09.06.

1944: SS Division Hangs 99 Civilians from Street Lamps and Balconies as Reprisal

1944: SS Division Hangs 99 Civilians from Street Lamps and Balconies as Reprisal
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ Members of the Maquis in September 1944

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 9 June 1944
  • The Waffen-SS had 38 divisions, of which the first was the famous Leibstandarte SS "Adolf Hitler" (Hitler’s bodyguards), and the other was the mentioned Das Reich division.

On this day the Nazis committed one of the worst massacres against civilians in central France. 

It was the time of Allied invasion of Normandy, when the Germans did everything in their power to stop the Allies from taking France.

The massacre was done as retaliation for the actions of the French resistance movement known as the Maquis, which operated in coordination with the Allies against the Germans.

The word Maquis signifies a type of terrain with dense stands of trees or tall shrubs, because the members of the movement often hid in such thicket areas.

The Maquis carried out a guerrilla action in the town of Tulle, in which 40 German soldiers were killed.

In response, the notorious 2nd SS Panzer Division “Das Reich”, an elite unit of the Waffen-SS, arrived in the city of Tulle.

Specifically, the Waffen-SS had 38 divisions, of which the first was the famous Leibstandarte SS “Adolf Hitler” (Hitler’s bodyguards), and the other was the mentioned “Das Reich” division.

Members of that division, under the command of SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Lammerding, arrested all men aged between 16 and 60, of whom 99 were first tortured, and then hanged them from public lighting poles and balconies throughout the city.

Others were sent to concentration camps. In total, 213 civilians were killed.

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