Some 64 years after the massacre by German soldiers of 124 people in the village of Maille in western France, the alleged perpetrators have been identified, a press report said.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy attended an August ceremony marking the event
A German Waffen-SS batallion stationed in neighbouring Chatellerault was responsible for the attack during World War II, Le Figaro reported, quoting prosecutor Ulrich Maass on Saturday, Oct. 11.
"I received the translation of the testimonies in the archives, and they are very interesting," he told the paper. "I am practically sure that the SS battalion based at Chatellerault, as has already been suspected, was responsible for the massacre."
Maass examined Gestapo documents as well as testimony from witnesses
Maass has been probing the case for several months, using Gestapo archives and other documents. Of the three alleged perpetrators who have been named, two are already dead. The fate of the third remains unknown. None of the men was named in Le Figaro's report.
Retreating German soldiers took revenge in Maille on August 25, 1944, killing 124 of its 500 inhabitants. Forty-four children were among the dead.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy travelled to Maille in August to attend a ceremony marking the event. The Maille massacre had remained long-forgotten, because it coincided with the day Paris was liberated from the Nazis.
As the US prepares for big profits on the day of love, German retailers are hoping customers remember the holiday at all. The country has only half-heartedly embraced the late-comer tradition.
At least 11 people have died after two trains collided in Germany's Bavaria state. 20 others are reported to be seriously injured, including several in critical condition.
Share markets around the world have tumbled as fears over the health of the global economy caused a fierce sell-off in banks and commodity stocks. Europe's top share index slumped to its lowest in two and a half years.