French President Emmanuel Macron and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier attended a peace-themed concert on Sunday (local time) at Notre Dame Cathedral in Strasbourg where France borders east with Germany. A French orchestra and German violinists performed an ensemble concert where pieces of German composer Ludwig van Beethoven and French composer Achille Claude Debussy resonated with the hearts of the audiences.
Starting with the concert in Strasbourg to an event at the Arc de Triomphe on this coming Sunday, Germany and France – the invader and the victim 100 years ago – are to hold commemorative events for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I over the week.
World War I started back in 1914 when Germany and Austria carried out attacks. For four years, the war claimed the lives of a total of nine million victims including 1.4 million French troops and two million German soldiers, recorded as a tragic disaster in human history. However, 100 years after it ended on Nov. 11, 1918, the world is still sickened of exclusive nationalism and far-right populism with conflicts and divides ever deepening.
President Macron of the organizing nation said in a press interview on Thursday that the international community today resembles that of the 1930s between World War I and World War II, warning that Europe is ever divided as nationalism is spreading just as leprosy contaminates the continent, which is fueled by external forces. Far-right wingers, equipped with exclusive nationalist ideologies, prevail in some parts of Europe such as Austria and Italy.
Jung-Min Dong firstname.lastname@example.org