War Monument Monument to the Dead
(Metz, France)


The original war monument (see above) in Metz, France was finished in 1935. The sculptor was Paul Niclausse (Metz, 1879–Paris in 1958) and not Paul Miclaux as indicated on the postcard above. The main focus is on the two sculptured people at the bottom center of the monument. They depict an allegorical woman in mourning holding a dead soldier in her arms.

Other than the two main figures, the monument featured a relief (above the woman and the dead soldier) of an allegorical family left by the soldier sent to the front: a mother with a suckling babe in her arms surrounded by the grandparents. On the two sides of the monument are two WWI French soldiers represented in bas‐relief.

During the Second World War in 1940 the Germans who overran Metz tore down much of the monument so that only the allegorical woman and dead soldier remained. Please see the postcard below.


The caption on the bottom right side of the postcard reads “Das Deutsche Denkmal” which translates to “The German Monument”. As you can see, an inscription in gothic letters was added at the top of the monument by the Germans. In German it reads “Sie starben für das Reich” which translates into English as “They died for the Empire”. Sometime between mid‐January and mid‐March of 1945, the French removed the German inscription. Later another inscription was added at the base of the monument. In French it reads “Aux morts de la guerre” which in English translates to “To the war dead”. See photograph below.


Not legible, but in the bottom right‐hand corner the original inscription “érigé par le Souvenir français” remains. This translates to “erected in the name of the Memory of France” in English.

The information above was found on the French Internet web page at http://vdujardin.com/blog/metz-monument-morts-1914-1918. Véronique D. writes blogs about various historical monuments, buildings, and many other things. The photographs in this blog were taken in August of 2012. I have tried to faithfully translate much of what she wrote about the Metz monument.

Renée (Schliep) Winklmann
Page last updated January 10, 2015