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    The second is quite jumbled, because it was written as his last ever message-- either dying or in expectation of dying.

    At first glance it is more difficult for me to read, one-eyed and tired, but this is what I can make out--

    Herzliebste Eltern

    Auch ich muss sterben die

    schriften ... diese sind meine

    letzten Gr?sse. Seh nicht


    ............. ich Euch f?r

    alle das Gut.......ich ...

    hoch empfangen. ...............

    nicht auf wiedersehen

    du droben. Euer


    THANK YOU! Chris,

    You did a great job posting the text and pics on the site.

    I also would like to thank Rick Research, without his help those papers would still be sleeping in a box and would have never been shown. Two years ago I posted Hermann?s last letter on this site as an example of a text that could not be read? Shown above is Rick?s reply, I then remembered seeing the ?Euer Hermann? somewhere else on a printed page. It was the start of a wonderful story?.

    THANK YOU! Rick




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    • 5 months later...


    Filip Debergh, an author and renowned World War 1 tour guide from Belgium, has kindly provided me with several wonderful photographs depicting Hermann?s burial site. He contacted me after reading the article on Chris Boonzaier?s superb web site.

    The total number of German soldiers who died in Flanders during the Great War has never been confirmed, the bodies of 126,168 known soldiers are buried in the four main collecting cemeteries of Langemarck, Vladslo, Hooglede and Menen. Of these, about 120,000 were killed within the province of Flanders, however many others just disappeared without trace in the abysmal mud, 90,000 soldiers are still considered "missing? and consequently one comes to a sum of about 210,000 dead.

    Many German fallen were concentrated and buried in the Military Cemetery at Langemarck, not all soldiers ended up in a mass-grave; Hermann Koopmann got a semi-individual burial place (No.A/3936) and a gravestone with seven other names on it. Those brave men are guarded by towering oak trees whose roots are now intertwined with their remains, creating a bond between the Dead and the Living.

    Langemarck nowadays is a place of peace and quiet. The sound of the guns of two World Wars has long since faded away. People of many different nations individually or on guided excursions are visiting what remains of the Western front. Some come to Langemarck just as curious tourists, others for historical research. Filip D. assured me that he will certainly tell Hermann?s story to his tour participants.


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    The Soldatenfriedhof monumental entrance building is constructed with red Weser sandstone and can only be described as cold and dreary. Behind the fretwork screens of a cast iron gate is a chapel memorializing the students and some of the reservists slain here in 1914. The official register notes that there are 6,313 names on the Oakwood panels of that sombre room.

    If you look around in the dark chapel you will ultimately find Hermann?s name ? another small trace of him...


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    A meaningful coincidence

    I have recently experienced synchronicity to the utmost heightened level; my experience has rendered me almost speechless.

    Here's a meaningful coincidence that I'd like to bring to the sharing table:

    The first two photographs that Filip Debergh had sent me did not illustrate a stone wall near Hermann?s grave site and could not be compared with the grouping?s original picture that showed a wooden cross decorated with flowers. I then asked Filip if he would be kind enough to take one more photo while facing the nearest surrounding wall, he replied that I would get it within ten days.

    Shortly afterwards, I got an email from "Wehrmacht Awards Forum" member ?rijke88? telling me that he had found by chance a photo of Ritterktreuztr?ger Erwin Koopmann (Hermann?s brother) on eBay, I got all exited when I positively recognized Erwin resting on a large chair. Roger (rijke88) then proceeded to deal with the seller and managed to buy the picture along with the rest of the desecrated 2./IR90 album.

    Roger subsequently sent me an additional scan featuring Erwin koopmann; he was at the Langemarck cemetery, paying respects to his fallen brother!!! For a moment, time stood still? I was astounded and tears came to my eyes.

    I received Fillip Debergh?s new photo two days later and was able to assemble this miraculous ?THEN AND NOW?.


    Robert Tremblay


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    Fantastic! what a research victory!!

    Thank you Chris,

    A victory with the help of quite a few people and incredible good fortune. I won?t use the word luck, because I always felt that there was a ?presence? guiding me?.




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    Lost comrades

    These images reside untouched in the back of my mind;

    My comrades, laid to rest in foreign soil,

    Baptized by blood and tears of sorrow,

    Never to return to their unpredicted, unfinished lives.

    They sacrificed themselves willingly,

    Unable to see their family and loved ones,

    They bravely marched through the dark gate,

    Never to return as mere mortals, but as wandering souls.

    Onward through the mists of time,

    They will struggle to perceive the light

    Of the candles softly flickering in the darkness,

    As they are forgotten, seeping into the earth,

    Never to hear, see, and feel again.


    Robert T.

    The cemetery grounds are punctuated by several large oak trees which cast an oppressive shade on the scene.

    Hermann?s grave location is circled in red.


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    Hello readers:

    In addition to the very moving posts and pictures it may be of note that the younger brother of Hermann Koopmann, Knightscross recipient Erwin Koopmann, DoB 1.Jan.1900, died on the Eastern Front on 13.Nov.1943. He was also awarded the German Cross i.Gold and listed on the Honor Roll of the Army shortly before his death. Maj.Erwin Koopmann was in command of Grenadier Regt. 76 and was promoted to Oberstleutnant posthumously.

    Thank you for the posts and pictures.

    Bernhard H. Holst

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    @ Bernhard,

    Thank you for the nice comments and your notes on E. Koopmann.

    @ Ulsterman,

    This picture of Erwin K. at the cemetery means a lot to me, it emcompasses the whole relation between the two brothers and their bonding beyond death... I can feel his deep sadness.




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