Volkstrauertag (People's Mourning Day) in Germany Date in the current year: November 13, 2016

Volkstrauertag (People's Mourning Day) in Germany Volkstrauertag (People's Mourning Day) is an official public holiday in Germany that honors those who died in wars and conflicts or as the victims of violent oppression. It is observed on the second Sunday before the Advent each year.

Volkstrauertag was first proposed by the German War Graves Commission in 1919. Originally it was a day for commemorating German soldiers killed in World War I. The day of remembrance was first held in 1922. However, it wasn't a legal holiday in the Weimar Republic.

Volkstrauertag was first officially observed in its modern form in 1952 in the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). Its scope was broadened to include those who lost their life in both World Wars and those who died due to violent oppression.

An official observation of People's Mourning Day takes place in the Bundestag. It traditionally starts with the President's speech. Then the national anthem of Germany and the song “Der gute Kamerad” (also known as “Ich hatt' einen Kameraden”) are played. “Der gute Kamerad” is considered the Bundeswehr's traditional lament.

On the day, most German cities hold ceremonies that include solemn processions, prayers, speeches, laying of wreaths, a military guard of honor etc.

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