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Saturday, March 17, 2018

On to El-Alamein, and the German Cemetery

The major World War II war memorials are found at el Alamein about an hour away from Alexandria.  There are four war memorial cemeteries plus a newly reorganized Military War Museum.  With all the development along the coast described previously, the war memorials are a bit hard to spot.  The German cemetery is the first one encountered on the Mediterranean side coming from the east.  You could easily miss it.

We signed in with the policeman on duty and headed up to a parking area where a lone guide met us and led us up to the building on a low hill above the Mediterranean.

The building holds the graves of over four thousand soldiers, mostly from Rommel's German North Afrikakorps.
German-18 German-19

Inside, there is a central courtyard and entry memorial.
German-07-1 German-09-1

Around the perimeter, the names of the soldiers are engraved on bronze plaques arranged in alphabetical order within regions of Germany.  A date of birth and date of death accompany each name.




The guide who accompanied us lives in the nearby small village.  He  had great familiarity with the battles and the forces of both sides.  Linda was interested in whether any of her Fitzer relatives might be buried here so the guide brought out the book with an overall alphabetic index for her.  No Fitzers were present. 

The guide was very familiar with the area because his grandfather had been head of the village back  when the population was 35 people during war times. After the war the grandfather met Rommel's son when he made a visit to the site shortly after its dedication in the 1950s.

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