- 68216 Kayserberg-Vignoble, 68126, Sigolsheim
The National Necropolis is the final resting place for 1.601 French soldiers who died during the fighting for the Colmar Pocket. Near the necropolis, a monument was erected to honour the American forces who fought here under French Command.
In early 1945 Allied and German forces fought a series of fierce battles in what was known as the Colmar Pocket. German forces held this pocket which, protruded into the Allied lines, from November 1944 until February 1945.
During the fighting for the Colmar Pocket the Sigolsheim Heights, on which the necropolis and monument are located, saw heavy fighting. German forces dubbed the heights the Blutberg” (Bloody Mountain). It was a position which overlooked much of the lower lying terrain and had to be held at all cost. German forces put up heavy resistance but lost the position when Major Vonalt, commanding the German forces on the heights, fled. Most of the villages at the base of the heights were by then in ruins.
This is the fitting location chosen by Generals de Lattre and Guillaume, president of the Rhine and Danube Association, for a national necropolis where the 1.601 dead of French First Army are buried in 48 rows over 4,52 acres: 792 Muslims, 773 Christians and 19 Jews. Mr. de Lattre’s widow attended the inauguration on 2 May 1965.
The inscription at the entrance reads: On these slopes of the Vosges, in this Alsatian plain, in heavy snow and low temperatures, soldiers from France, Africa and the United States, commanded by general de Lattre de Tassigny, won the victory after vicious fighting during the Colmar battle 20 January thru’ 9 February.
Overlooking the cemetery, the memorial built by the Rhine and Danube Association in tribute to the American divisions who fought under French command for the liberation of the Colmar Pocket, was inaugurated on 13 May 1995.