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War graves of the First and Second World Wars in Western Europe are to become UNESCO world heritage sites.

General information

Military cemeteries are the silent admonishers of peace.

Under these words of Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) war graves are mostly seen. They are also truly silent admonishers of peace:

  • The voices of the killed soldiers have fallen silent.
  • The number of dead on military cemeteries with more than 5,000 dead - see: over 5,000 dead - corresponds to the number of inhabitants of cities and small towns.
  • The number of military cemeteries, where between 1,000 and 5,000 dead lie - see: 1,000 to 5,000 dead; corresponds to the number of inhabitants of villages - goes into the hundreds.
  • The accumulation of mortality data bears clear witness to the fact that a "battle" took place on this day - as it is written in the history books today. On this day people were slaughtered on a massive scale like cattle. There is no longer any talk of human dignity.
  • The mass graves - also called "comrade graves" - confirm the mass slaughter of people.
  • The many nameless dead bear clear witness to the cruelty of war. Many of them were disfigured beyond recognition.
  • The special dates of death - e.g. 1.5., 24.12., 25.12., 26.12., 31.12. and 1.1. - clearly show that war is a continuous state in which people die every day.
  • The birth and death data on the gravestones of killed German soldiers of the Second World War show that they are mostly young men.
  • The dates of birth and death on the gravestones of killed German soldiers of the Second World War clearly show with the coincidence of birthday and day of death that there is no time-out in the war.
  • The age indications on the British gravestones show that mostly young men died.
  • The inscriptions on many British gravestones show who is mourning the death of these soldiers:
    • The parents for their (eldest / youngest / only / beloved / ...) son,
    • the brothers and sisters around her brother,
    • the wife around her beloved husband (girlfriends were not named)
    • and the children around her father.
    • Sometimes the inscription on the tomb also testifies to the fact that the living soldiers were asked for a beloved, friendly, ... Comrades mourn for a real gentleman.
  • In some military cemeteries the former enemies now lie peacefully side by side. Why was peaceful coexistence not possible during their lifetime? Why did death have to come first as the great equaliser to make this possible?

Thus the soldier cemeteries are in various ways truly silent admonishers to peace.

The war graves of the First and Second World Wars in Western Europe are not only silent admonishers of peace. They also show the world that even after the bloodiest wars, lasting peace is not only possible, but that former enemies can become friends and finally a community of states. Thus these war graves have also genuine model character. That is why they should become world heritage sites.

Reason

The war graves of the First and Second World Wars in Western Europe bear clear witness to the extent to which the world tore itself apart twice on European soil in the first half of the 20th century. 17 million mostly young people died in the First World War alone, and far more in the Second.

Despite this bloody past, Europe has managed to maintain peace for over 70 years and become a European community of states. This began in 1958, when President Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) and Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) founded the Franco-German friendship. This developed into a "European Economic Community" (EEC) and finally the "European Union" (EU). Former enemies thus became friends, trading partners and finally a community of states.

Peace is possible, even after a very bloody past. The war graves of the First and Second World Wars in Western Europe bear clear witness to this. That is why they should become world heritage, a model for the whole world.

In particular, these war graves of the First and Second World Wars in Western Europe are to become world heritage sites:

  • all large war graves with more than 5,000 dead (corresponds to a small town)
  • all war graves where former enemies now lie side by side without demarcation (does death have to come first for this to be possible?)

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator


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