Villey le sec
Villey le sec people also locally named the Trabecs, wish you a happy new year.

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A terrible day in 1944

by Danièle URIOT

Germany’s surrender on May 7, 1945 at 2:41 a.m. marked the Allies’ victory over Nazi Germany and the end of World War II, with fighting to cease on May 8 at 11 p.m.

On September 10, 1944, Villey le sec was released. A former resident, a child of the village at the time of the events, Raymond LAROPPE showed me an article from the East Republican of 1969.

The Republican East kindly authorized me to repeat this article which recounts this episode in the life of our village. This is what he said :

In order not to hear the bell ringing for liberation, the Germans dynamited the church of Villey le sec.

Twenty-five years ago, the Toulois, who lived his first days of liberation, healed his wounds, mourned his dead.

The last hours of the German occupation had been particularly painful, with many villages facing barbaric repression. Villey le Sec and the other towns experienced tragic days.

When the Germans left Villey le Sec, they left smoking ruins behind them: the church had been dynamited, eleven houses burned down. That was not all, as several men had been killed, including the mayor of the village.

At the end of August-beginning of September, for several weeks the Germans clung to Villey le sec. Four hundred men under the orders of Major KINTZ occupied this point of support, which they defended fiercely against the Americans, whose batteries were very close. They will sow terror and desolation among the population. The villagers live in the cellars. They cannot get out except for one hour a day from 7 to 8 am and again, should they plan to dig in before because the gusts leave quickly. "At 8 o’clock, it was the submachine gun", one witness from that time still remembers.

In the meantime houses are looted, horses stolen, cows slaughtered for no reason because they remain abandoned on the spot. Few passers-by are robbed and feel very happy to get away with it. The American artillery pounded the German positions and for the first time the villagers believed in their liberation. The invaders are low on morale and scatter screaming "zuruck"; they fall back.
The residents breathe and wait for the Americans. Hope disappointed because they remain in their position, and around 8 p.m. the Germans reappear. It was therefore in the afternoon of September 6, 1944 that a horrible crime was to be committed. A section bursts into M. DECOUTEIX’s cellar. They bring out all the men occupying it and lead them towards the ditches of the fort at the south battery, lining them up against the wall. A time passes, some men accustomed to the whims of the invader, sit down. Others start to roll a cigarette. Suddenly, at the same time as a sharp order from a "feldwebel" slams, one of the French, Mr. Jules BREUIL barragist who has just seen a grenade unpinning screams at the top of his lungs: "they kill us, save who can!" A deluge of fire descends. Five men will be killed, five more will manage to escape this hell. The American vice is tightening. The Germans feel they will have to let go soon.

Une journée terrible de 1944
Collection Danièle URIOT

In the ears of Major KINTZ still ring the bells of the neighboring villages which his troops left by abandoning their positions and which celebrated the liberation. He does not want to hear those bells here in Villey le sec. So he drops an order. The church is blown up. Eleven houses are deliberately set on fire. The Mayor of the town, M. HUMBERT, went out to realize the disaster. He was seized, led into the ditches and shot without further ado. Major KINTZ may be satisfied: the bells of the church of Villey le sec will wait for the reconstruction of the building to sound victory.