RTL Infos – Massacre of Oradour-sur-Glane: In Charly-Oradour, in Moselle, we transmit the memory of the tragedy

RTL Infos – Massacre of Oradour-sur-Glane: In Charly-Oradour, in Moselle, we transmit the memory of the tragedy
RTL Infos – Massacre of Oradour-sur-Glane: In Charly-Oradour, in Moselle, we transmit the memory of the tragedy

In Moselle, memory lives on in a village mourned by the Oradour massacre.

“Our family history is written in History with a capital H”: descendant of a family of martyrs from Oradour-sur-Glane (Haute-Vienne), Marie-Cécile Rogissard, originally from the village of Charly, in Moselle, wants “to transmit” this memory so that it does not die out, hundreds of kilometers from Limousin.

A few days before the commemoration of the massacre of Oradour-sur-Glane, a village in Haute-Vienne whose population was massacred by the SS Das Reich division on June 10, 1944, preparations are also being organized in Moselle, in the village of Charly, near Metz, renamed Charly-Oradour in 1950.

Thirty-nine Mosellans expelled from Charly were massacred in Limousin. Five others came from Montoy-Flanville, a few kilometers away.

Among the martyrs, six members of the Girard family, of whom Marie-Cécile Rogissard is a descendant. At 73, she explains to AFP that above all she wants “to transmit” this story, within his family and throughout the Moselle.

“My parents were expelled (from Charly) in November 1940”while Moselle was occupied by the Germans and members of his family had decided to remain French.

In total, 79 inhabitants of Charly and Montoy-Flanville arrived in Oradour-sur-Glane on November 17, 1940.

Marie-Cécile Rogissard’s family was then made up of her grandparents, her uncle, her aunt and their two children, as well as her parents and two of her sisters. She was housed in a “small farm” of Oradour. “My uncle and my grandfather were farmers, my father was a carpenter”she explains.

It was because he was not working on the farm, and because the family was growing, with the birth of three children between 1941 and 1943 that Ms. Rogissard’s parents left the farm to find accommodation. “a few kilometers from Oradour, in a small village called Javerdat”retraces Ms. Rogissard.

A “taboo” in the family

They were therefore not there during the massacre. “They saw smoke, these are the testimonies they reported”she whispers. “And my father was present when it was decided to clear the rubble”.

On the farm where the rest of the Girard family, expelled from Moselle, lived, a body, “who had been thrown into a well in the courtyard”has been found. “It was my grandmother. My grandmother was shot in front of the house door, and she was thrown into the well.”

Marie Girard was the only victim removed from the well. “The rescuers saw bodies, but it was deep, it was difficult to access (…) so they threw lime into the well.”

Constant Girard, the grandfather of Marie-Cécile Rogissard, his son Charles, his daughter-in-law Clothilde as well as their two little daughters, Yvette and Jeanine, born in 1935 and 1937, died in the massacre.

In 1945, Ms. Rogissard’s parents returned to live in their house in Moselle. “Neither my father nor my mother spoke to us children about what had happened”she explains, evoking a “taboo” in the family.

“Sometimes, my mother spoke to us about the life they had. She liked Limousin, its landscapes… But she never spoke of what happened on June 10.”

“Memory smuggler”

Today, Ms. Rogissard feels “a role as a transmitter of memory in the Moselle but also within (her) family”, first with her children, then with her grandchildren. This year, around ten of his nephews and nieces will follow the trip organized from Charly-Oradour for around forty people to Oradour on June 8.

In the Moselle village of 600 inhabitants, a memorial was erected in memory of the victims, and commemorations take place every year. But hundreds of kilometers from Limousin, “memory perhaps does not persist as much as we would like”regrets Marie-Cécile Rogissard, also a member of the office of the National Association of Families of Martyrs of Oradour-sur-Glane.

“Every year, before June 10, we go to the class of CM1 and CM2 students to bear witness. Because memory passes through the children who live in Charly-Oradour”which will hold a ceremony on June 16.

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