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Bande Massacre

Another evocative landmark of the Ardennes offensive can be found in the village of Bande. An easy-to-miss memorial on the edge of the village marks the sport where, on Christmas Eve 1944, a unit of advancing SS commandoes took revenge for the death of three soldiers at the hands of the Belgian resistance three months earlier. Thirty five young men were arrested and questioned, and all but one of them (who managed to escape, and report what had happened) were shot and bundled into a cellar. The damp, dark cellar remains, decorated with flowers, wreaths, fading photographs and streamers. The bodies were discovered by Canadian troops when they helped liberate the village nearly three weeks later: an event which is commemorated by a plaque outside.

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Belgian Tourist Office Wallonia 217 Marsh Wall London E14 9FJ Tel: 0207 531 0390 info@belgiumtheplaceto.be