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German WWI graves desecrated in France

The Local · 8 Jul 2012, 08:41

Published: 08 Jul 2012 08:41 GMT+02:00

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The French Interior Ministry made the announcement a day before the 50th anniversary of renewed Franco-German relations after World War II.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin Saturday that the

reconciliation between the two countries was one of the world's most important.

Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are to attend a ceremony

Sunday in the French city of Reims to celebrate the reconciliation, symbolically achieved on July 8, 1962.

The desecration of the German graves happened in a cemetery some 40

kilometres (25 miles) east of the spot where the two leaders will meet to

celebrate their post-war ties.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls strongly condemned the vandalism at

the Saint-Etienne-a-Arnes cemetery.

"An enquiry is underway and all means are being employed to find those

responsible for this terrible desecration," his ministry said in a statement.

According to initial information, some 40 wooden steles were pulled up and

some used for a camp fire.

It was not immediately possible to say whether this was a "determined

action" or just the work of "irresponsible people," a spokesman at the local

prefecture said.

There were no signs of any political message, he added.

The alert was sounded on Saturday afternoon by the small village's town

hall, a source close to the enquiry said.

More than 12,000 German soldiers who perished in the Great War lie buried

at the cemetery in Saint-Etienne-a-Arnes, which extends over four hectares (10


Story continues below…

They were among those who died in the Battle of Champagne in the first part

of the 1914-18 war.

More than 17 years after the end of World War II, then-French president

Charles de Gaulle and former German chancellor Konrad Adenauer "dared to

launch a new beginning, an extraordinary new start that led to one of the

world's most important friendships," Merkel said in her weekly online video



The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:53 July 8, 2012 by Englishted
Hope they catch the scum who did it.
16:07 July 8, 2012 by wenddiver
Hope the police catch these scum.

I also believe that all nations should be made to bring their own dead home and bury them in their own country, so that everybody can see th cost of War and horror that it is, and hold politicians responsible. I have relatives in the Belgian and Pacific (Hawaii) cemetaries ofth U.S. in World War II and always thought it awful that they should never be brought home and burried with thir families.
21:33 July 8, 2012 by jg.
@wenddiver I agree about bringing people home. It doesn't seem right that the dead are not brought home to their families. British war graves have been vandalised in northern France and more recently, in Libya. It would have been better if they had been buried at home and not left behind to be desecrated as part of some political or religious domenstration.
18:27 July 10, 2012 by Englishted

And we know who did the British graves don't we but we are not allowed to say as it isn't p.c. is it .
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