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Massacre at Ardenne Abbey


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    Massacre at Ardenne Abbey
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Massacre at Ardenne Abbey
Massacre at Ardenne Abbey
During the 1940-1945 war, one of the owners, Roland Vico, joined the Resistance. The buildings housed an arsenal and a clandestine weapons-handling center, before being evacuated when the premises were occupied by German soldiers. They used the abbey's towers to observe the surrounding area, including the sea, which could be seen from there. In fact, the abbey stands on a high point of the plain, at an altitude of 67 metres.

On June 7, 1944, in the midst of the Battle of Caen, the Germans counter-attacked the Allies in force. The 12th German SS-Panzer Hitlerjugend division occupied the abbey, using it as a strongpoint. Many Canadian soldiers taken prisoner during the battle are brought to the abbey. Eleven of them were executed, in defiance of the Geneva Conventions concerning the rights of prisoners of war. A trial could nevertheless take place in Canada, following the capture in Belgium in September 1944 of the man presumed responsible for the Nazi abjections perpetrated both on the Russian front and in Normandy. The trial that followed Kurt Meyer's arrest found him guilty on three of the five counts. Sentenced to death, his sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. Released for good behavior, he returned home, campaigning in Germany for the retirement of former waffen-ss, before succumbing in 1961 at the age of 51 to a heart attack, not without returning in 1957 to the probable scene of his crime. The abbey was at the heart of the fighting, and was severely damaged, particularly the medieval barn. It was taken by the Canadian army on the evening of July 8. Its classification in 1945 enabled the owners to undertake restoration work thanks to war damage compensation.
Source Wikipedia
Massacre at Ardenne Abbey
Crédit photo Burtonne.

Massacre at Ardenne Abbey

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