2008/12/22

Kriegerdenkmal Gross Königsdorf

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There's some discontent in some NATO countries about a lack of martial will of Germany. That's very strange as we've heard the opposite complaints more than enough, and I'd like to address this discontent.

The German population has a strong consensus that the military's task is to prevent war and actual war is meant to be for self-defense and collective defense. There's rather little sympathy for the idea that a military should fight for national interest or even for other nation's interests (and the Afghanistan War isn't widely believed to be about collective defense).

Germany was actually a rather peace-loving nation even during those times that are often depicted as militaristic.
There were 43 years of peace (less very few small wars overseas) before the First World War and there was a strong-anti-war sentiment in the inter-war years. Social-democratic foreign policy tried to reach out and attempted to reconcile with France. Even Hitler had to fake a love for peace in his speeches.
The appreciation for war in the Cold War was as low as it could be (both enemies and allies would have murdered us with their tactical nuclear weapons in the event of war, and we would have had to fight each other).

Germany's primary concept for a good future was most of the time economic success - this worked fine before the world wars and after the world wars.
War is widely being understood as extremely wasteful, civilization-breaking, deadly even for civilians and generally as a waste of a generation.

I drove through a village in Western Germany today and made these photos of a Kriegerdenkmal (~war memorial) in Königsdorf.


This small village's Kriegerdenkmal lists 33 names for the First World War and 90 for the Second World War. Such Kriegerdenkmäler are common in rural areas of Germany (the cities got destroyed in WW2, after all) and also wide-spread in Austria, France, UK and other European countries.

Most were erected close to churches in the 1930's, calling the dead of the Great War Helden (heroes). The dead of WW2 were usually added later, and inscriptions call them rather "victims".
The Kriegerdenkmal in Königsdorf is a typical example; it's close to the village church and it shows that the last war years were the most terrible - and some dead after the war due to the war (in captivity or due to long-term effects of injuries).
Keep in mind that civilian losses were much higher in the bombed cities than in rural areas like this village.

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Repeat:
War is meant for defense, not for influence.
A majority of Germans don't agree that the Afghanistan war is defensive.

Sven Ortmann

1 comment:

  1. May the Deutsche Volk never have to experience war on their soil ever again.

    ReplyDelete

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