The eleventh of November is Armistice Day marking the end of the First World War.
In Germany, the National Day of Mourning (Volkstrauertag) is held in remembrance for those who have died or have suffered because of war (November 13 in 2022). In the United Kingdom Remembrance Sunday plays the same role.
In Belgium November 11 is a national holiday and watching cyclo cross is a popular choice. In addition, throughout the year in Germany there are many solemnly observed notorious dates such as Kristallnacht, when Jewish people were targeted in two days of death cult violence held over November 9/10 in 1938.
My mind on this bike ride was focussed on a war not fought.
Up to 1989 Göttingen was close to the Iron Curtain an ideological schism made physical by a fortified border after WW2. On my doorstep is Kesterlingrodefeld which was once a large Panzer Grenadier base and barracks. Many times, soldiers here were mobilised to the border during the period 1945 to 1989.
A direct military confrontation never happened between East and West and Kesterlingrodefeld became a peace dividend at the end of the Cold War. It is now the Göttingen Wald open to all.
Despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the threat that it offers, I am grateful to live in a time in Central Europe (Germany) where a peace has held, and one which has never been seen before in history.
Links (History and rides associated with war in Gö)
Kesterlingrodefeld – Peace Dividend
Panzergeister in Gö
Lost Villages and Kathe Kollwitz
15km to the DDR
Friedland Transit Camp
The Old DDR Border
Letter from Germany 7 – Liberation
Duderstadt and the Grenze
Ride Without Frontiers in Gö – the Dreilländereck
Meeting on the Frontline
WW2 Aircraft Crash Sites 1
WW2 Aircraft Crash Sites 2
The Seven Years War 1
The Seven Years War 2
The Thirty Years War
John Parr – WW1 Cyclist
Big Bang in Gö
Nationality isn´t Simple
Immigrant in Germany
Friedland Transit Camp
World War One Book
The Ride – 28.8km
I rode a small part of the All Along the Watchower Route highlighting past conflicts. On route were places where the fierce WW2 airwar fought in the Göttingen sky came down to earth.
I didn´t visit the Stadt Friedhof where the war dead overflowed during World War Two.
Riding the trails and especially the single track is an act of faith at this time, because a thick curtain of leaf fall hides a multitude of hidden factors – holes, ruts, roots, chasms and stones etc.
Garmin Connect: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/9957742825