Belgio / Storia

The Bourcy Massacre



Indicazioni stradali

During the night between 18 and 19 December 1944, the 2nd Panzer Division entered the small village of Bourcy, 11 km northeast of Bastogne, in the Longvilly district. The first Wehrmacht units to arrive occupied the houses without engaging in violence.

The situation changed on 20 December with the arrival of a Sicherheitsdienst (SD) security unit. These units, that accompanied the fighting units, were known in various places for their extreme violence. Most of the time, their task was to find patriots who fought against the Nazis during the occupation. A list of names was drawn up, and a German-speaking resident of the district, Armel Abinet, was asked to help the command find the resistance fighters. Cautious and eager to avoid reprisals, the man said he recognised no one, angering the SD. The men of the village — about thirty of them — were gathered and questioned.

Among them was Marcel Roland, a merchant. He returned home accompanied by German soldiers in search of alcohol. Unfortunately, an American flag, made during the September liberation, was found on the premises. Following this incident, Marcel Roland's wife and daughter were also questioned. At the same time, the man was tortured and then beaten to death. The body was found in front of the Bourcy gendarmerie. Three other residents suffered the same fate: the Maquet couple who ran a café on the Place de la Gare — members of the SD executed them and their son before setting fire to their house. The young man, who was not fully in control of his mental faculties, denounced certain residents as members of the Resistance without realising the gravity of his statements. Shortly afterwards, he was shot twice. Among the  SD unit were French collaborators involved with the Gestapo. This was the same unit that operated in Noville, where eight Belgian civilians were also executed.

The village of Bourcy, which was heavily affected by the fighting, was not liberated until 17 January 1945. Since 1947, the war memorial erected in the district also pays tribute to the four civilians killed during the Ardennes offensive.