Belgio / Storia

​​Noville Civillian Massacre​



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​​In December 1944, with the advance of the German 2nd Panzer Division through the village of Noville in Bastogne, Belgium, the Gestapo arrived. A tragic massacre ensued.​

​​On 19 December 1944, the German 2nd Panzer Division and 26th Volkgrenadier Division began to attack the village of Noville. This was part of the German offensive in the Ardennes which took place in the winter of 1944 to 45.

The village had been liberated a few months earlier in September by American troops. The local villagers had rejoiced, some coming out into the street and taking photographs with the soldiers. However, German troops returned to Noville and its surrounding villages in December, bringing with them the Gestapo.

On 21 December, the Gestapo arrived in Noville and began to seek out civilians. A total of 21 men were rounded up and taken away for interrogation. The Gestapo believed there was a transmitter hidden in the church bell tower. The men were questioned and were also asked about the celebrations of liberation with the American soldiers back in September. Following the questioning, the men were taken out to the main road in three separate groups. They were made to dig the ground with their bare hands. This carried on for a short period of time before they were told to stop, and the majority of the group was marched back to the municipal building.

A group of five men were told to stand separately, they were then joined by the local priest and schoolteacher. The Gestapo then marched them off with their hands held above their heads. Shots were heard not long after and the bodies left behind. It was not until the Gestapo had left Noville that local civilians went behind Café Louis where eight bodies were found, each with a single gunshot wound to the neck.

Today, a memorial stands behind the former café. The names of all eight men are remembered here, murdered by the Gestapo in December 1944.

Noville, 6600