"The German cemetery" Langemark by leics
Langemark Travel Guide: 13 reviews and 37 photos
I did not see the village, only the German cemetery.
Nearly 25000 burials.
15000 'soldiers of the Great War known unto God'. In other words, unidentified, and likely to remain so forever.
The many, many small cemeteries around the Flanders battlefields were, over the following decades, 'concentrated' into larger ones. This is the German one.
In the centre of the cemetery is a 'Kammeraden Grab': a mass grave. There lie over 17000 men, more than 7000 of them unknown.
The mass slaughter of the First World War was no respector of citizenship, religion or status.
Both sides suffered almost unimaginable losses, in unimaginably dreadful conditions.
Men died from 'friendly fire' as they still do today.
They drowned in the mud if they slipped from the duckboards.
Their wounds became infected with gas-gangrene.
The Germans used poison gas shells, but the gas so often returned to its orginators when the wind changed.
Whether they were allies or enemies, they are not forgotten.
Amongst the wreaths laid by the statue of four mourning soldiers was one from a British school.
Visiting the First World War battlefields is a common 'school trip' when children are in secondary school (11-18). That is good, I think.
Langemark is quiet and peaceful now, its soldiers at rest.
There is a new entranceway, which plays loops of film showing what they went through before they reached their peace.
A place to think.
- In a nutshell:To understand that all sides lost in that war.
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