Visits to Two Cemeteries

During our trip to Normandy, we visited both an American and German military cemetery.

Normandy American Cemetery American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer (Omaha Beach)Among the graves we visited at the Normandy American Cemetery
at Colleville-sur-Mer 
(Omaha Beach) was Private Joseph M. Feinberg’s
of the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division. He died on June 9, 1944,
the third day of battle and is buried close to where he fell.Either visiting
family or members of the local community decorated his marker with
stones and a yahrzeit candle.

Photo by Cheryl A. Robinson

Approximately 11,000 American are buried Colleville-sur-Mer. Some died during the D-Day landings but the majority died during the subsequent campaigns to liberate France.

All are in individual graves in a 172 acre highly visible centrally located cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach.

Decorations are regularly placed by both family members and the local community.

German military cemetery, Mont-de-Huisnes.

Photo by Cheryl A. Robinson

In contrast the main German cemetery for about 12,000 soldiers is on about 17 acres, about 1/10th the size of the American cemetery.

The cemetery is off the main roads in the far southwest corner of Normandy on the border of Brittany.

Instead of individual graves the bones of six soldiers are together in a vault in an above ground crypt.

The soldiers are from the 1940 invasion of France, the 1944 Normandy Campaign and liberation of France, and prisoners of war who died between the end of the war in 1945 and 1949 when all remaining German POWs in France were returned to Germany.

The minimalism of the German cemetery may be a statement about the unprovoked aggressive war of conquest and genocide in which these German soldiers died.

Another post in an ongoing series about our trip to France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Liberation of France and the memorial in Tamerville

My late father Felix A. Cizewski, served in Company C,  3110th Signal Service Battalion in Tamerville and Cherbourg during the liberation of Normandy in 1944.


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