Massacre at Oradour

Robin Mackness, Author Random House (NY) $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-394-57002-0
One of the most incomprehensible mysteries of WW II revolves around a bleak site in southwest France called Oradour: Why had German troops, seemingly without provocation, descended on that backwater village on June 10, 1944, murdered all but a handful of its 600-plus inhabitants, then destroyed most of its buildings? Mackness, a British investment manager, stumbled onto a possible solution to the mystery in 1982 and was drawn into the aftermath of the affair in a bizarre way. In this riveting narrative he reconstructs the chronology of the massacre and relates the circumstances by which he connected the tragedy with an event that took place the night before it happened: the hijacking of a gold-carrying German convoy by the French maquis. The most odd part of this unusual story has to do with the author's arrest and brutalization by French customs officials in 1982 while transporting 20 kilos of that same gold bullion from Toulouse to Evian. Mackness spent 21 months in prison as a result, an experience that turned out to be crucial to his apparent solution of the Oradour mystery. Photos. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Hardcover - 978-0-517-05089-7
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