The first of 7 memorial gardens was opened by the local alderman and Rüdiger Lüdeking, German Ambassador to Belgium, at the Passchendaele Memorial Park in Zonnebeke (West Flanders) on Thursday. The new gardens commemorate victims from different countries involved in World War One. Germany is the first country thus honoured.
The new Memorial Park opened its gates in the park surrounding the Zonnebeke castle in the spring of 2014. The park will serve as a link with the 2017 Passchendaele Museum, and also as a place of contemplation and remembrance.
Every country which fought in the Great War will have its own memorial garden with a border of red pillars representing poppies. A resting area with plants, sculptures, and poems invoking the country is planned at the centre of each garden. Red roses, sandstone, and basalt stones were chosen to represent Germany. The gardens should all be open in time for the 2018 commemorations.