Sunday, October 7, 2012

Remembrance Day

Today it's National Remembrance Day in Luxembourg. Grand Duke Henri visited the Monument vun der nationaler Solidaritéit on the Kanounenhiwwel and a mess at the Cathédral Notre-Dame to pay respect to those who died for the Grand Duchy during the Second World War.

Remembrance Day always takes place on the Sunday that is closest to October 10th, because on the very same day in the year 1941 the Germans, who had occupied Luxembourg a year earlier, held a census including questions regarding nationality, mother tongue and ethnicity as they believed Luxembourgers to be German too, to find out who was Jewish or Italian for example and wanted the Grand Duchy to become a part of the Third Reich. Resistance fighters realised what the true aim of the census was and thus started a massive awareness raising campaign so that Luxembourgers would write into the forms just what they are - Luxembourgers. Some 97% of the inhabitants of the Grand Duchy declared in the census their Luxembourgish identity and expressed that Mir wëlle bleiwen wat mir sin (We wish to remain what we are). When the German realised that the census wouldn't turn out the way they wanted to, they immediately stopped it.
This year's Remembrance Day especially remembers the 70th anniversary of the forced recruitment of young Luxembourgish men into the Reichsarbeitsdienst and the German military, which resulted in a general strike starting in Wiltz and soon spread out over the rest of the country. Later on 21 strikers would be executed and hundreds more deported to concentration camps.

Pictures of today's remembrance ceremony are available at Wort and Tageblatt, a video at RTL.

Source: Wort, Moi

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