Commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the Airmen’s Memorial (Fliegerdenkmal)
As you know, the memorial was established to commemorate the horrible loss of lives in the deadliest air battle in USAF WWII history as well as to stand tribute as a place of reconciliation between two, previous, opponents in WWII.
In August 2016 the memorial was placed into the care and preservation of the Hessian laws pertaining to monuments to be permanently preserved and cared for. Part of the official German monument designation text follows:
“The memorial consists of three granite stones, erected side-by-side, positioned at the head of a lovely semi-circular park bustling with flowering plants. A bronze plaque, describing the events of one of the most dramatic air battles during World War II, is mounted on the larger center stone. The plaques, mounted on the other two stones, bear the names of the fallen German and American airmen. The mainspring behind the memorial, originally dedicated on August 1, 1990, was Walter Hassenpflug, who grew up in nearby Bad Hersfeld and who, on September 27, 1944, witnessed one of the largest air battles of World War II. During the course of the air battle, an American group of bombers, flying without any fighter protection were downed; on the German side 25 fighter planes were lost and 18 German pilots lost their lives; 118 American airmen perished, among them were eleven soldiers who were brutally murdered after they had landed with their parachutes. Hassenpflug, who, at that time was just twelve years old, together with other Hitler Youths, saved the life of an American officer whom he met, again, at the location of these events 42 years later – after doing a life time of extensive research.
This event led to the idea of erecting a German-American Airmen’s Memorial, which was realized four years later with the support of Federal and State Governments, the Kassel Mission Memorial Association, Inc. and the People’s League of the German War Graves Commission. As the only German-American Memorial world-wide, it is dedicated to serve not only as a memorial to remember the dead, but most of all as a memorial for peace, reconciliation and understanding between nations.”
Reposting of email sent to members of the Kassel Mission Society about the Airmen’s Memorial, Ludwigsau, Germany.