Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Consenvoye German War Military Cemetery in France

The Dutchman has been very fascinated about the World War I and II battlefields in Europe, so I have agreed and promised that I will go with him and visit these places again, but one place at a time.

Last year in spring was our first visit together, in the northeastern part of France where the Battle of Verdun and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive took place during World War I. He has been to these places with his late father and I guess that funneled the interest and up to some degree a sort of fascination about wartime history in the past.

Dutchman told me that we should look out for the German cemeteries because they are different. So while driving around the battlefields, well, we were actually en route to Argonne, we passed by this low key cemetery on the road. Dutchman was quick to comment that it is a German cemetery, so we have to stop.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

The views while were were driving:

The French countryside can be scenic.

Driving along the Meuse valley.

The German war military cemetery is called in Deutsch, "Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof Consenvoye Cimetiere Militaire Allemand 1914-1918".

German war military cemeteries in France are unique. They are easily recognisable by their black iron crosses and melancholic atmosphere. I have no idea why they have chosen the colour black for the crosses but in a way, I can understand why. It is a humbling colour, symbolising of a war bygone, of a war they lost.

The German war military cemetery translated into 3 languages: French, German and English.

Here at Consevoye cemetery, each black cross represents 4 German soldiers laid back to back. Two in front and two at the back. In total there are 11,148 soldiers buried in this cemetery. We saw some Jewish gravestones as well and memorial plaques of mass graves holding the names of the fallen soldiers.

I have to say that it is very peaceful and beautiful place. The graves are looking down to the Meuse River and Valley. On the grave fields, I saw white dandelions here and there blooming in springtime.

The exact location:

The cemetery is approximately 20 minutes with the car from Verdun city center.

Dutchman and I lingered around here a bit. While walking around we noticed one of the graves in the foreground. It has candles, a flag and an old black and white photo of a fallen soldier protected by a glass picture frame. It was placed resting on the cross.

The name of the soldier: Karl Koizik, Ersatz Reservist. He died on the 20th of March, 1916.

It's very fascinating to see a picture of a soldier who fought during the First World War. And moreover, someone placed the picture on his grave just recently. Wow, after all those years! I mean it's been 101 years (102 now in 2018).

We were also able to find the cemetery's condolence registry (in a box by the gate) and as we were turning the pages and reading some of the names and notes, a scribbled message caught our eyes. Dutchman  was quick to recognise the name. A relative of Karl Koizik left a message! His grandson was thankful that after 101 years he finally found the grave of his grandfather. That is very touching.

This message from a grandson to the grandfather took 101 years.

You'd probably ask why were these soldiers laid here?

I did some researching and found out that the French military authorities made this possible. German soldiers were killed during the Battle of Verdun and most of them were buried in makeshift graves, so moving the graves here was seen as a solution for a respectful final resting place for the fallen soldiers.

Also buried here is 1 German nurse, 1 Russian soldier and 62 soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian Army.

The mass grave of 2,537 soldiers.

Trivia: Did you know that the "World War 1" is also known as "The Great War"?

The war was between 2 belligerent parties:

  1. The ALLIED Powers (France, British Empire, Russia, Serbia, Belgium, Montenegro, Japan, Italy, Romania, United States, Portugal, Hejaz, China, Greece, and Siam)
  2. The CENTRAL Powers (German Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria)

On 22 September 1984, for the first time in history after the 2 World Wars, the French President and the German Chancellor met at this place to remember the dead, lay wreaths and declare a sort of an oath, a statement to the world, “We have reconciled. We have come to an agreement. We have become friends.”

Each cross holds 4 graves of fallen soldiers (back to back). This one has beautiful dandelions on it.

We saw a number of Jewish tombstones with Joseph's star and Hebrew text written on them.

The cemetery has views to the Meuse River and Valley.

The tranquil surroundings nearby the cemetery.

Travel Period: May 2017
Destination: Consenvoye, Verdun (Meuse, Lorrain - Grand Est), France

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi, thank you for taking time.

Link Within

Related Posts with Thumbnails