Members from the Australian German community and Tatura and district residents gathered at the town’s German War Cemetery yesterday to commemorate the lives lost during war times.
The annual ceremony takes place at the cemetery each year, where there are 250 German serviceman, prisoners of war and internees buried at the site.
The German Honorary Consul General of Melbourne Michael Pearce welcomed guests and thanked Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Kim O’Keeffe and Victorian Shadow Minister for Veterans Tim McCurdy as well as other esteemed guests.
Cr O’Keeffe spoke about the history of Tatura and district’s wartime camps where there were four internee camps and three prisoner of war camps located throughout the area.
‘‘This is an occasion to remember all these victims of the tragedy of war,’’ Cr O’Keeffe said.
Gerda Winkler from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany noted the large crucifix in the centre of the cemetery, which was in place for the lives of those who could not be identified.
‘‘It allows us to have a dignified resting place,’’ Ms Winkler said.
She said she had been deeply moved by the culture of remembrance in Australia and all guest speakers noted it was a time for countries to learn from the past tragedies of war.
Veteran Lawrence Larmer moved audience members as he spoke about his time serving and that 70 years later he decided to write a letter of apology to the countries in which he had killed civilians.
The ceremony was followed by a special plaque unveiling at the Tatura Irrigation and Wartime Camps Museum, which recognised the museum’s collection being added to the Victorian Heritage Register and lunch at the Tatura Hotel.