Langemark German War Cemetery

Langemark Travel Blog

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The German war cemetary. It still has to be locked at night due to vandalism, even after all this time. In the area behind the wreath 25,000 German soldiers are buried in an area the size of a penalty box.
This place summoned waves of conflicting emotions in me. Firstly, as someone who's English, I've never really been reared to have sympathy for the German's involved in either great war. That isn't to say I have a vendetta against them, I just know that they were wrong and we were right and we won the day. Looking at Langemark made me question some of these views. Doubtless, the war was a tragedy that should never have happened. And the actions of the German troops, especially in regards to Belgium were non to exemplary. But the fact this place has to be locked at night, even today, is a poor testament to how far we've come.

The graves are plain, black marble on the ground. My guide told me because the German's weren't allowed crosses or regalia as they'd lost and they were the bad guys. In the centre, in an area the size of a penalty box of an average football pitch, 25,000 German corpses lay. 25,000. That's not being victorious, that's not showing respect. Men on both sides died for causes they didn't understand, and they all served their country. This to me, seemed a bit like an insult. It made the place feel oppressive, and unhappy. I was pleased to see it, but happy to leave as my mind was troubled afterwards. No glory in war here.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not apologising for the Germans. It's just this place seemed to be rubbing the triumph in a little too much.
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The German war cemetary. It still …
The German war cemetary. It still…
The German cemetary. The German de…
The German cemetary. The German d…
A plaque in German showing the gra…
A plaque in German showing the gr…
A memorial in the Langemark cemete…
A memorial in the Langemark cemet…
An unknown German soldier.
An unknown German soldier.
Another shot of the plot containin…
Another shot of the plot containi…
Langemark
photo by: andytite
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