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Photographer's Note

Almost a hundred years ago
the madness began
for some it stopped forever
for some it never will

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This picture was shot at the Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof of Langemark near Ypres. Here lie more than 44,000 young German men, some known, about half of them unidentified. Because of the extremely young age of many of the fallen, this war cemetry is also known as the 'Studentenfriedhof', the Students' Cemetry.

The dead of Langemark included many young war volunteers. Their so-called heroic death took on mythical proportions as stories were told (invented) of these guys taking over enemy positions while singing out in nationalist fervour. These myths would play a great role in nazi ideology, in stirring up a new generation to get ready for war.

In fact, Hitler, who was stationed near Ypres, would later claim to have been a survivor from the fighting at Langemark and would visit the cemetry in 1940.

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In a rustic setting with big oak trees
where fall seems to last forever
this cemetry is a peaceful place
for here lie those that fell in defeat

No heroics, no swords, no knights
only bones and nature

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I find the Langemark cemetry so impressive, precisely because of its lack of heroism.
And also because of the morbid role played by its myth.

"To you, from failing hands, we throw
the torch, be yours to hold it high"

...and more of that old lie

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The shadow that falls almost horizontally across the picture
is of one of those big old oak trees.

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song title reference: The Fall

mjw364, jhm, Gigidusud, timecapturer, gojo, rigoletto has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2997 W: 35 N: 6595] (34254)
  • Genre: 地方
  • Medium: 彩色
  • Date Taken: 2013-04-20
  • Categories: 藝術
  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Exposure:f/5.3, 1/2000 seconds
  • Photo Version:Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2013-05-20 2:59
  • Favorites:1 [view]
Viewed: 1505
Points: 14
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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2997 W: 35 N: 6595] (34254)
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