Thursday, January 26, 2012

Antwort, part drei

Three days ago, I received the following from Herr Kirchmeier:

Dear Regina,

this morning I got your letter with the tag of Johann Brandl. Thank you very much. Our database knows 18 WWI-soldiers with his name, 17 are buried in france. We don't know their birthdates and -places.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Fritz Kirchmeier

Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e. V.
Werner-Hilpert-Str. 2
34112 Kassel
Tel.: 05 61 - 70 09 - 1 39
Fax: 05 61 - 70 09 - 2 85
Seventeen soldiers with that name buried in France!  How terribly sad.  Given those odds, I doubt that Johann Brandl's family will ever be identified.  At least his identification has been returned to Germany.  I'm watching Downton Abbey these past Sunday nights and am struck by the absolute futility of the First World War.  When I hiked in the Languedoc region of France back in 2002, each village we went through had a huge monument to their WW1 dead.  The lesson was not, and remains not learned.


simhedges said...

People do keep saying that WW1 was futile, but once Germany invaded Belgium, and Austria Hungary invaded the Balkans, what was the alternative? Leave them to it?

moe99 said...

The end result of the First World War was that it set the stage for World War Two, not that it brought a lasting peace. The Treaty of Versailles was a punitive measure that helped engender the rise of Fascism in Germany and perhaps that should bear the majority of the blame. But the incessant trench warfare which did nothing but put European troops through the meat grinder in a lasting stalemate also was a new and pernicious horror. Barbara Tuchman's book "The Guns of August" is in my opinion one of the great histories of how Europe became entangled in this war through a spider web of binding military protection treaties with each other.