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Memorials to the Fallen 1870-71, 1914-18 and 1939-45

Article about: Hello Everyone. I have attached a few photo's of War memorials covering the German fallen in the wars of 1870-71, WW1 and WW2 that can be found in the small graveyard of the village of Gunde

  1. #1

    Default Memorials to the Fallen 1870-71, 1914-18 and 1939-45

    Hello Everyone.

    I have attached a few photo's of War memorials covering the German fallen in the wars of 1870-71, WW1 and WW2 that can be found in the small graveyard of the village of Gundershiem in the Rhien/pfalz area of Germany near the city of Worms. My father in law ( an Ost front veteran ) was the Minister in the village until his death in the late 70's and is also interred there.

    You will notice that a number of the dates of death inscribed on the memorials are some time after the end of WW2 I have asked around the village and have had conflicting reasons given for this. Some say that some dates are in relation to when prisioners died in Russian captivity, Others that the date refers to when missing soldiers were officially registered as dead, another reason given is that veterans who wished could also be interred with their allt Kameraden when their time of death arrived. If anyone knows the definitive reason ( if there is one I would be pleased to hear ).

    I hope these images are of interest to some of you.

    Best wishes

    Robin.

    1870-71

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    WW1 and WW2

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Memorials to the Fallen 1870-71, 1914-18 and 1939-45

    Hello Robin,
    Fascinating, I had never heard of the practice of being interred with ones battlefield forbears.
    I hope there are some members who may be able to shed more light on this subject?
    Thank you for posting.
    Guy.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Memorials to the Fallen 1870-71, 1914-18 and 1939-45

    Hi Guy, There was no real consensus on this just the opinions of some in the village. however a large number of those in the headstone marked graves in front of the standing Soldier died post WW2.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Memorials to the Fallen 1870-71, 1914-18 and 1939-45

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    This may offer some solution. Roughly translated it reads Died of the effects of the war. So some possibly were commemorated who died of their wounds post war.

    - - Updated - -

  5. #5

    Default Re: Memorials to the Fallen 1870-71, 1914-18 and 1939-45

    Quote by robin morley View Post
    You will notice that a number of the dates of death inscribed on the memorials are some time after the end of WW2 I have asked around the village and have had conflicting reasons given for this. Some say that some dates are in relation to when prisioners died in Russian captivity, Others that the date refers to when missing soldiers were officially registered as dead, another reason given is that veterans who wished could also be interred with their allt Kameraden when their time of death arrived. If anyone knows the definitive reason ( if there is one I would be pleased to hear ).
    Is that particular section of the cemetery exclusively used for KIA soldiers and veterans who had died after the respective wars? If so, it would be an extremely odd local peculiarity.

    If not, the presence of gravestone inscriptions such as the one pointing out Mr. Illium's WW1 service and -decorations were simply made due to the wishes of the deceased's proud family.

    The same would apply to the inscription on the Flörsch family headstone. It tells us that Heinrich Flörsch (proably the son of Georg Flörsch) was MIA in Russia on 28 Jan. 1943. With his fate uncertain and his actual resting place unknown, the family wanted to have a place to commemorate him.

    The presence of the memorials to the local fallen bearing all their names is not unusual. Such memorials are commonly found in the cemeteries of villages and small towns throughout Germany.

    (Agreed on those in the last photograph: From the text used, it is clear that these would have been casualties of the long-term consequences of wounds and/or illnesses suffered in WWII.)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Memorials to the Fallen 1870-71, 1914-18 and 1939-45

    It would appear that the area of the graveyard that these headstones are situated is reserved exclusively for Kia/veterans. there are a number of examples on memorials in other parts of the cemetery where military decorations have been added to gravestones. All the headstones in the area in front of the memorial are of exactly the same stone, design and lettering. Elsewhere in the cemetery the usual German practice is observed of re-using the plots after 25 years however none of those in the military area show any sign of disturbance.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Memorials to the Fallen 1870-71, 1914-18 and 1939-45

    Interesting! I don't think I ever encountered that practice before.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Memorials to the Fallen 1870-71, 1914-18 and 1939-45

    thanks Robin,they lost a lot of people in that village.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Memorials to the Fallen 1870-71, 1914-18 and 1939-45

    The memorial commemorates 111 dead in WW2 and 54 in WW1 a large percentage of the male population of what is even today a small agricultural wine growing village with a population of 1592.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Memorials to the Fallen 1870-71, 1914-18 and 1939-45

    Hello again Robin,
    Thanks for that. I think many people will find this thread very interesting.
    Cheers,
    Guy.

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