began, before he had time to thoroughly interrogate the inhabitants of the missing gold. Rest of the day the SS carousing in one of the surviving houses on the outskirts of Oradour.

In the evening, when the fire was still walking in the ruins, mountain-fighter, barely able to stand, appeared to General Lammerdingu and reported that he was unable to locate the loss.

Today, Oradour - a dead village in ruins, untouched since the ill-fated day.

In the small museum, which has become a place of worship ashes of the innocent victims, exposed broken glasses, love letters, unfinished bottles of wine - some simple, but plaintive details simple rural life, the broken machine guns.

Many of the bodies so badly burned that it was impossible to identify them, and buried them in mass graves, where they took the death.

Six hundred and forty-two people died because of the stolen gold, which they knew nothing.

English businessman Robin Makness claims that he knew the fate of the missing gold. He wrote the book "Oradour: Massacre and its aftermath".

Many leading historians, among them an expert on the French Resistance during World War II, Dr. Foote, believe that this book contains the authentic account of events in Oradour.

Makness faced oradurskoy history by chance, many years after the war.

In 1982, the Englishman met thus Raul, who, according to him, once buried gold on the spot ambush. Now the former guerrillas engaged in smuggling of gold from France to Switzerland. The Frenchman told Maknessu its history, outlining the details of the ambush on the road, explaining why the Germans chose Oradour his victim. He argued that historians have erred in assuming that the invaders burned the village in retaliation for the assistance of its residents partisans.

Raul also said that he took the hidden gold, and spent part of it to start your own business. Now the Frenchman was going to ship the remainder of his treasures in one of the Swiss banks.

According Maknessa, he agreed to help Raul, but the deal fell as the Englishman was detained at the French Customs. His car was found smuggled goods worth twenty thousand pounds.

Makness was sentenced to twenty-one months in prison and to participate in the operation, started by Raul, was unable

. After his release from prison Makness several years studying the details of history, . narrated by Raul: "I do not know exactly, . what they talked about Lammerding and Major General Dickman on Saturday June 10, 1944, . - He concluded, . - But if the version of Raoul reliable, . and nothing convinces me otherwise, . we are with him are the only living witnesses, . devoted to the mystery of the events of that terrible day,
.

Apparently, Lammerding Diekmann said during their meeting that he learned of the ambush of the soldiers, fled from the clash with guerrillas.

Special forces soldiers have been strictly instructed to report any incidents only officers directly related to the ongoing operation, ie, majors Dieckmann and Kampf or the general Lammerdingu ".

The protagonists of this drama are dead and the life no one discovered his secret.

But narrated Maknessom can make a definite conclusion that the inhabitants of Oradour fallen innocent victims of greedy Nazi general and his minions.

However, the history of gold is still the version which must be taken at face value without any evidence. Nobody could neither confirm it nor deny.

Burnt and shot Oradour forever remain a monument to the victims of fascism. And today, he reminds people of the dangers brown plague, almost swallowed up humanity.


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  • GRM for LAMMERDING Heinz
  • In the above article, you appear to attribute the massacre of Polish officers to the Nazi's. Those murders were carried out by the Soviet Union.
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