The next day we woke up and got in the car. When we decided to go to Cairo, my grandfather asked if we could go to Al Alemein. During WWII his brother, my great-uncle,, was drafted into the German army and sent to North Africa. After only being there a few days, he was killed in a car accident. My grandfather never saw his brother’s body and never knew where he was buried. In the 1950s, after the war, Germans, Italians and Americans all went to North Africa and found all of the bodies of dead soldiers. The bodies were moved to memorials built by each country and buried there. So my grandfather wanted us to see if his brother was buried in Al Alemein.
I spelt for most of 3 hour car ride to the coast. When we got there, it was very obvious which building belonged to the Germans. The building is in the shape of an octagon with German flags outside. When we got to the building, a Bedouin man offered to show us around. We told him what we were looking for and he left to go get a book.
When he returned, he had book which had a list of each person that was buried there based on the region in Germany they were from (how German of them to make a book!). We looked under the Prussian section and found my great-uncle’s name! We then found the Prussian section of the building. Every solider that had died in North Africa, whose bodies had been found, were buried underneath this section of the building. Over the iron casket was a plaque with a list of all those buried there. We again found my great-uncle’s name.
It was really neat to be the first members of my family to go to this building. We took lots of pictures so when we went home my grandfather could see everything. He was so grateful that we had found where his brother was buried. With all of the unrest in Egypt, we have not been able to go back. But one day, I want to be able to take my grandfather back so he can see it for himself.
We then went to Alexandria for lunch. I was so excited to be in such an ancient and famous city! To be honest, there is not much there to see that is ancient. The city is so old that it has been built on top of what used to be there. Add the fires and destruction throughout thousands of years and its just like a lot of other modern cities. We had a good lunch though!