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Langemark-The most beautiful dead

 
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Yvonne
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Mrt 2009 7:06    Onderwerp: Langemark-The most beautiful dead Reageer met quote

Hermann Koopmann was born in Oldenburg on May 7th 1893, the son of a railway administrative official. His family had just moved in the region a few weeks before his birth, he grew up there with his 3 brothers in comfortable middle-class surroundings. They were raised believing that they could accomplish anything they wanted in life, their father (Johannes) stressed the need for a good education and they were encouraged to attend institutions of higher learning, but the war came and shattered all those dreams.


At the outbreak of hostilities, the early German youth movement did not hesitate to wholeheartedly embrace the Empire's entry into the conflict. War was viewed as highly idealized combat and struggle in battle as natural and organic need. Thousands of German university and technical college students volunteered enthusiastically for the army. Poorly prepared they were sent into action after less than seven weeks of training – much of it from elderly Officers of the Reserve who had little idea of the killing power of modern artillery and machine-guns. Instead of being divided up and sent to different units, almost all these volunteers and other reservists went to make up the numbers in the hastily reformed German fourth army. Hermann Koopmann, a 21 years old “Kriegsfreiwilliger” and law student at Marburg University found himself on the road to Flanders Fields along with his fraternity brothers(Laughing and classmates to experience their baptism of fire as soldiers of XXVI. Reserve Corps.


(Laughing As long as there have been universities in Germany, the students have banded together into associations like Burschenschaft and Corps, those different groups can be separated by their style of uniform, hat, and a brightly coloured sash done in the colors of that fraternity. The Corps were the most inclusive of student organizations with their houses, ritualized practices and stringent codes of conduct which often included duelling but always demanded consuming large amount of beer. They were elitist, nationalist, conservative and, with varying degrees of explicitness, anti-Semitic in thought and action. Hermann is shown here wearing the (green) cap and (coloured) sash of Corps Hasso-Nassovia Marburg. One interesting story is that student volunteers were often seen wearing their caps on the battlefield instead of the regulation spiked helmets!

THE RACE TO THE SEA (First Battle of Ypres)

After numerous losses in the Battle of the Marne and the collapse of the Schlieffen Plan in September 1914, the "race to the sea" began. Over the course of this race, the Fourth German Army advanced in the direction of Ypres. On November 10th 1914, the ill-fated German infantry regiments of XXVI. Reserve Corps suffered catastrophic casualties while launching badly prepared attacks against British army positions west of Langemarck and were shot down and slaughtered by experienced British riflemen. Hermann was mortally wounded during the assault and died 8 days later at the Houthulst forest.
On November 11th, the German high command released a communiqué about the ongoing battles around Ypres, which was printed on the first page in newspapers all over Germany;

"Freiburger Tagblatt, No. 263, November 12, 1914:
WTB [Wolff Telegraph Service]. Berlin, November 11. Report from General Headquarters. On the Yser section of the front we made good progress yesterday. We stormed Dixmuiden. Approximately 500 prisoners of war and about nine machine guns fell into our hands. Further to the south our troops forced their way over the canal. To the west of Langemarck our young regiments attacked, singing “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles” while advancing against the enemy lines and taking them."

From this announcement, the basis of a long-lasting and influential myth was formed. Legend has it that the young infantry soldiers sang the first stanza of the song “Das Deutschlandlied”, as they charged and marched to certain death, the event became known in Germany as “KINDERMORD VON YPERN” (The Massacre of the Innocents at Ypres). The young victims were regarded by their surviving peers as symbols of a tremendous sacrifice for the nation and the youth of future German generations. The fallen symbolized the triumph of youth. They were not really dead but were sleeping in the lap of Christ, according to pictures widely distributed at the time.

Lees dit prachtige artikel verder op:
© http://www.kaiserscross.com/40312/179301.html
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pifilsofimos



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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Mrt 2009 14:58    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Hartelijk dank voor de tip naar deze prachtige site. Een mooi document om aan mijn leerlingen ook een persoonlijk verhaal 'vanuit Duitse zijde' mee te geven.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 27 Mrt 2009 16:13    Onderwerp: Re: Langemark-The most beautiful dead Reageer met quote

Yvonne @ 07 Mar 2009 1:06 schreef:

Lees dit prachtige artikel verder op:
© http://www.kaiserscross.com/40312/179301.html


Yvonne,

Thank you for your kind words, this article is in fact the first part of an essay that was first posted on the "Individual Soldier's History Archive Forum” of Wehrmacht Award. Com”; http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/showthread.php?t=320235

The Konvolut still contains documents that were not previously shown, in particular the printed report of the wonderful speeches delivered at the Roeselare Soldiers’ Cemetery during the inauguration ceremony of a Memorial to the young martyrs. (Roeselare was occupied by the Germans from October 1914 to October 1918.)

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BerichtGeplaatst: 27 Mrt 2009 16:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ansprachen anlässlich der Einweihungsfeier des Denkmals auf dem Soldaten-Friedhof zu Roeselare am 1. August 1915.

Page 6 and 7.


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BerichtGeplaatst: 27 Mrt 2009 16:18    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

I have a special request for the members of this forum, if you ever visit the Langemarck cemetery, would you please take a photo of his grave site and Email it to me at: roberttremblay66@yahoo.com I will post it here. Thank you.
(Hermann’s grave was formerly marked by a wooden cross, it has now been replaced with a flat stone marker at the burial plot A/3936.)

Kind regards,
___________
Robert Tremblay

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BerichtGeplaatst: 27 Mrt 2009 16:48    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Thank you! You own a magnificent site!
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BerichtGeplaatst: 27 Mrt 2009 17:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

I was just there a couple of weeks ago, but I'm might go this weekend.

Last time I was there, parts of the cemetery were taped off for landscaping works though....

Wienne
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Than the pride that divides when a colourful rag is unfurled'

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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Mrt 2009 5:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

@ Yvonne,
You are really too generous…. http://www.kaiserscross.com/ belongs to Chris Boonzaier, I only contributed the finished text and photos for the H. Koopmann article.

@ Wienne
This would be fantastic!!! Wink I was not expecting such a quick response. If you’re going to return to the cemetery, I would also appreciate a better photo of his carved name (HERM. KOOPMANN) on the entrance building oak panels.

Cheers,
_________
Robert
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BerichtGeplaatst: 03 Apr 2009 8:26    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

I sent some pictures to Robert of Hermann Koopmann at Langemark Cemetery.

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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Apr 2009 16:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

A thousand thanks to Filip for the excellent pictures.

Filip, I've sent you an Email.

Best regards,
___________
Robert
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Mei 2009 16:23    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Forum member pifilsofimos (Filip D.), an author and renowned
World War 1 tour guide, has kindly provided me with some more
wonderful photographs depicting Hermann’s burial site.

The total number of German soldiers who died in Flanders during the
Great War has never been confirmed, the bodies of 126,168 known
soldiers are buried in the four main collecting cemeteries of Langemarck,
Vladslo, Hooglede and Menen. Of these, about 120,000 were killed within
the province of Flanders, however many others just disappeared without
trace in the abysmal mud, 90,000 soldiers are still considered "missing”
and consequently one comes to a sum of about 210,000 dead.
Many German fallen were concentrated and buried in the Military
Cemetery at Langemarck, not all soldiers ended up in a mass-grave;
Hermann Koopmann got a semi-individual burial place (No.A/3936) and a
gravestone with seven other names on it.

Langemarck nowadays is a place of peace and quiet. The sound of the
guns of two World Wars has long since faded away. People of many
different nations individually or on guided excursions are visiting what
remains of the Western front. Some come to Langemarck just as curious
tourists, others for historical research. Filip D. assured me that he
will certainly tell Hermann’s story to his tour participants.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Mei 2009 16:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Hermann koopmann, kriegsfreiwilliger (war volunteer) † 18.11.1914
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Mei 2009 16:34    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Soldatenfriedhof monumental entrance building is constructed
with red Weser sandstone and can only be described as cold and dreary.
Behind the fretwork screens of a cast iron gate is a chapel memorializing
the students and some of the reservists slain here in 1914. The official
register notes that there are 6,313 names on the Oakwood panels of that
sombre room.
If you look around in the dark chapel you will ultimately find Hermann’s
name – another small trace of him...


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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Mei 2009 16:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

A meaningful coincidence

I have recently experienced synchronicity to the utmost heightened
level; my experience has rendered me almost speechless.
Here's a meaningful coincidence that I'd like to bring to the sharing table:


The first two photographs that Filip D. had sent me did not illustrate
a stone wall near Hermann’s grave site and could not be compared with
the grouping’s original picture that showed a wooden cross decorated with
flowers. I then asked Filip if he would be kind enough to take one more
photo while facing the nearest surrounding wall, he replied that I would
get it within ten days.

Shortly afterwards, I got an email from “Wehrmacht Awards Forum”
member “rijke88” telling me that he had found by chance a photo of
Ritterktreuzträger Erwin Koopmann (Hermann’s brother) on eBay, I got
all exited when I positively recognized Erwin resting on a large chair.
Roger (rijke88) then proceeded to deal with the seller and managed to
acquire the picture along with the rest of the desecrated 2./IR90 album.

Roger subsequently sent me an additional scan featuring Erwin
koopmann; he was at the Langemarck cemetery, paying respects to his
fallen brother!!! For a moment, time stood still… I was astounded and
tears came to my eyes.

I received Fillip D.’s new photo two days later and was able to
assemble this stunning “THEN AND NOW”.


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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Mei 2009 16:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Lost comrades


These images reside untouched in the back of my mind;
My comrades, laid to rest in foreign soil,
Baptized by blood and tears of sorrow,
Never to return to their unpredicted, unfinished lives.

They sacrificed themselves willingly,
Unable to see their family and loved ones,
They bravely marched through the dark gate,
Never to return as mere mortals, but as wandering souls.

Onward through the mists of time,
They will struggle to perceive the light
Of the candles softly flickering in the darkness,
As they are forgotten, seeping into the earth,
Never to hear, see, and feel again.

__________
Robert Tremblay

The cemetery grounds are punctuated by several large oak trees which
cast an oppressive shade on the scene.
Hermann’s grave location is circled in red. (photo copied from the web)
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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Aug 2009 6:02    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

"Ich hatt' einen Kameraden" in Flanders Fields

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYRCgK85PtQ

"On 22nd May 2009, at 18:50, the all-Flemish Ypres Surrey Pipes & Drums Band performed with great feeling "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden," an old German military song
for the assembled German and British reservists, cadets and multinational visitors. The location was Langemarck German Military Cemetery in Belgian Flanders Fields on the
occasion of the 100 km March around Ypres week end.
Peace reigned over the assembled audience remembering and paying their solemn respects to more than 44 000 German and 2 British WW I soldiers resting at this cemetery.
Later that day, the Germans, the Brits and the locals merrily fraternized till the wee hours of the morning in the famous Fabienne's Klein Rijsel Café in Ypres!"
___________
Robert

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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Sep 2014 7:57    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mooi om nog eens na te lezen op de zondagochtend.
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