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Germany and Kosovo are signing the Agreement on German war graves in the Republic of Kosovo

Signing of the Agreement on German war graves in the Republic of Kosovo

Signing of the Agreement on German war graves in the Republic of Kosovo, © Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Kosovo

10.08.2022 - Pressemitteilung


Today Ambassador Rohde and the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz signed the agreement on German war graves in the Republic of Kosovo.

The agreement aims to make final provision for the German war graves located on the territory of the Republic of Kosovo and to ensure that the maintenance and care of these graves is carried out in a worthy fashion and in accordance with the provisions of applicable international humanitarian law.

To achieve this, the Federal Republic of Germany will i.e. be given the opportunity to restore and care for the German war graves and German war grave sites in the Republic of Kosovo at its own expense, to group together the graves of those German war dead whose exhumation and re-interment it considers necessary, as well as construct memorial sites in a simple and worthy fashion at those locations where it is no longer possible to exhume the German dead buried.

The Republic of Kosovo will supportively guarantee the protection of German war graves and the right of permanent repose for German war dead on its territory, as well as make available the areas of land serving as German war grave sites as places of permanent repose for German war dead without charge.

The German War Graves Commission will be tasked with the implementation of the agreement, and in doing so be enjoying the full support of the Republic of Kosovo.

In this regard, Dirk Backen, Secretary General of the German War Graves Commission stated: “We are pleased that our work in Kosovo now has a contractual basis and can finally begin. We have more than 900 open burial reports that we will be verifying in the coming months and years. We have trained our own staff for these operations. A bone find recently reported to us near Stanovc, will now be examined by us. This enables us to clarify the identity of the dead more than 75 years after the war and to inform the families about their fate. This is a truly good development  and a way forward for our work.”

After the signing, the agreement will now undergo the respective national procedures for its ratification.

Ambassador Rohde thanked Minister Gërvalla-Schwarz for the signing of the agreement, acknowledging it as just another important step in strenthening the Kosovar-German relations.

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