The French village of Oradour-sur-Glane looks the same today as it did 75 years ago -- when Nazi troops entered the village, forced 642 residents into buildings and burned them to the ground.
Anyone trying to escape was machine gunned to death.
French wartime leader-turned President Charles de Gaulle passed down orders that the village never be touched so the world could see another example of Nazi brutality.
French and German officials stood among the ruined buildings and rusted, burned-out cars to remember the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre, 75 years ago Monday.
"The massacre ... remains a symbol of unimaginable inhumanity and horror even today," German Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth said. "We bow in shame and deep sadness before the victims and their families. Our united democratic and peaceful Europe is the answer to the experiences of war, fascism, the Holocaust and the barbarity that emanated from German soil."
The massacre took place just four days after allied forces landed on the beaches of Nazi-occupied northern France to liberate Europe from such barbarism.
The reason for the murders in Oradour-sur-Glane has never been made clear but was believed to be revenge for the kidnapping of a German soldier by the French resistance.