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Thursday
Oct112012

Ominous

 

On September 13, 1944, an event occurred that would change the course of Etobon's future. There had been battles and skirmishes with the Germans, there had been prisoners and secret camps. But today's event would give the occupiers a reason to almost destroy the village. Jules Perret writes,

"All of a sudden, around 12:30, things turn ugly.  One motorcycle and one German car come into the village, make a U-turn, go back to the Camus Pond, then return.  But, from the top of the big hill, a young man from Bavilliers fires, kills the driver of the motorcycle, then his rider.  Panicking, the occupants of the car, lieutenant X and soldier Lade, get out, and start shooting, firing their revolvers or automatic rifles, chased, harassed.  They went to Henri Volot’s shed, to his barn, then to the track that comes down the Combe au Prêtre.  Still shooting, the men crawl and try to hide.  Caught up close, Lade gives up.  In spite of the pleas of the teacher from Saulnot, Jacques Jeandheur, who speaks German, X won’t listen.  Wounded by several bullets, he drags himself to the Nusbaum’s potato field and collapses among the leaves.  Our guys plead with him to give up, assure him they’ll let him live, because, for the sake of the village, this fanatic must not escape.  Give up!  He refuses.  What should they do?  From my grandfather’s orchard, I watched the scene unfold:  the German among the potatoes, the pack around him.  Jeandheur throws a grenade, without result.  Suddenly, X lifts himself up and empties the contents of the revolver into himself.  Raymond Besson falls dead, a bullet in his head.  The German, too.  Afterwards, a great calm, and I went home to supper."

 

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