Wondered how Remembrance Day is commemorated in Germany. How does one approach remembrance, when on the losing side? Militarily, in terms of both World War I and World War II, as well as morally, in terms of World War II.
Turns out there are no November 11 ceremonies in Germany, other than by coincidence. What is commemorated is Volkstrauertag. commemorating all who died in armed conflict. Also said to refer to those who died “as victims of violent oppression”. National German holiday, two Sundays before Advent. This year, it will be held on Sunday, November 17. For example, as described on the website for the city of Stuttgart:
In memory of all victims of violence, the laying of a wreath on Memorial Day will be held again this year. The organizer is the Bezirksrathaus Mulhouse in collaboration with the Catholic church, Protestant church and Mühlhausen clubs.
No specific war reference.
“War has its own laws”
And its own remembrance.
Fragments of who they once were.
Fragments to a name: Franz Hoffelner. Remembered on this November 11. Particularly as someone who might have survived the war, passing in January of this year.
Postscript, September 6, 2014: A lot to remember, including so many without names: “Remembering The Dead“, Random Thoughts From Lorne, September 6, 2014.