German probes overlooked Nazi massacre in France

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MAILLE, France - For most of France, Aug. 25, 1944, was the joyous day that Allied troops liberated Paris from the Nazis. For this village in the Loire valley, it was a day of horror.

Retreating German troops massacred 124 of Maille's 500 residents then razed the town, possibly in retaliation for Resistance action in the region, according to local archives. Forty-four children were among the dead, the youngest just 4 months old.

Now a German investigator is drawing new attention to the forgotten chapter of World War II. Dortmund prosecutor Ulrich Maass began a three-day visit to Maille on Tuesday to interview survivors and dig through archives as part of his probe into the killings.

"I am ashamed about what the Germans did here, and I apologize," Maass told townspeople.

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