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Practical tips

Organising a commemorative event

We are delighted that you are organising a commemorative event on Volkstrauertag (National Day of Mourning). The suggestions we offer in these guidelines provide a rough outline of one of many possible sequences of events. Remembrance and mourning take many forms and can be structured in a variety of different ways. The format proposed here is intended as a suggestion. You, as organiser, will need to adapt it to the requirements and conditions of the specific setting.


Sequence of events for a commemoration ceremony:

- Words of welcome
- Setting the mood: poem, literary text, quotation from letter or diary written in the field
- Musical work
- Reading out the Totengedenken (tribute to the dead)
- Reciting the names of individual war dead from the locality
- Remembrance address
- Prayer
- Laying of wreaths
- A minute’s silence
- Song or musical work (e.g. national and/or European anthem, Der gute Kamerad
- Thanks to supporters
- Farewell


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