The Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial contains the remains of 5,076 American soldiers who died during the World War II. On 22 occasions two brothers rest side-by-side in adjacent graves. Most of the interred died during the Battle of the Bulge which was fought nearby in winter 1944-1945. Situated between the two flagpoles lies the grave of General George S. Patton Jr. The cemetery is administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission. Under a US-Luxembourg treaty signed in 1951 the US government was granted free use in perpetuity of the land covered by the cemetery, without taxation.
Not far from the cemetery entrance stands the white stone chapel, set on a wide circular platform surrounded by woods. It is embellished with sculpture in bronze and stone, a stained-glass window with the insignia of the five major U.S. commands that operated in the region, and a mosaic ceiling.
German fallen from the same battle are buried in the Sandweiler German war cemetery, about 1.5 kilometres away. The design of the tombstones are dark stone crosses compared to white tombstones of the American cemetery.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.