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Bells of Peace – 2010

… how the things got started – we are looking back

For a rather long time the President of our society, Mr. Matthias J. Maurer, had observed the activities in other places, which had suffered severe destructions during wars and in which the people commemorated those occasions. During the researches for his book “Our Way to Halle” he learned, that in Halle something very special had happened at the end of World War II, even something unique concerning a major city in Germany.

Here the efforts of many brave people on both sides of the front could prevent that Halle would be completely destroyed by bombers and heavy artillery. The American forces under the command of Mj.Gen. Terry de la Mesa Allen and Col. Gerald C. Kelleher did not want to destroy Halle which up to that timE in essential parts and especially with its historic center  had remained undestroyed. In Halle itself brave people tried to prevent Halle from the worst fate but nazisforces like the SS wanted to prevent this. A real dangerous situation for the city and really in the last minute the prepared bombardement could be stopped.

Maurer had in mind to remember this the same way other places did, but those concerning their destruction.

What could a be better mean for this as the ringing of church bells?

Here in Halle the church bells should ring for the mostly peaceful end of the war in Halle and as sign of appreciation for those who risked their lives helping that way preserving the lives of thousand others and to save the historic city of Halle from being destroyed and to preserve this for the next generations.

That is why the bells of peace in Halle are ringing at 10.55 a.m. on April 19. It is the exact time the war ended in our town, that is what the after action reports of the US-Army are telling us. / Nach den After Action Reports der US-Armee endete der 2. Weltkrieg am 19. April 1945 um 10.55 Uhr; aus diesem Grunde läuten seit 2010 die Friedensglocken von Halle.

Finally in January 2010 after a lecture on that issue Matthias J. Maurer made the suggestions to representatives of the local churches to let the church bells ring every year on April 19 at 10.55 a.m. for 10 minutes because that was the exact date the war in Halle ended according to the after action reports of the American troops.

They followed his proposal and in the same year for the first time after the war the church bells rang in Halle and its sourroundings on April 19 at 10.55 a.m.

Maurer, who is in career terms as an attorney working, remembers: “On that day I had an appointment at court exact on 11.00 a.m. The court house is located at Hansering, a street close to the Market Place in Halle and I could see the church through the windows there when five minutes to eleven the bells began to ring. I felt the historic dimension of that moment and this gave me shivers down my spine. Eleven o’clock me and my collegue were asked to enter the court room still listening to the bells of peace and I was sure that only few people in Halle would know why at this time the church bells were ringing. I smiled impalpably and was just really happy. Then of course I again had to concentrate to the case which we had to debate.”

A beginning of an amazing story. Learn more in >>>HERE<<<