Armistice Centenary - France to invite world leaders

Posted on on 16 November 2017
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Leaders of the countries involved in the First World War will be invited to Paris for the November 2018 Centenary of the Armistice, President Macron has said.

Mr Macron also plans to tour the regions of France that bore the brunt of the devastation in 1914-18. 

The cue for his announcement was the opening of a new Franco-German museum in Alsace, commemorating 30,000 soldiers from both sides who fell in protracted fighting in the Vosges mountains. 

Germany's President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, joined his French counterpart for the ceremony at Hartmannswillerkopf on 10 November 2017, eve of the 99th anniversary of the Armistice.

Franco-German pledge

Both heads of state pledged their commitment to Franco-German reconciliation and Europe.  

They were following in the footsteps of their predecessors, François Hollande and Joachim Gauck, who laid the foundation stone for the Hartmannswillerkopf 1914-18 museum on 3 August 2014, the centenary of France and Germany going to war at the start of WW1. 

For two years, French and German troops repeatedly battled for control of Hartmannswillerkopf, a promontory in the Vosges overlooking the Alsatian plain and Rhine Valley.

It was known to the French as Vieil Armand, or 'mangeuse d'hommes' (the man-eater) because of the high casualties. The site has been protected as a historic monument since 1921.

Speaking at the scene a century later, President Macron said 'true friendship had been substituted for an implacable desire for revenge', while President Steinmeier declared that 'forgetting the lessons of the 20th century and its world wars was not an option for Europe'.

Source: Elysée Palace, German Presidency

Images: Centenary News

Posted by: CN Editorial Team