Vandals have scrawled graffiti denying the Holocaust on a wall in the village that was the site of the Nazis’ biggest massacre of civilians in France during the second world war.
The justice minister vowed on Saturday to bring those responsible to justice.
Officials in Oradour-sur-Glane, near Limoges in central France, put up a tarpaulin to cover the graffiti discovered on Friday on the wall at the entrance to the Centre de la Mémoire (Centre for Remembrance). The word “lie” was scrawled on the wall, along with other graffiti, according to the regional paper Le Populaire du Centre. The inscription “Village Martyr” was crossed out.
“Shame on those who did this,” the justice minister, Eric Dupond-Moretti, tweeted. “All will be done to find and judge those who committed these sacrilegious acts.”
The interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, denounced the “abject filth” on Friday night, while the prime minister, Jean Castex, said the graffiti “dirties the memory of our martyrs”.
Troops from the fanatical SS “Das Reich” division killed 642 villagers on 10 June 1944, herding them into barns and a church and setting the town on fire. While a new village has been built, the ruins of the old town have been left untouched as a testimony to Nazi horrors.
The massacre occurred four days after the allied D-day landings in Normandy. The killings were believed to have been ordered in retaliation for the kidnapping of a German soldier by the French resistance.