Rieux-en-Cambrésis is in mourning, he mourns thirteen of its inhabitants who fell under the German bullets. A tragedy forever anchored in memories. One of the darkest, if not the darkest, page in Rieux's history.
At the end of August 1944, the imminent liberation created an effervescence in the village. Groups of people eager to regain their freedom after years of deprivation gather here and there. On September 2, at the end of the morning, thirteen Rieuxois set out to meet the Americans and headed for the Tour de Rieux. They know that the American tanks start to arrive at Carnières, but they do not know that the Germans are retreating from Cambrai towards Valenciennes.
One of their convoys has just been blocked by resistance fighters in Iwuy. On board, mad with rage SS turned back towards Rieux to try to find a passage by the Cambrai-Solesmes road. Halfway, between the football field and the crossing of the Tour de Rieux, the Germans meet the Rieux. Without judgment, they round up these people, including unarmed youths, strafing them and killing them one after the other with a pistol bullet to their heads.
The youngest was 14 and the oldest 57
Among these thirteen people:
Alphonse Dislaire, 23, and his brother Pierre, 14
Eugène Dupuis, 57, and his son Eugène, 32
Fernand Dupuis 32 years old
Jean Wallez, 23, and his brother Yves, 16
Florian Petit, 36 years old
Lucien Doyen, 21 years old
Louis Bai, 24 years old
Fabien Dussart, 16 years old
Jacques Welti, 18 years old
Fernand Genet, 46 years old