Frankreich / Denkmal

​​Monument of the Crécy-en-Ponthieu massacre on 3 September 1944​




​​On 3 September 1944, six people (three gendarmes and three civilians), were executed at the Crécy-en-Ponthieu sugar factory.​

​​On 3 September 1944, Emilien Berle, chief of the gendarmerie, was warned by some young people that German soldiers were hiding in a sugar factory in the village of Crécy-en-Ponthieu.

The young people, along with several gendarmes and civilian volunteers, led the soldiers to the gendarmerie. However, the group was surprised by a German rearguard column belonging to the 935th Grenadier Regiment of the 245th Infantry Division. Crécy-en-Ponthieu was, in fact, on the path of retreat of the last German units who were heading towards Belgium.

Between 100 and 200 German soldiers surrounded the gendarmerie of Crécy-en-Ponthieu to recover their prisoners. An exchange of fire between the two sides soon began, but the French fighters quickly ran out of ammunition. Four people managed to escape, however several women and children were still in the building. To avoid being massacred by the German troops, who quickly entered the gendarmerie, Chief Berle decided to surrender. The gendarmes Edouard Martinache and Raymond Patry followed their chief.

In addition to the three gendarmes, the German troops also took three civilians, Gilbert Gaffet, Eugène Petit and Michel Berle. On the way, they also arrested a fourth civilian, Arthur Savreux, an old man from the hospice who regularly came to the area to cut wood. All seven of them were taken to the edge of a pit at the sugar factory. Six of them were then shot in the head. Only the son of Emilien Berle was spared. General Maczek's First Polish Armored Division arrived at the site the next morning.

In March 1945, a stele was erected near the site of the tragedy in memory of the six victims. A commemorative plaque with the names of the six victims is located at the entrance of the gendarmerie of Crécy-en-Ponthieu. The street where the tragedy occurred has also been renamed "Avenue des Fusillés".

​​Avenue des fusillés​, ​​Crécy-en-Ponthieu​, ​​80150​