This video is called Flanders Fields Museum.
Tonight, the Dutch VPRO TV series “In Europa” was on again. It is based on the book about twentieth century European history by Geert Mak.
Tonight was about the first world war; especially in Flanders, and especially in 1915.
Now, ninety years after the bloodbaths of the battles in Belgium then, the Belgian army is still very busy detecting and detonating potentially lethal ammunition from the Great War; much of which is still found often accidentally by farmers plowing their fields etc. A farmer whose father was killed by an exploding World War I bomb told the TV interviewer that the war never should have happened.
The director of the Ypres museum “In Flanders’ fields” is Piet Chielen.
He told the interviewer that, when the Iraq war started in 2003, masses of Ypres people went spontaneously to the Menin gate for a sit in to protest against the war. Ypres people, Chielen told, know the reality of war: more and more dead and wounded people; even long after its official end.
Some British Establishment people, Chielen said, had been angry about that peace demonstration. They were wrong.
As British Establishment people had also been wrong during the first world war (they were refered to then as “donkeys leading lions”); when they had many shell-shocked British soldiers executed for “cowardice”. Geert Mak for this TV series went to England, to interview the granddaughter of a British soldier who had become mentally ill by the war, and had then been executed as a “coward”. 91 years after his death, he had finally been rehabilitated. When will the donkeys leading lions into Iraq and Afghanistan be finally officially declared to have been wrong?
History Repeats Itself: France in Algeria, the US in Iraq. By Marnia Lazreg: here.
Peggie Preston: Tenacious peace campaigner dies: here.
- Battlefields in WW2: Germans at the Menin Gate 1940 (joshualisec.wordpress.com)
- ‘War and Trauma’ exhibition sets WWI commemorations rolling (expatica.com)
- Kickabout that captured futility of first world war to be replayed for centenary (guardian.co.uk)
- Ypres aiming to host a Tour de France stage in 2014 (velonation.com)
- First World War hero’s medal found in Chorlton sewer 90 years on (manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
- Need to Read: New battle in Passchendaele for memorial to Wales’ fallen heroes (walesonline.co.uk)
- VIDEO: A soldier’s tale: Retracing steps in Flanders fields (bbc.co.uk)