Texst on the monument:
Remembrance Requires Knowledge.
After the German invasion on 10 may 1940, Luxembourg experienced the most sombre period of its history. For the second time since its independence in 1839, the Grand Duchy was under the risk of disappearing as a sovereign state.
The creation of a Nazi civilian administration, a collaborationist movement and the policy of germanization led to the formation of resistance movement in every corner of the country.
In an enacted referendum, 95% of the Luxembourg people voted against the germanization of the country.
In 1942, the introduction of the compulsory military service in the German armed forces for young Luxembourgers gave rise to a general strike all over the country. The response of “Gauleiter” Simon was immediate and bloody. The state of emergency was declared and the strikers were haphazardly arrested, sentenced to death and executed at once.
Many young Luxembourgers refused to wear the German uniform. With the help of smugglers, the draft dodgers crossed the Belgian and French borders found a refuge within the country in private homes or in “bunkers” in the middle of nowhere.
Along with the efforts made by Luxembourg’s exiled government in London to regain Luxembourg’s independence, some Luxembourgers were actively involved in the armed resistance, having joined the allied forces and the Belgian and French maquis. Others enlisted in the US, Belgian, British, Canadian and French armed forces.
One Luxembourg unit, the “Luxembourg Battery”, which was integrated in the (Belgian) ‘Brigade Piron”, participated in the Liberation of Europe.
The final death toll in the resistance movement was very heavy. The collective memory of the Luxembourg people remains profoundly marked by these painful events that resulted from the will of the Luxembourg people to form a nation.
However, without the help of the Allied forces, Luxembourg could never have regained its sovereignty and independence. Liberated by the American armed forces, the Luxembourg people will remember a profound gratitude towards the United States of America.
Subsequently, Luxembourg and the new Germany, united within a common European destiny, managed to promote their mutual reconciliation that had proved to be difficult for a long time.
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- Text: Mia van den Berg
- Photos: Mia van den Berg