28.6.06

A German perspective: 'It's our heritage too'

I certainly agree with all of this stated in this edition of the BBC. I am not a warmonger but I can see why this Walk is being undertaken; It is also a part of our history and as we know other nations were dragged into this From The USA, Canada, Australia so many nations to name here really. Mario Zutt,shown above a 35-year-old accountant from Biskirchen, 100km north of Frankfurt, is going to France for the Somme commemoration He will walk alongside about 100 British men, half of whom had ancestors who would have faced his own great-grandfather, Jacob Zutt and his great-great-uncle Herman Emrich across the front line. Germans and British together will be dressed in their own reproduction uniform, set up Living History campsites along the way and share rations. The irony is not lost on Mario but he points out he has taken part in war re-enactments with former "enemies" before - "We have a very good friendship, we re-enactors are like family," he says. The real reason for the start of World War I well the main one was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, in the summer of 1914. Austria immediately accused Serbia of instigating the murders and issued an ultimatum, whereupon Russia declared her support of Serbia. Once the Russians ordered general mobilisation, the Austrian, French, and German mobilisation orders followed in quick succession, each triggered by the other in a domino effect. So it really started because of the conflicting national Interests; when the expansionist policy of Austria-Hungary conflicted with Serbian nationalism if you like. There were other reasons of course there was an Arms race between Britain and Germany mainly I think because of the immense Naval Power Britain had against Germany’s Naval Power. However for what ever reason the war started and now thanks to folk like Mario Zutt re-enacting the march for Germany and Neil McGurk an engineer who is re-enacting it on the British behalf it seems they are all friends which is as it should be. The pair of them along with quite a lot more from both sides who fought in this awful war has quite a march so no doubt a lot of conviviality will happen in the Five days of the march I reckon. My thanks to the BBC for both articles

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