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John Endres | profile | all galleries >> Germany >> Bitburg >> Kolmeshöhe - The Reagan Scandal tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Kolmeshöhe - The Reagan Scandal

These photos are from the cemetery in Bitburg where about 2,000 German soldiers killed in World War II lie buried. Some of them were members of the infamous SS - Hitler's "Schutzstaffel". This was an army unit originally tasked with ensuring Hitler's personal safety. The SS took on more and more roles and developed into an elite unit highly trusted by Hitler: it carried out the assassination of the leadership of the SA, Hitler's brownshirts, in 1934, and killed hundreds of thousands of people (Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, civilian inhabitants of conquered countries) during the war, often in an atrociously brutal fashion. In 1985, President Reagan visited the Kolmeshöhe cemetery, which led to vociferous protests from around the world and made Bitburg the centre of the world's media attention for a brief while. The cemetery itself is peaceful, but the reminders of the war are oppressive. All wars are terrible.
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View from outside the perimeter Crosses Crosses and memorial Headstone for an unknown soldier
Headstone without first name, rank, or birthdate Grave of an SS man Grave of an SS man Grave of an SS man
Grave of an SS man Grave of an SS man Crosses and shadows Flowers
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