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In 1946 the French State expropriated and preserved the entire ruins of Oradour. The forty acres of crumbling houses, farms and shops became France's village martyr, set up as a monument to French suffering under the German occupation. Today, the village is a tourist destination, complete with maps and guidebooks.
In this first full-scale study of the destruction of Oradour and its remembrance over the half century since the war, Sarah Farmer investigates the prominence of the massacre in French understanding of the national experience under German domination. Through interviews with survivors and village officials, as well as extensive archival research, she pieces together a fascinating history of both a shattering event and its memorial afterlife.
Complemented by haunting photographs of the site, Farmer's eloquent dissection of France's national memory addresses the personal and private ways in which, through remembrance, people try to come to terms with enormous loss. Martyred Village will have implications for the study of the history and sociology of memory, testimonies about remembrances of war and the Holocaust, and postmodern concerns with the presentation of the past.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Oradour-sur-Glane Massacre, 1944, World War, 1939-1945 Atrocities, Massacres France Oradour-sur-Glane, Oradour-sur-Glane (France) History