The conflict in northeast France was a longest of World War I, durability 300 days, and claimed some-more than 300,000 lives before France emerged victorious.
“The name Verdun is a pitch of a unthinkable slaughter and a absurdity of war, though also of Franco-German reconciliation,” Merkel pronounced in a speech at Verdun’s city hall, a initial for a German leader.
The chancellor pronounced she recognized it was not “easy” for a people of the town that is perpetually noted by a fighting to give her such a “warm welcome”.
Hollande said: “Verdun is a city that represents both a misfortune — where Europe mislaid a approach 100 years ago — and a best, since a city has been able… to combine for assent and Franco-German friendship.”
Both leaders are approaching to make a call in speeches after for Europe to pull together to confront a stream challenges.
Under determined rain, Hollande and Merkel began a decoration by laying a spray during a German troops tomb during Consenvoye, only north of Verdun.
Sharing an umbrella, they walked between rows of black crosses embossed in white with a names of a passed that widen down a mountain of a cemetery where 11,000 German soldiers are buried.
By visiting a German cemetery, Hollande and Merkel were following in the footsteps of their predecessors Francois Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl.
When Mitterrand and Kohl assimilated hands there during a personification of the French inhabitant anthem in 1984, it underlined how tighten ties had become between dual countries that were once enemies though are now mostly described as the twin motors of a European Union.
Hollande pronounced before Sunday’s ceremony that it was an well-suited time for the leaders to spell out their ambitions for Europe, during a time when the continent was in a hold of a “evil of populism”.
That seemed to be a anxiety to Europe’s far-right parties that have made advances in several countries, fuelled by flourishing regard over an unprecedented liquid of migrants.
Over lunch, a dual leaders will plead a predicament caused by a hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees seeking retreat in Europe and the June 23 referendum in Britain on either or not to quit a EU.
They will afterwards attend a categorical commemorative rite during a Douaumont ossuary, where a stays of 130,000 soldiers, French and German, are buried.
It was here that Mitterrand and Kohl done their mystic gesticulate to reaffirm Franco-German friendship.
“Mitterrand’s gesticulate with Helmut Kohl, a hands that reached out and found any other, that’s a pitch of reconciliation,” Hollande told French radio this week.
Sunday’s ceremony during Douaumont will underline some-more than 3,000 French and German schoolchildren in a display choreographed by a German filmmaker Volker Schloendorff.
Church bells for miles around will ring out in memory of a soldiers who died on both sides.
The conflict of Verdun lasted from Feb 1916 to Dec 1916 and was fought along a front line dividing a French and German armies.
The final survivor of a conflict died in 2008.
Article source: http://www.thelocal.de/20160529/hollande-and-merkel-mark-centenary-of-battle-of-verdun