Friday, August 7, 2009

A tribute to unknown war victims

photo from Deutsche Welle

Another chapter in the history of Post War Germany was written this past Friday, August 14, 2009. The remains of 2161 unidentified Germans were buried in the cemetery at Stare Czarnowo, Poland. They were found in a mass grave in Malbrok, Poland during excavations for a hotel. Malbrok was at the very eastern border of Germany and Poland. According to German TV, only a few of the skeletons had gunshots to the head, thus speculating that the majority were individuals who died of starvation and freezing in the mayhem at the end of the war when the Russians were coming westward. The few individuals with gunshots to their head were found in the uppermost layer and thus it is hypothesized that these were German prisoners of war who were forced to bury the dead and then shot.

Why is this important to me? After all six million Jews were killed by the Germans between 1933 and 1945. 2000 or so Germans is an infinitesimal number in comparison. It is important because as a youngster every post office and every police station and any other public place had walls of posters with photographs of mostly children and women with the heading: "Have you seen us." I used to look at them, hoping and wishing hat I could find someone I knew. Of course, I knew no one; after all these were mostly from the eastern front. So many people lost, so many others looking for them. Each war has these victims: Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Laos, the African continent--families wiped out and others looking for them and none being found. And one long overdue tear for all these victims. May you all rest in peace.


  1. Thank you, Renate. It is important that generations to come are fully aware of what happened during that terrible period of our lives.

  2. Touching story. Thank you for sharing.

    Give Peace a Chance....