The German-Jewish Soldiers of the First World War in History and Memory

The German-Jewish Soldiers of the First World War in History and Memory

The German-Jewish Soldiers of the First World War in History and Memory

The German-Jewish Soldiers of the First World War in History and Memory

Excerpt

It was a bright, midsummer’s day when a small group of German Jews congregated in the Jewish cemetery in the Franconian city of Würzburg. The focus of the group’s attention was a small wooden memorial plaque dedicated to eighteen Jewish soldiers killed fighting for Germany in the First World War (Figure 1). The memorial, which had been specially decorated with flowers for the group’s visit, contained details of the war dead, an engraving of a German army steel helmet and the simple inscription: ‘To Our Comrades who Fell in the World War 1914–1918’. Once all the guests had arrived, the main speaker called on his audience to remember those soldiers killed at the front who had ‘sealed their love and loyalty to the fatherland with a hero’s death on the battlefields’ of Europe.

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