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Germany

Nazi SS Soldiers Accused of Committing French Village Massacre

Some 64 years after the massacre by German soldiers of 124 people in the village of Maille in western France, the alleged perpetrators have been identified, a press report said.

Sarkozy at a memorial in Maille

French President Nicolas Sarkozy attended an August ceremony marking the event

A German Waffen-SS batallion stationed in neighbouring Chatellerault was responsible for the attack during World War II, Le Figaro reported, quoting prosecutor Ulrich Maass on Saturday, Oct. 11.

"I received the translation of the testimonies in the archives, and they are very interesting," he told the paper. "I am practically sure that the SS battalion based at Chatellerault, as has already been suspected, was responsible for the massacre."

Ulrich Maass holding a folder

Maass examined Gestapo documents as well as testimony from witnesses

Maass has been probing the case for several months, using Gestapo archives and other documents. Of the three alleged perpetrators who have been named, two are already dead. The fate of the third remains unknown. None of the men was named in Le Figaro's report.

Retreating German soldiers took revenge in Maille on August 25, 1944, killing 124 of its 500 inhabitants. Forty-four children were among the dead.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy travelled to Maille in August to attend a ceremony marking the event. The Maille massacre had remained long-forgotten, because it coincided with the day Paris was liberated from the Nazis.

DW.DE