Pictures and text by Mark R. Hatlie
These pictures were taken on August 29, 2005, in Tuebingen-Unterjesingen, a small town similar to Weilheim in that it is officially part of Tuebingen, but physically separate.
|The St. Barbara church is visible from the main road through town.|
|Although the stone tablets on the back of the church are clearly visible as well, they are difficult to read even from very close. From a distance, it is not at all obvious that the tablets are anything but part of the architecture.|
|The inscriptions have not been repainted in decades, and the relief is probably only legible in sunlight. I asked an elderly gentleman seated nearby if there were a memorial for the Second World War at the church. He pointed me to the city cemetery nearby...|
|The cemetery has an elaborate memorial, built in the 1960s, is located at the entrance to the cemetery. It is dedicated to the fallen of both world wars.|
|For each year of each year of each war, there is a cross with the number of fallen and missing listed.|
|To the right, the crosses for the Second World War.|
|The number of dead and missing from 1945 is surprising on every memorial in Germany.|
|In the center there is a large, cement cross with the word We Admonish (Wir mahnen).|
|Below that, there is a helmut and some flowers.|
|The listing of missing for the First World War is not typical. It would be interesting to know if there was a discussion about which years to include. It is possible, although unlikely, for example, that there were casualties from 1919, where World War One was arguably not over on the Eastern Front.|
|It is interesting that they chose to include the year 1939, although there are no fallen or missing from the town for that year.|
While I was making the photos, an old man in a wheelchair stopped. I knew he was a veteran by the interest he showed in my interest in the memorial. He confirmed my impression that the memorial was built in the 1960s. He pointed to the cross for 1942 - eight fallen - and told me that every time he comes here he thinks about the time he almost became the ninth. It was near Rzhev and they needed volunteers for a patrol (Spähtrupp). He volunteered. But a few moments later, they were told that they were to send someone on leave. He was chosen and a new guy who had only been with the unit for two weeks was sent with the patrol. Mueller - that was the man's name - was still filling out the forms for his leave with the company sergeant when the news arrived that the whole patrol had been killed. While I was talking with him, a woman greeted him and asked him if he was making his rounds. He must come by every day.