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Remembrance

In 1945, through the order number 184 of the Soviet Military Administration Germany (SMAD), all the towns were obliged to take care of the graves of the war victims.
The numerous victims of the "REIMAHG" were buried in several cemeteries.
Some countries like Italy, France and Belgium tried through military committees to find their dead and to transfer them to their home country.

On February, 10th 1946 the town council of Kahla decided to reconstruct the cemetery for the foreign labourers, above the city cemetery with the help of a stone mason.
Further memorials were made during the following years in Grosseutersdorf, Hummelshain, Knau and Langendembach.

In the context of the ceremonies to 20th Anniversary of the Liberation, on May 8th 1965, a memorial for the victims of the "REIMAHG" at the Walpersberg Mountain was inaugurated.
When the ceremonies for the 20th Anniversary of the Liberation took place on May 8th 1965, a memorial for the victims of the "REIMAHG" at the Walpersberg Mountain was inaugurated. Nearly 4000 inhabitants from the region took part.
In the park of the Hummelshain castle, where the former hospital of the "REIMAHG" was, young people from the Hummelshain youth school built a memorial out of stones that they took from the remnants of the former factory.
Every stone stands for one victim.

During the 60s, contact started through correspondence between former forced labourers and the local communities.
It is very likely that the first participation of former forced labourers and their families took place in 1966, during the commemoration ceremony at the newly built memorial site at the Walpersberg Mountain.

In the years that followed, more and more former forced labourers and their relatives from different countries came to Kahla to participate in the commemorations and to visit the graves of their deceased comrades.

May 8th 1967 there was for the first time a memorial run for the killed Belgian athlete Julien Saelens.
This memorial run became a part of the yearly commemorations.
In 1972 began the construction, followed by the military use of a part of the tunnel system and the area, by the National Peoples Army of the former German Democratic Republic.
Due to the fact that the terrain was out of bounds, the memorial site had to be transferred.
In 1974, a former Polish forced labourer proposed to build a new memorial in the Leubengrund Valley and this was officially inaugurated on May 8th 1974.
From the mid-70s, foreign delegations, especially from Belgium regularly travelled to Kahla to honour their dead comrades.

With the German reunification in 1989, the number of the participants at the commemorations decreased further and further. The interest by the local population also declined.

The Saale-Holzland district took over the care of the memorial in the Leubengrund Valley and organized the annual commemoration ceremony.

The military area at the Walpersberg Mountain was taken over by the Bundeswehr in 1990 and after is closure in 1997 was handed over to the Bundesvermögensamt.

In the context of an official mission, Belgian Patrick Brion met for the first time with the "Belgian Association of former forced labourers of Lager E" of the "REIMAHG", which is led by Paul Baert. This was the beginning of a close friendship and at the same time an intensive co-operation with the organization of the commemoration ceremonies.

In 2001, there was at the Belgian Army General Staff in Brussels a small exhibition about the "REIMAHG".
In 2002 the Belgian defence minister Andre Flahaut participated at the commemoration ceremonies in Kahla.

In 2003, a local association called "REIMAHG" e.V. was founded and its purpose was the historical research about the former aircraft factory. They organized again the commemoration ceremony at the Walpersberg Mountain. The numerous local and foreign guests were able to visit for the first time a part of the tunnel system, as well as an informative exhibition.

The first memorial stone, presented by the Belgians, was inaugurated.

In 2004, a second commemoration ceremony took place at the Walpersberg Mountain. Here a second memorial stone was inaugurated by the Italian town of Castelnovo ne Monti.

In the former porcelain factory in the town of Kleindembach (Saale-Orla district), where there was also a camp for the forced labourers, a new memorial stone was inaugurated in the presence of local and foreign guests.

Mayor Karl Christ (deceased July 2005), who was very involved as well as the local historian Horst Förster worked very hard for the historical research in their hometown.

2005 was entirely devoted to the 60th anniversary of the liberation and the end of the World War II.

Under the patronage of Mrs. Dr. Birgit Klaubert, vice-president of the Th√ľringer parliament, a very emotional Commemoration ceremony took place at the Walpersberg Mountain.

Numerous former forced labourers and their relatives from Poland, Belarus and Slovakia came for the first time.

Other memorial stones from Italy, Poland and the "Pirelli" company were inaugurated.

To represent the American liberators, a veteran and a military delegation from the United States were present at the commemoration ceremony.

The municipality of Kleindembach proved once again their special commitment with a very cordial reception for the guests at the commemoration ceremony.

In Grosseutersdorf, an international youth camp with participants from Belgium and Germany was organized for the first time.
They worked for four days around the topic "Forgotten Camps - forgotten Fates."