Victims’ Memorial covered up

The victims’ memorial in Oberursel (Opferdenkmal) has been covered up to protect it from damage in the coming months.

The memorial stands next to the Hospitalkirche which is due to have to its roof refurbished, work which will take around five months to complete.

The “Initiative Opferdenkmal” has arranged for part of the memorial to be removed during the work and the rest to be covered up. At the same time, they have produced a banner to hang on the building site fence, which allows passers-by to see a photo of it.

Dr. Christoph Müllerleile and Annette Andernacht from the Iniative Opferdenkmal with the new banner (Photo: Initiative Opferdenkmal)

Dr. Christoph Müllerleile and Annette Andernacht from the Initiative Opferdenkmal with the new banner (Photo: Initiative Opferdenkmal)

[Read more…]

VE75 in Oberursel

Whilst the UK commemorates the 75th Anniversay of VE Day, Germany calls it the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation from National Socialism.

Commemoration events in Oberursel were held at the Opferdenkmal (memorial to victims of the National Socialism) and at the stone in front of the town hall, which contains a quote from Richard von Weizsäcker, who was Germany’s President at the time of the 40th anniversary.

“Wir Gedenken in Trauer aller Opfer des Krieges und der Gewaltherrschaft.  Nur wer die Vergangenheit verleugnet, ist in der schrecklichen Gefahr, sie zu wiederholen.”

Opferdenkmal, 8th May, 2020
Gedenkstein am Rathausplatz, 8th May 2020

Oberursel’s War Memorials

The 11th November is a strange day to be in Germany.  My instinct tells me it is Remembrance Day in many parts of the World, and when I first arrived here there was even a shop in Frankfurt taking part in the Poppy Appeal.

And yet in Germany the day means something else to most people as ironically it is the official start of the carnival season!

This does not mean that people in Germany do not remember their war dead, they just do it at a different time.  Volkstrauertag, the equivalent of Remembrance Sunday,  is the second Sunday before advent, which usually places it a week after everyone else.  This year (2011) it happens to fall on the same day.

But another difference can be found in the attitude towards war memorials.  I would image that most people of my generation who grew up in the UK would know where their local war memorial was as they can be found in most towns there.

In Germany, however, I admit that this is not something I had taken much notice of until recently.  I certainly could not have said where one was to be found in Oberursel, let alone in most other towns, and I do not know how many of the local population could either.

And yet they are there, as I recently found out on a guided tour of some of Oberursel’s memorials. [Read more…]

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