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Remembered Today:

"Rediscovered" German Cemetery at Gradsko


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Thanks Andi for those posts... So much for the idea of the reformed Landsturm being a kind of homeguard...

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Thanks Andi for those posts... So much for the idea of the reformed Landsturm being a kind of homeguard...

Luck of the draw... XIX.28 really drew the short straw among the Saxon Landsturm battalions, quite a few of which never even left Saxony. My Great-Great-Great Uncle Paul Freund (I think that's the correct number of 'greats') was with XIX.3 (also from Leipzig) and had a quiet war so far as we can tell.

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  • 1 month later...

I received an answer from VdK that reads as follows:

"Dass in Gradsko, Republik Mazedonien, ca. 30 im Ersten Weltkrieg gefallene
deutsche Soldaten bestattet wurden, ist uns bekannt. Auch ist der Kontakt
zwischen dem Volksbund und Herrn Wakefield in unseren Unterlagen
dokumentiert. Aus diesem Schriftwechsel geht u.a. hervor, dass die Gräber
im Jahr 2009 durch ortsansässige Personen bzw. auf Veranlassung des
damaligen Bürgermeisters von Gradsko sicher gestellt und gereinigt wurden.


Eine Antwort auf die Frage, ob seitens des Volksbundes weitere Maßnahmen
auf dem Gräberfeld in Gradsko vorgesehen oder geplant sind, erhalten Sie
vom zuständigen Referat Pflege, Herrn Görgl."

So they still seem to think that the local mayor keeps his 2009 promise- which is not true as is proven with the latest pictures from Gradsko.

Those of you who like to pursue the matter and those with eye-witness accounts of the present state may inquire at the responsible head of division at VdK:

norman.goergl at volksbund.de

I also have his telephone number as I talked with him about another matter a year ago. The chap is very nice and welcomes direct communication. Please do not hesitate!!!!!

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  • 1 year later...

@ Alan, Keith and all interested to include the Salonika Campaign Society.

As was promised by myself one year ago to contact the VdK on this matter, I received a news update from VdK head of division "maintenance" . It reads a s follows:

 

....nach sorgfältiger Prüfung der Situation vor Ort ist das deutsche
Gräberfeld des 1. WK in Gradsko zur Auflassung und Umbettung vorgesehen.
Leider gibt es zum gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt Unstimmigkeiten mit mehreren
mazedonischen Bürgermeistern über die juristische Anwendbarkeit des
bilateralen Kriegsgräberabkommens im Einklang mit mazedonischen Gesetzen
und kommunalen Vorschriften.
Bei der juristischen Klärung der offenen Fragen werden wir intensiv durch
die deutsche Botschaft unterstützt.
Wir hoffen, dass die rechtliche Klärung in Kürze erreicht werden kann und
die zur Umbettung vorgesehenen Grablagen aufgelassen werden können.

 

What it basically says is:

After careful examination of the situation on the ground , the German WW1 burial ground in Gradsko will be subject of closing and reburial. Unfortunately, at present several disagreements with some Macedonian mayors about the legal applicability of the bilateral war graves agreement in accordance with Macedonian laws and municipal regulations occur. We are intensively supported by the German Embassy with the judicial resolution of the outstanding issues. We hope that the legal clarification can be achieved soon and we have earmarked the graves for reburial/relocation  (to a German VdK cared concentration cemetery in Macedonia).

 

I keep further track and would like to thank all involved to bring this to my attention.

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I have written a letter to the deputy president of VdK on the breach of the bilateral MoU between the Republic of Macedonia and Federal Republic of Germany. Will see whether something speeds up by elevating the Gradsko matter to the leadership ......

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keithmroberts

Thanks for that update Egbert. REmoval of the remains to a maintained cemetery is probably the best solution that we could hope for. I hope that it proceeds without too much delay, although netotiation with local officials can obviously be an issue.

 

 

Keith

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

It is real burden to work together with the Macedonia officials.

An official VdK delegation visited several ministeries in the Mac capital City more than 6 weeks ago to overcome the blocking of the reburial of the Gradsko dead. by obscure local mayors. The ministry officials apologized and promised to "switch to green light" immediately.

Needless to mention that nothing has happened until today.

Hope dies last

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  • 2 years later...

I contacted the VdK yesterday - yes we are already in the year 2019- upon the situation in Gradsko. The answer was extremely disappointing. They still do not have permission from the Macedonia officials to carry out any work with goal to relocate the dead to a VdK-cared concentration cemetery.

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Thanks for monitoring this Egbert. The slow progress is truly frustrating.

 

Keith

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  • 10 months later...

Upon my further inquiry, the VdK answered today that all Gradsko names/personal data are mentioned in a metal registration box on the war graves concentration cemetery in Prileb, Macedonia (see attachment)Prilep-Mazedonien.pdf

 

It is more than evident that a meaningless local mayor still holds the VdK hostage and does not allow the relocation of graves. The VdK has a bilateral agreement with the Republic of Macedonia for war grave matters but the state officials do not care about local mayors breaking a federal agreement. Macedonia is an official candidate country to EU. 2 weeks ago it was rightly denied access to EU. Coterie still reigns in Macedonia.

Edited by egbert
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  • 1 year later...
bierast

I've just completed the final part in my Facebook blog series on Saxon Landsturm infantry battalions. The lion's share of it is devoted to 11. Landsturm-Infanterie-Bataillon Leipzig XIX.28 in Macedonia, including their presence at Gradsko and role in its final defence in September 1918. Alan Wakefield kindly allowed me to use his photo of the tombstone of one of the two members of this unit who are buried at Gradsko German cemetery.

 

These middle-aged men, rated fit only for garrison duty, surely cursed their luck when they found themselves defending scratch positions against hordes of vengeful Serbs in the withering dusty heat, while their Bulgarian allies (with whom they could only communicate via translators or the odd French-speaking officer) edged their way towards an armistice with the enemy...

https://www.facebook.com/groups/german1914/permalink/963588457819531

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9 minutes ago, bierast said:

I've just completed the final part in my Facebook blog series on Saxon Landsturm infantry battalions. The lion's share of it is devoted to 11. Landsturm-Infanterie-Bataillon Leipzig XIX.28 in Macedonia, including their presence at Gradsko and role in its final defence in September 1918. Alan Wakefield kindly allowed me to use his photo of the tombstone of one of the two members of this unit who are buried at Gradsko German cemetery.

 

These middle-aged men, rated fit only for garrison duty, surely cursed their luck when they found themselves defending scratch positions against hordes of vengeful Serbs in the withering dusty heat, while their Bulgarian allies (with whom they could only communicate via translators or the odd French-speaking officer) edged their way towards an armistice with the enemy...

https://www.facebook.com/groups/german1914/permalink/963588457819531

 

Andy,

 

Your "French source" seems nothing more than a literal translation of the information from "Handbuch der Verbände und Truppen des deutschen Heeres 1914-1918" Part VI Vol 4. I find that, being an author and publisher myself, totally unacceptable and a total lack of respect towards the people making that series.

 

Jan

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bierast
Just now, AOK4 said:

Your "French source" seems nothing more than a literal translation of the information from "Handbuch der Verbände und Truppen des deutschen Heeres 1914-1918" Part VI Vol 4. I find that, being an author and publisher myself, totally unacceptable and a total lack of respect towards the people making that series.


I had no idea that's what it was, lacking a copy of that volume! I will work my way through the articles changing the references accordingly, though it will take a while.

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8 minutes ago, bierast said:


I had no idea that's what it was, lacking a copy of that volume! I will work my way through the articles changing the references accordingly, though it will take a while.

 

I don't blame you, Andy. You can't know if you don't have the book.

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bierast
12 minutes ago, AOK4 said:

I don't blame you, Andy. You can't know if you don't have the book.


Thankyou! Well, on the bright side it does give this information a lot more credibility. Given the oddity of some of the dates I suspected it was someone else doing what I do... piecing the individual unit histories together from Feldpost and other oddments on top of the basic information from Busche.

I'll have to get a look at a copy of the original volume - do they cite their primary sources? I'm guessing their work is primarily based on high-level paperwork in the archives and on pre-1945 publications (i.e. written when it was still possible to check all the war diaries etc.). The reasons for the non-inclusion of the short-lived XIX.34 both in this work and in Busche particularly intrigues me, as it suggests that recognition of its existence didn't make it into whatever primary source(s) they were looking at for XIX.AK battalions.

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4 minutes ago, bierast said:


Thankyou! Well, on the bright side it does give this information a lot more credibility. Given the oddity of some of the dates I suspected it was someone else doing what I do... piecing the individual unit histories together from Feldpost and other oddments on top of the basic information from Busche.

I'll have to get a look at a copy of the original volume - do they cite their primary sources? I'm guessing their work is primarily based on high-level paperwork in the archives and on pre-1945 publications (i.e. written when it was still possible to check all the war diaries etc.). The reasons for the non-inclusion of the short-lived XIX.34 both in this work and in Busche particularly intrigues me, as it suggests that recognition of its existence didn't make it into whatever primary source(s) they were looking at for XIX.AK battalions.

 

The book gives its sources indeed, mainly high-level archival papers (overviews of units, Feldpost overviews etc) as you suspect.

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