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Author Topic: German Cemetery - Recogne [B]  (Read 2643 times)
Koen
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« on: 20 December 2008, 11:51:35 »
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Historical information

After the Battle of the Bulge, on 4 February '45, the locality of Recogne was chosen as the resting place for American as well as German soldiers.

About half of them were killed in the battles around Bastogne, others were from battles in Luxembourg, the German border area and some from 1940 and the occupation of Belgium. The cemetery is within sight of the town of Foy where the 101st Airborne held the German assault from foxholes in the Ardennes woods, still to be seen today. The German cemetery site once had American dead buried virtually across the road from the German, but the Americans were moved to the Cemetery at Henri Chapelle

However in 1947 the remains of American soldiers were either repatriated to the United States or transferred to the newly established American militery cemeteries at Henri-Chapelle and Neuville-en-Condroz. The remains of German soldiers were gathered together in Recogne.

This German cemetery ("Soldatenfriedhof") is distinguished by a chapel built from Pink Eifel sandstone, its internal walls being of slate. It contains the remains of 6.807 German soldiers, the youngest of whom was barely 17 years old and the eldest of whom was 52. For decades after WW2, German highschool students came to manicure the lawns and tend these graves, as a reminder of the cost of war.

An agreement was reached between the Kingdom of Belgium and the German Federal Republic that an Association of Maintenance of German War Graves (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsoge) would care for the upkeep of the German soldiers graves. Unlike allied graves with a marker for each soldier, the German cemetery has one marker for multiple soldiers. The earliest have up to six, the others up to 3 solders names on the low, thick grey lime-stone markers laid out in neat rows among the trees. The cemetery is separated from the road by a low red limestone wall and a chapel with a bell tower guards the north-west corner. Inside the chapel are etched the names of all the dead and their location in the cemetery. There is an custodian for the society who lives on the grounds and can answer visitor questions. As usual, there is no charge to visit a war cemetery, but unlike U.S. military cemeteries, the maintenance association for German WWII war graves is a private organization partly relying on donations and there is a box for contributions. No matter which side of a conflict one feels a kinship, war cemeteries remain a reminder of the terrible price of war for any side. The gravesite at Recogne is only one of the German war cemeteries. The Volksbund site has a search function to locate a particular soldier's grave


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Heinrich505
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« Reply #1 on: 20 December 2008, 22:08:08 »
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Koen,
  Very nice pictures.  A somber setting, that looks quite peaceful in the glinting sunlight. 

                      Heinrich505
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