Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel attends commemoration event in Ypres to mark 100 years since Battle of Passchendaele

1 August 2017
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel at the commemoration event in Ypres, Belgium to mark 100 years since the the Battle of Passchendaele

Gabriel: Our joint message is "never again"

On 31 July Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel represented the Federal Republic of Germany at the commemoration event in Ypres to mark 100 years since the Battle of Passchendaele. Gabriel said the third battle of Ypres was a "symbol of the futile brutality of war" and must never be allowed to happen again.

Read Gabriel's statement in full below.

Statement by Foreign Sigmar Minister Gabriel on 31 July on the commemoration of the start of the Third Battle of Ypres

Like Verdun, the Third Battle of Ypres is a symbol of the futile brutality of war. When we remember the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who were slain in the trenches of Flanders over the course of just a few months, our joint message is “never again”. 

Never again may diplomacy fail the way it did in 1914; never again may there be war in the heart of Europe; never again may our continent’s young people be slaughtered! 

It was not in 1918, but rather only after 1945, that bitter enemies became close partners and good friends in the ruins of a destroyed continent. Europeans reached out their hand to us. As a result, we Europeans achieved peace and reconciliation after two devastating world wars. Never before in the history of our continent have more than 70 years ‑ almost a human lifespan ‑ passed without war and destruction. 

In a world full of crises and conflicts, it is more important than ever today to remember that Europe is far more than a single market. Europe is a peace project. Europe is our future. We can only safeguard our interests and defend our values if we stand united.

© German Embassy London

The Embassy on Social Media

FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle PlusFlickr

Commemorating the First World War

Franz Marc, Réconciliation, 1912

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One. Here you can find a collection of informative websites about events in Germany and beyond, as well as speeches and articles by German politicians and international figures.