Hooglede German military cemetery, courtesy of the German War Graves Commission

German Ambassador says reopened military cemetery in Belgium is "a place of hope for reconciliation and peace"

Posted on centenarynews.com on 03 July 2013
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The German military cemetery in Hooglede, Belgium - which holds the remains of 8, 247 German First World War soldiers - has been reopened.

The cemetery was reopened on the 5th May 2013 after its restoration, which was necessary "mainly because of over-gown vegetation", but other restoration and redevelopment work also took place.

The German Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, Dr. Eckart Cuntz, who attended the opening of the cemetery, declared that it was "a place of hope - hope for reconciliation and peace".

The Ambassador highlighted the loss of life on all sides, and the significance of poison gas being used for the first time during the conflict.

The Ambassador also highlighted the progress of European relations in the second half of the twentieth century: "98 years is a very long time, but this region holds the memory of the horrors of that time... And yet, for decades, Europeans who were former opponents during the First and Second World Wars, have lived peacefully as neighbours".

The Ambassador indicated that further collaboration between Germany and Belgium would be important as the Centenary of the First World War approaches.

The restoration was able to take place due to the financial support of the Flemish Government, the community of Hooglede, the Flemish monument protection authorities, the German People's League and the German War Graves Commission; with the majority of funding coming from Belgium.

Images courtesy of the German Embassy in Brussels website

Source: German Embassy in Brussels website

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News