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"I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

Article about: Having reached a certain age, many of us know the deep pain caused by the loss of a friend, especially if it occurs in full youth. Maybe that experience helps us understand the story we're g

  1. #1

    Default "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    Having reached a certain age, many of us know the deep pain caused by the loss of a friend, especially if it occurs in full youth. Maybe that experience helps us understand the story we're going to tell today.

    One of the most traumatic experiences for a soldier, without a doubt, is the loss of a comrade of arms. Above the trauma of the soldier's own wounds; even more than the fear before the fight or the anguish of being bombed; The pain for the loss of a dear companion of your platoon, of whom he was truly a brother, has always marked the memory of the soldiers who survived any war.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    The only good thing about all that hell was my squad comrades (Jürgen Peters, soldier. October 1942)

    The feeling that the best always leave, those who would not deserve to have fallen. And the eternal question: Why did they all die and not me? Accompany the veterans of any campaign, until the day when they die, meet again for all eternity with those companions, those young soldiers who one day were their brothers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    How many penalties have we spent together ...

    Hundreds of thousands of German soldiers took their Leica, Zeiss, Praktica, Agfa…… cameras with them and made millions of photographs of how long they lived during the war.

    There are countless photos of tombs of soldiers, or military cemeteries throughout the European geography.

    Especially they are, for being the most numerous, those taken in the Soviet Union. In them the name of the fallen comrade is usually read clearly and they constitute an obvious desire to have one last memory of the dead friend who will remain forever in Russia and whose grave cannot be visited again because the Wehrmacht is in retreat since 1943.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    An unnamed place in Ukraine.

    In not a few of these photos the friend is portrayed next to the cross of the grave of the fallen soldier. The expressions on the faces of these soldiers tell us everything.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    Nearly three million German soldiers died on the eastern front. Under the land of Russia their bodies remained in all kinds of burials: from singular and isolated graves, through small burials of groups of soldiers, to large rear cemeteries or in the immediate vicinity of hospitals. Some of unknown soldiers, many others with indication of the number of soldiers buried in the same pit. We found photographs of all these types.

    Many tombs were in the immediate vicinity of the “Rollbahn”, the roads and paths. There are tombs in the cornfields, among sunflowers, in dense forests and wet swamps, in the same villages or in the shadow of a lonely tree or an “isba” of peasants. And many, many covered with snow.

    Crosses of all kinds, some very artistic and others very simple, many of birch logs. The helmet on the cross or on the removed soil from the grave. Ornaments, plants and flowers.
    We will always see the cemeteries organized in such a characteristically German order. They look solemn, imposing at times and silent. Some are true works of art of wood carving in its elements. Others are immense. There have been so many casualties…

    German burial units had a lot of work throughout the war, but in addition to these organized units. Each platoon, each company had the sad duty to bury their fallen. Rare will have been the German soldier who did not have to dig with his own shovel the grave of a fallen comrade or a beloved or respected officer or noncommissioned officer.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    I will now quote two descriptions of these graves of German soldiers.
    The first is from the Italian writer and correspondent Curzio Malaparte, in his well-known work "The Volga rises in Europe", during the advance of the Army Group South.
    - “On the other side of the road the crosses of the German cemeteries line up: the tombs are covered with flowers, and on each cross, under the steel helmet that tops it, the name, grade, age of the fallen is read "
    The second is that of a member of the Spanish Blue Division and famous post-war writer Dionisio Ridruejo in his book "Letters from Russia" which describes the progress towards Leningrad of his Division, within the Northern Army Group:
    - “We found the first tombs of soldiers, placed under ground where they fell. Tombs with their rectangular heap of fresh earth; in the header a cross. Many times, on the cross or on the ground, a soldier's helmet (...) On all the graves (even the most humble and secluded) there are still fresh flowers.
    The two farthest fronts and two non-German observers (one Italian and one Spanish) but the description of the graves of German soldiers is almost the same.
    This collection of images is a tribute to all those soldiers killed in combat and buried far from their homes and those of their comrades who buried their bodies, photographed next to their graves to represent that they would never forget them, but that they had to leave them behind in a hostile land.

    Rest in peace all of them. Ich hatt einen kameraden….

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    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    tabstabs collection

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    Grab Ltn. Miltendorf Schützen Regt. 10 Ostfront (written on the back of the photograph)
    tabstabs collection

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    58 I.D. Friedhof Krasnoje Selo, next Leningrad

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    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    Soldatengrab Franz Straub H. Schmalz
    tabstabs collection

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    Sometimes, some unknown soldiers

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    Popular tombs like that of the two soldiers on the sidewalk just in front of the Komandantur of Smolensk

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

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    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    An Airman

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    A tankman
    XXIV Panzer Korps Russland 1941

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

  7. #6

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    This was very poignant TABS and it really made me think. Incredibly sad and I was very touched by the photos of the friends of the fallen visiting them one last time. I could never imagine losing a friend in such a way as war, or in any way for that matter. This thread has really brought home the realities of war, the very human side. Makes me think about my relatives during the First World War, so sad.

    Below are 3 photos I own. I don't own a machine that can scan pictures, or if I do I haven't figured it out yet. I'm not sure whether they're real or not, but I thought I should share them regardless.

    Kindest Regards,
    Harvey
    Lest we forget.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.  

  8. #7

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    The hard duty to bury a friend

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    tabstabs collection

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    tabstabs collection

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    Although as we have said there were specialized units in burials and, of course, regulations on how to do it.

    Because too often, the bodies to bury were very numerous....

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    Last edited by TabsTabs1964; 01-01-2023 at 10:49 AM.

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    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    Borispol Ukraine
    tabstabs collection

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    Last edited by TabsTabs1964; 03-06-2022 at 08:11 PM.

  10. #9

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    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    Deutsche Heldenfriedhof between Roslawl and Kritschew

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    Latvia

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

  11. #10

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    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.
    Next to Smolensk

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

    "I once had a comrade". Photos of graves of German soldiers.

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