The memorial pays tribute to the 120 hostages, including resistance fighters held at the prison Montluc, who, on August 20, 1944, on these premises, were shot by German soldiers and set fire to the house where the events took place.
On the morning of August 20, 1944, Lyon's Sicherheitspolizei, led by Werner Knab and Klaus Barbie, extract around 120 inmates from Montluc prison. The hostages are taken in two buses, accompanied by six cars containing Germans and French militiamen, to the Côte-Lorette fort in Saint-Genis-Laval, where they arrive at around 8:30 a.m.
The hostages are shot in small groups in the guard's house adjoining the fort. Only one, a "malgré-nous" by the name of René Wehrlen, is able to escape without being recaptured.
After the fusillade, the executioners ignite the house with gasolineand phosphorus, then have it exploded. Among the victims are several local resistance figures, such as Daisy Georges-Martin, François Boursier and Roger Radisson.