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Tough Topic

Every once in a while I take photos of a subject that I’m a bit conflicted about. This post is about the enemy. The photos in this post were taken at La Cambe German War Cemetery. It’s near Omaha Beach in Normandy France. There are 21,222 German war dead here, ranging in age from 16-72. Most died between 6 June and 20 August 1944. They were the enemy but as the sign on the front of the cemetery stated, “With its melancholy rigour, it is a graveyard for soldiers not all of whom had chosen either the cause or the fight. They too have found rest in our soil of France.” I found the place to be very somber and sad:

ISO 640 22mm f/16 1/160sec

This first shot gives a bit of an overview of how the markers are laid out in rows. This second shot it a bit more of a close-up:

ISO 640 19mm f/16 1/320sec

It is the square markers and not the crosses that are grave markers. I’d also like to note that some of the markers indicated that the graves are sometimes stacked.

ISO 640 10mm f/16 1/160sec

This statue was at the top of the resting place for the unknown soldiers. I have versions of each of these on my Picfair site, if you would like to see them at higher resolution: photo 1, photo 2, photo 3.

When it came to editing, the first two were just edited for clarity. The third is a bit more creative, but I wanted to stick with the somber and ethereal feel of the cemetery itself.

Tough topic, but what do you think? To me, it was a reminder to never lose sight of anyone’s humanity, even those who would stand against you. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

Added to Lens Artists, Weather or Worn and One Word Sunday, Row.

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34 thoughts on “Tough Topic

  1. You can’t go through these images of yours without getting a lump in your throat. So deeply tragic. Your reminder at the end of your post, Amy, is a fitting one, not to be forgotten.

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  2. I’m very appreciative of you posting this. It got me thinking this morning about the a perspective that I have never considered. I’m especially moved by the fact that this cemetery was created. Meaning someone had the ability, as you say, not lose their humanity.

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  3. This gave me goosebumps but the sign said it all. I remember my uncle who was in Normandy saying that he went eye to eye with the enemy and his thoughts as a young soldier passed was that he had to be there, just doing as told

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  4. Excellent photos and a very necessary reminder, lest we forget. I have visited several WWII cemeteries in Europe, each containing thousands of graves. ‘Everyone’ died in that war.

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  5. Beautiful images and parting words… “a reminder to never lose sight of anyone’s humanity, even those who would stand against you”. My father was a German soldier at the age of 16 and not by choice. My parents lived through a very difficult and scary time for all.

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    • I couldn’t help but think about the mothers of the soldiers, being a mom myself. Also, having lived here in England and visited some of these sites now in Europe just has given me a new perspective on the war and how the destruction would have been right in the immediate environment, quite different than the experience in the United States.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. It seems that people have learned a little bit in the time being. At least in Europe we now enjoy more than 70 years of peace. Going back into history of many, many centuries this is quite unique and not self-evident. Great post & greetings from Berlin.

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  7. I agree Amy, those who fight for our enemies have believed in their cause as we have believed in ours. It’s the leadership that takes us there rather than the individuals who serve them, who should be shunned.

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  8. There are plenty of German war graves in France and here in England (and probably Scotland and Wales too). I think its safe to say that if the people at the time (i.e. the French and the British (and allies)) could forgive enough to bury them with respect, then we should be able to look at them with respect as well.

    They may have died on the opposite side of the fence and ideology, but for the most part they shouldn’t be forgotten either.

    Great photographs as well, I’ve never seen a German War cemetery before so thanks for sharing.

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