World War II massacre survivor escapes damages payment over book
A French former resistance fighter won a legal battle on Wednesday against memorial groups who contested his portrayal of a World War II massacre. Robert Hébras is one of six survivors of the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane, in which a German regiment killed 642 civilians, including 247 children, in June 1944.
After the war, a trial of the perpetrators featured 14 French nationals who the Nazis claimed as their own.
All but one of them claimed to be among the Malgré-nous, men from the Alsace region who say they were drafted into the German military against their will.
In 1994 Hébras published a book that implied they particpated more willingly than they admit.
Two Malgré-nous memorial groups threatened legal action and the contested passages were left out of later editions.
But they returned in a 2008 version, leading a court to order Hébras to pay damages.
Wednesday's decision overturned the ruling on the grounds that Hébras was not contesting fact but offering a personal view.