Events at Arleuf
Several weeks later, a similar expedition was made on the orders of Vier, Feldkommandant at Nevers and was carried out by Major. His assignment was to make a general search in the area of Nevers for hidden arms, to execute those found with arms, and to destroy houses from which shots would be fired. Major alleged that the expedition took place as a result of shots which were fired at German soldiers eight or ten days before. On 10th August the detachment arrived at Arleuf and soon several crimes were to be committed. According to a German witness the events took place in the following manner: A French girl, Mlle. Buteau, had her parents arrested by members of the French resistance movement, and they were taken away. She appealed to Major for help to liberate them, and on this occasion told him that the whole population of Arleuf was in the resistance movement. Major had the locality surrounded by a company under Schirmacher, and gathered one member of every family in a café. He told them that if Mlle. Buteau’s parents were not returned by the night, he would have the whole village set on fire. The Mayor despatched two youths to contact men of the resistance and request the return of the Buteau’s by 8 p.m. The crimes took place in the course of these events. At 6.30 a.m., when members of families were being collected, an agricultural worker, Goujon, took fright and tried to escape or hide. He was apprehended and brought to Major, who ordered that he be shot. The man was taken away and executed. A revolver was found in the house of an old man, Boulle, aged 71. The man and the revolver were brought to Major. The latter fired a shot from the revolver into the ceiling and told Boulle : “ For this you are going to be shot.” These words were heard by a soldier who instantly took Boulle away and killed him. A third man was killed in the following circumstances. Several inhabitants were lined up against a wall with their hands up, and were searched by Major’s men. At one moment one of the inhabitants, Gantes, moved his right arm down. A soldier moved one or two yards back and killed him with a Bren-gun.