Chapel

 
 

The German chapel at Falaise was built between 1917 and 1918 by German soldiers, on the edge of a German military cemetery. The mortal remains of the dead buried there were transferred to the regional war cemetery at Chestres by the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (German War Graves Service) between 1928 and 1930.

In the early post-WW I years it was quite usual for structures of that kind, and which had been built by German occupation forces, to be dismantled for a variety of reasons. The Falaise chapel nevertheless miraculously escaped destruction.

However, no maintainance work was done for all of the following 90 years, and as a result the chapel is by now threatened by irreversible decay.

A local history association, “Falairats d’Argonne”, initiated a project aimed at the restoration of the German chapel at Falaise, and technical documentation therefor was prepared in 2009, which wound up with the Püttlingen group of Bundeswehr reservists via the VDK (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegrgräberfürsorge – German War Graves Service). The Püttlingen reservists decided to tackle this challenge and undertook to join the “Falairats d’Argonne” in an effort to preserve the chapel from further decay, and to completely rehabilitate this “specimen of German cultural heritage.

The roof has already fallen down and the plaster has peeled off from the walls.

At the present point in time, the interior of the chapel had to be declared off-limits, for safety reasons.

According to a cost estimate of civil engineers involved in the project, the complete restoration of the chapel would amount to about € 10.000, for materials alone.

All necessary work shall be performed by Reservistenkameradschaft members; funding will therefore be required only for materials acquisition.

The roof frame shall be replaced by a new structure during an initial repair operation between May 12 and 16, 2010, all other renovation work being scheduled for subsequent years.

The financial resources of the organizations being extremely limited, we will depend on donations for the funding of building materials.