15.05.2019 11:45

Excursion of the divisions horticulture and landscape gardening and joinery


300 days and 300 nights, 60 million projectiles and probably far more than 400,000 dead young men who still had their lives before them. These are the bare, frightening, unimaginable figures of the battle of Verdun in the year 1916.

Figures our future gardeners and joiners talked about during their social studies in vocational school at the Euro-BBW. In order to expand their knowledge they planned a trip to the battlefields and places of horror of the year 1916. At 7:30 a.m. we set off for Verdun in France with a group of about 35 persons. After a two hour drive by bus we arrived in Verdun where our tour guide Ingrid got into the bus. You could tell instantly that she had an enormous knowledge of the political relations at that time and especially of the battle of Verdun. Although some of our participants were somewhat skeptical at first, Ingrid managed gradually to captivate them with her reports and descriptions.

You could already see the rugged landscape with all its bomb craters and unevenness from inside the bus. „Not even a centimeter of ground that was not circulated by an explosive charge“, Ingrid told us. We first stopped at the ossuary of Douaumont, a huge memorial in the form of a sword stuck in the ground, symbolizing “peace”. A place of silence with the bones of 140,000 nameless unknown killed soldiers to whom the last honor is paid. Besides, there is a cemetery with 16,000 tombs of killed soldiers where the relatives have a place of mourning and certainty. Anyone who wanted to could climb onto the tower and have a view of the landscape described.

After a lunch break we went to the „Memorial de Verdun”, a museum, where the battle of Verdun was presented in form of a multimedia show with a lot of spoken, written and pictured information. The agreed hour was much too short and we would have liked to  stay a little longer and inform ourselves but the daily schedule stipulated otherwise. Afterwards we went to the fortress „Fort Douaumont“, one out of many turrets of the French line of defense. Ingrid guided us safely through casemates, ammunition rooms and other functional spaces and vividly told us short, frightening stories which made us believe she was a contemporary witness.

The battle of Verdun – a dunning example of a senseless material battle which also had a deep impression on our trainees. It was an informative, exciting excursion for all participants which brought us a bit closer to the consequences and senselessness of a war. After this eventful day, some of us certainly contemplated with creeps how good it is to live in the year 2019 in a peaceful united Europe.

After lots of impressions – also emotionally charged - we arrived at about 7 p.m. in Bitburg again.

Impressions of the excursion to Verdun