Nazi executions of African soldiers investigated

1st February 2006, Comments 0 comments

LUDWIGSBURG, Germany, Jan 31, 2006 (AFP) - German judicial officials have opened an inquiry into the 1940 killings by German troops of at least 1,500 African soldiers serving in the French army, said a German official in charge of investigating Nazi war crimes Tuesday.

LUDWIGSBURG, Germany, Jan 31, 2006 (AFP) - German judicial officials have opened an inquiry into the 1940 killings by German troops of at least 1,500 African soldiers serving in the French army, said a German official in charge of investigating Nazi war crimes Tuesday.

Former Nazi government officials are suspected of ordering the massacre, said the Ludwigsburg-based government office in charge of pursuing Nazi crimes.

Investigators say they hope to build their case on documents used by a US historian who wrote about the executions in a book.

Writing in a German publication, German historian Raffael Scheck confirmed that the Wehrmacht, or German ground forces, executed at least 1,500 soldiers from French overseas colonies who were fighting alongside French troops when the Germans entered France in 1940.

"Historical archives mention about 1,500 black troops" who were executed during the westward advance of the Wehrmacht, but "the real number is probably twice that," writes Scheck in the weekly Die Zeit.

Unlike during their advance into the Soviet Union a year later, "in 1940 there were no guidelines (...) ordering the execution of certain prisoners of war," wrote the unnamed American historian, who teaches at Colby University in Maine.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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