By Mathias Delori

On September 4th, 2013, French President François Hollande and German President Joachim Gauck visited Oradour-sur-Glane, a French martyr village of the Second World War whose population was massacred by an SS division during the Liberation. During the ceremony, the two heads of state stood together in silent commemoration, holding each other’s hand. By so doing, they reproduced a symbolic gesture which had resonated strongly in 1984, that of President François Mitterrand and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl holding hands in front the memorial to the battle of Verdun. This article analyzes the political significance of this reconciliation symbolism.

Academic Foresights 14, 2015, 2015

FG-Symbolism (897.33 KB)