Sunday, October 9, 2016

Luxembourg Remembers World War II Victims

Photo: Ryck Thill / RTL /
Today is Luxembourg's national day of commemoration which takes place every year on the Sunday closest to October 10. On that day in 1941, the German occupiers took a survey of Luxembourgish civilians who were asked about their nationality, mother tongue and racial group expecting them to answer all those question with 'German'. Resistance fighters within the Grand Duchy realised what the true aim of the census was - to find out who was Jewish or Italian, for example - and thus started a massive awareness raising campaign so that Luxembourgers would write into the forms just what they were - Luxembourgers. 

Some 97 percent 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) - the Grand Duchy's national motto. When the Germans realised that the census wouldn't turn out the way they wanted to, they immediately stopped it. The refusal to declare themselves as German citizens led to mass arrests among the population.

To mark the day, masses and wreath laying ceremonies take place all over the country. Grand Duke Henri particpated in a religious service held the at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame and afterwards laid a wreath at the Monument vun der nationaler Solidaritéit on the Kanounenhiwwel where he also relit the eternal flame before visiting the interior of the memorial.

More at RTL.

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