Germany / Monument
During the month of November 1944 fighting between American and German soldiers took place inside the church of Vossenack. Today a commemorative plaque inside and an inscription on the church portal call these events to mind.
The village of Vossenack was completely destroyed in the fighting between November 1944 and February 1945. Even the church was not spared destruction. In his essay ’You are now entering Germany’ the German Nobel Prize-winning author Heinrich Böll mentioned that fierce fighting took place in the church: “In Vossenack the ‘front’ ran straight through the parish church, with the American soldiers firing down from the organ loft, the Germans up from the sacristy”. Böll also wrote that the village of Vossenack had changed ownership between Germans and Americans twenty-eight times.
To put this in perspective it can be confirmed that on 6 November two companies of the 112th U.S. Regiment had to escape a German attack from the Tiefenbach valley in panic. Only when they reached the church were the Americans were able to stop the German attack. In the course of this engagement the fighting in the church was taking place. A commemorative plaque inside the church calls the events to mind. However, after 6 November there was no other attack on Vossenack by the Germans. The church was newly consecrated after the Second World War because of these events.
On the church portal there is an inscription that mentions about 68.000 dead in the Hürtgen Forest. This number most likely can be put down to a mixing up of dead and injured. The number of soldiers actually killed in action in the Hürtgen Forest is still not clear. Today’s estimates range around half of the number given on the church portal.
Mestrenger Weg 5, 52393 Hürtgenwald, Allemagne