Saturday, 18 May 2013

Arques-la-Bataille - Mixed reaction to demolition of WWII blockhouse

Arques-la-Bataille - Demolishing the WWII Blockhouse 
A World War II blockhouse in Arques-la-Bataille has been demolished this week to make way for a new housing project.

While many locals see the removal of the 3m-thick-walled bunkers as a necessary and good thing, coverage of the story has generated controversy on the Facebook page of the Dieppe-area newspaper Les Informations Dieppoises. There have been a flood of posts criticising the destruction of  "a part of History" highlighting the complex relationship Normandy residents have with these structures which pepper the landscape  around ports, rivers, and towns.
"While blockhouses in Normandy were built to protect the interests of the occupying German army, bear in mind that the actual construction was often done by forced labourers - German, French, Polish, and other prisoners. Thousands of soldiers on both sides died during their liberation" -
Typical comments on the newspaper's Facebook page are; "sad to see a part of history disappear .... for whose benefit?" and "They've completely destroyed part of history. They'll do anything to make [house]building land" - our translation.

You can read more about the Blockhouses in the Dieppe area at our sister-blog including photo galleries and tips on how to visit some of the most striking examples.


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