The world's eyes are on Normandy in northern France this week for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944. But four days later and 300 miles to the south, the village of Oradour-sur-Glane saw the worst Nazi atrocity on French soil.

Soldiers of the Der Führer Regiment of the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division Das Reich,  making  its way across the country to stop the Allied advance in Normandy, rounded up the entire population of the village, after reports an officer of Hitler's Waffen-SS had been taken hostage by a local unit of the French resistance.

The men were gunned down with machine guns and then set alight. The Nazis then burned down the village church in which 500 women and children had taken shelter. Every house was then torched to ensure that no one could escape.

The village has been left in ruins as a reminder of the horrific deeds humans can commit in times of war.

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A young boy looks inside a rusted car body left in a square in the French martyr village of Oradour-sur-Glane, near LimogesReuters
Oradour-sur-Glane street
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Oradour-sur-Glane cars
Car bodies have been left to rust and disintegrate in the French martyr village of Oradour-sur-Glane,Reuters
Oradour-sur-Glane cemetery
A sign indicates the direction to the cemetery in Oradour-sur-GlaneReuters

Remarkably, six men and one woman managed to survive the massacre. One of the survivors, Robert Hébras, has told of how he hid underneath the corpses of his fellow villagers, pretending to be dead.

One woman, Marguerite Rouffanche, managed to slip out of the church where 207 children and 254 women suffocated or burned alive.

In September 2013, Hébras joined German president Joachim Gauck and French president François Hollande in the ghost village.

Oradour-sur-Glane survivor
Robert Hebras, 86, survivor of the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre, is pictured visiting the village in October 2011. He was one of only six men to survive the massacreAFP
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German President Joachim Gauck, Robert Hebras, 88, one of the survivors of the massacre, and French President Francois Hollande visit the ghost village, which has become a war crimes museumAFP
Oradour-sur-Glane railway tracks
Disused railway tracks run through the villageAFP
Oradour-sur-Glane sign
A sign commemorating the massacre is seen on the remains of a building in the villageAFP
Oradour-sur-Glane cars ruins
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Oradour-sur-Glane ruins
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Oradour-sur-Glane garage
The ruins of a garage in Oradour-sur-GlaneAFP
Oradour-sur-Glane church
The church where 500 women and children were killed when it was intentionally set on fire by a SS division on June 10, 1944AFP
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A crucifix is seen outside the church in the French martyr village of Oradour-sur-GlaneReuters