Oradour-sur-Glane was haunting, as it should be. That's why it has been preserved. Does anyone know if Lidice has been similarly preserved?
The Maquis de Saffré, in Brittany, is another quiet place full of ghosts. The Nazis and French Milice attacked this Resistance hideout just after D-Day. Some prisoners taken in the raid were later shot.
The Abbaye Ardenne, Kurt Meyer's HQ on the outskirts of Caen, where many young Canadians were shot by Hitler Jugend troops, is worth visiting. It's private property, and you can't walk around the grounds much, but you get a sense of what the battle of Normandy must have been like.
Pointe du Hoc, on the edge of Omaha Beach is more interesting than haunting. From seeing the scorched ceiling of the observation bunker on the cliff, to walking into the huge bomb craters just inland, one wonders how anyone could survive such a bombardment.
The Church at Ste. Mère Eglise has a dummy in a parachute hanging from the bell-tower. In one sense it's kind of cool, in another, it's just plain tacky.
St. Nazaire is a bit low-key. It is, after all, a very busy port and shipyard. I didn't notice any memorials to the British commados who took part in the raid there. The U-boat pens were squat, grey ugly things when I visited three years ago. They have apparently been converted to boutiques now. The U-boat pens at la Pallice, outside of la Rochelle, where some scenes from "Das Boot" were filmed, look like an abandoned naval junkyard.
[ 18 August 2003: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]