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France starts search for executed German WWII soldiers

MEYMAC: A search began in France on Tuesday(27th of June, 2023) for the remains of dozens of German soldiers said to have been executed by French Resistance fighters during World War II.
Coming 79 years after the alleged killings, the search was sparked by statements from a 98-year-old former resistance fighter, Edmond Reveil, who has gone public with the allegation in recent years.
Reveil was part of a commando that he said took 46 German soldiers they had captured, as well as a French woman suspected of collaborating with the Nazi occupiers, to a wooded hillside on June 12, 1944, and shot them dead.
The reason for the killings, in the southwestern Correze region, was that the members of the local resistance group, made up of around 30 militia and communist partisans, were too few to guard the prisoners, Reveil told AFP.
“If we had let the Germans go, they would have destroyed Meymac,” the nearby town, he said.
He had previously told the local newspaper La Vie Correzienne: “We felt ashamed, but did we have a choice?”
The handful of people who knew about the incident mostly kept quiet over the decades, though historians told AFP that it was sometimes mentioned in private.
A dig was even started in the 1960s to shed light on the affair, but was quickly stopped, “perhaps because of pressure”, said Meymac’s mayor Philippe Brugere, who added that he had been unable to find any record of that search in the town archives.
A fresh investigation was launched when Reveil began to talk publicly about the incident in 2019, and started giving media interviews.
Brugere called the search for the truth “honorable”, saying it was necessary for people to “look at history with honesty”.
But the resistance veteran association Maquis de Correze deplored the “media buzz” sparked by the revelations, which it said could become a “pretext for sullying the memory of the Resistance”.

AFP/APP

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.