Historical record of the creation of the association


Armand DURLEWANGER Mr, in walking, passing through the pass of Le Linge, meets a war veteran of 1915 with his grandsons. With tears in the eyes, he regrets that this high place where are fallen so much brave men during the terrible battles of 1915 is transformed in rubbish tips and let fallow; Le Linge that had been classified "historic monument" in 1921 was " more abandoned that the more crumbling feudal ruin of the Vosges ".

"The following year being the fiftieth anniversary of 1918 ", DURLEWANGER Mr " decided to give back to Le Linge his true face of witness of a historic drama, to do to Le Linge a memorial of a common suffering to the men of two peoples formerly in war, then reconciled by-above the cross ". He constitutes a team of land clearer and shovel people that started then the operation of renovation of the battlefield called " operation of the memory " made up largely by of the young people of the Europe Youth Hostel of Colmar.


During the works of clearing by this team of voluntaries, done especially on the remaking of the 1st and 2nd German trenches, several skeletons of French soldiers were exhumed, locations marked by of the white crosses.

October 3rd: a committee, made up of eminent personalities, decides the building of a memorial inside of which will be fitted up a museum of the memory of the war of the Vosges 1914-1918. A national subscription is opened for the erection of this memorial planned for 1970. This committee writing the statutes of the new association includes then:

  • M. Jean d'ARMAU DE POUYDRAGUIN, son of the General Paris - Paris
  • M. WETZEL, principal private secretary to the prefecture of the Haut-Rhin - Colmar
  • M. KUBLER, mayor of Selestat
  • M. HEMMERLE, General Manager of the "Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace" - Colmar
  • M. le Dr. GRUNENWALD, Chairman of the reserve officers of Colmar
  • M. VOGELEISEN, senior citizen of the State Education - Munster
  • M. WISSON, SNCF agent - Wihr au Val
  • M. SCHUSTER, mayor of Orbey
  • M. RAFFNER, president of the "Souvenir Français" - Orbey
  • M. DURLEWANGER, historian - Colmar
  • M. FLECKINGER, manager of a painting firm - Colmar
  • M. GRAFF, senior citizen - Munster
  • M. HERZ, architect of the "Bâtiments de France" - Colmar
  • M. DUPUY, retired non-commissioned officer - Colmar
  • M. HELSTROFFER, manager of the "Auberge de la Jeunesse" - Colmar
  • M. SCHARFF, photographer - Colmar
  • M. OBERLIN, interdepartmental vice principal of the ONAC - Strasbourg


April 15th: Meeting at Colmar of the General Constitutive Assembly. The statutes of the new " association of the memorial of Le Linge " are registered at the magistrate's court of Colmar. Association goals: to combine the good wills, the efforts and the own means to assure the safeguard of the battlefield of Le Linge and the protection of his natural site. The association of the Memorial of Le Linge takes the continuation of the Operation To Remember set up by Mr. HAS. DURLEWANGER; during this meeting, the decision to erect a Memorial with Museum that will redraw the fight history in this region in 1915 is confirmed and precise. At last, the Committee decides to carry to his presidency Mr. Maurice GINTZ, reserve captain, industrial to Annecy, former fighter of Le Linge in 1915.
The Committee - Director is thus constituted:

  • Presidents of honour: MM The generals de VERNEJOUL, GRUSS and Jean de ARMAU DE POUYDRAGUIN
  • President: Maurice GINTZ
  • Vice-president: Auguste RAFFNER
  • Vice-president: André BAS
  • Secretary: Antoinette DURLEWANGER
  • Treasurer: Michel DUPUY
  • Works inspectors: Arthur WISSON, Jean KACHLER, Norbert FLECKINGER
  • External relations: Armand DURLEWANGER
  • Relations presses: Edouard HEMMERLE, P.L. MARCHAL
  • Technical counsellor: Hugues HERZ
  • Assessors: Robert WEISS, GEORGE, Joseph ANCEL, Joseph VOGELEISEN, René SCHUSTER

During this year, the committee proposes itself to let the crest release as well as the French lines below the German lines. Outside of the special competitions, it is to note that a kernel reduces of volunteer ones takes part in the different necessary activities for the discount in condition to the battlefield, to know: Mr. and Mrs BOSSHARTH, MM. WEISS, DUPUY, WISSON, FLECKINGER, GEORGE.

May: With the competition of a section of the 9th Regiment of the Genius of Neuf-Brisach, the crest is cleared and partially deforested to render accessible it to the visitors.

Jointly, another team of the 9th Genius realizes set it difficult up of a big mast of 20 meters; since May 24, the three colors float in this high place to 1000 meters of altitude. Will participate equally to clearing and to the placement in site value, the 30th Group of Hunters of Lunéville and the 152nd Regiment of Infantry of Colmar.

June: The service of the equipment of the Haut-Rhin divides the esplanade by the placing of coated and places several road signs of the "historic sites and monuments" to the principal intersections serving Le Linge.

August: The Service of the Historic Monuments does to begin the works of consolidation of the 1st German line. This work season will have seen the exhumation of twenty new French soldiers (of which 3 identified ones); amounts that must add to the ten hunters (of which 1 identified one) exhumed in 1968. At the same time, were exhumed five German soldiers.

September 21st: By a competition of extraordinary, come circumstances in pilgrimage to the Linen, Mr. Louis DORVAL there discovers by chance the cross of his brother Marc, that, without that it some is warned, precisely is inaugurated the same afternoon during a ceremony presided by Mr. GINTZ, president of the Memorial of Le Linge.


March 30th: Beginning of the 3rd country of works on the site of the Linen. Teams of volunteer ones of Colmar, Munster, Hohrod, students of Rennes and of the "Diables Bleus" of Marseilles participate in the business of clearing and of cleaning.

May: is discovered the secret entry of the German principal blockhouse "fort carré" to the north site: the access gallery spotted to 5 meters of depth is released to the price of huge difficulties and gave the periscope intact which is in the Future Museum of the Memorial.

November 16th: Meeting of the committee of Le Linge, the President gives reading of the new composition of the office and commissions to make the association live. At the end of the year, Mr. Henri CLAUDEL, President of the UNC of the Haut Rhin (in replacement of Mr BAS) is designated as vice President. Were also in the committee Mr. Marcel Mayor and town councillor of Orbey and Mr. Jules GUIDAT, President of the UNC of Orbey.


August 10th: Inauguration to Le Linge of the plate to the " 10000 dead French that the blood impregnated this earth in the course of 1914-1918 "; this plate of 120 kg compound of different alloys with notably the cartridges and bullets found on the battlefield. This plate was unveiled by Miss SERGENT, of l'A.N.F.P.A . from Paris, whose father, ordering the 115th BCA, was injured mortally to Le Linge on July 27 1915.

August 12th: The committee of the memorial and the civil and military personalities meet together to the pass of Le Linge around Mr.DISSLER, sub-prefect and Mr.HERZ, architect of "Bâtiments de France", to determine the emplacement of the future museum.


June 12th: The town council of Orbey gives his agreement to the establishment of the museum on the municipal piece of ground. State secretaries of Education and of the "Anciens Combattants" give their agreement to patronize the committee in his work of the "memory".

June 23rd: Model presentation (work of Mr. CHOMEL) kept for the building of the Memorial to the "Chambre de Commerce" of Colmar.


April 29th: a tall panoramic display frame, work of the painter François FLECKINGER from Colmar is setting up at the north site of the battlefield.

July 25th: the crumbling of a trench discloses the rests of two French hunters.

September end: To the request of Mr. GINTZ, President, the Colonel (ER) Joseph GROLLEMUND of Colmar accepts taking the functions of secretary in replacement of Mr. JUNCKER.


October 8th: Visit to Le Linge of the general GRUDZIM, minister of the fighters of Poland.


January: Thanks to the intervention of the Prefect BURGALAT, the permit for the building of the Museum Memorial at last is granted by the Secretariat of State to the Culture.

August: A section of 50 men of the 30th Group of Hunters of Lunéville undertakes the first works of earthwork for the building of the Memorial.

September 11th: Burial to the cemetery of the Wettstein of the rests of a young hunter of the class 1915 (121ème BCP) found in July to the pass of Le Linge.

October: The Franzetti-Demangeat enterprise of Orbey, builds the foundations. At the end of the month the building takes forms.


July to November: The enterprise pursues the construction of the basic work of the memorial.

August 24th: Exhumation of the rests of a French soldier not identified.


April to November: Pursuit of the basic work.

May 26th: Under the impulse of M. Marcel MAIRE, war veteran of Orbey, MM. Demangeat, Kohler, Perrin, Pierré, Werlé, Marchand settle oneself firmly the permanences all the thursdays and fridays, at the entry of the battlefield, for the construction of the memorial.

November 24th: M. François TISSERAND, war veteran of Le Linge, author of the work " Le Linge Tombeau des chasseurs" and Honorary President of the association is named knight in the order of La Légion d'Honneur.


April 20th: The new mayor of Orbey, M doctor Schneider accepts representing the town within the association.

June: The businesses Demangeat of Orbey and Bund-Bergaminelli of Kaysersberg realize the trench and the pose of an electric line doubled of a line of telephone, the all buried leaving the Glasborn to supply the Memorial of Le Linge. Since May, the basic works of are considered like finished.

October22nd: Decease of Mr.Auguste RAFFNER, vice-president of the memorial of le linge and president of the Orbey French memory.


July 9th: Meeting of the committee and persons assuring the permanence to the pass of Le Linge. On this occasion is exposed the program of the internal installation of the Museum.

September 13th: Death of our President of Honor, Mr. François WEAVER, inhumation to Bourg-en-Bresse.

November 9th: Transmission of FR3 and TF1: fight evocation on the of the Vosges summits in 1914-1918, under the title "Et l'exemple pour leurs vertues", centered essentially on the fight of Le Linge of July to October 1915.


April 10th: Committee meeting to Orbey and members assuring the permanence to the pass of Le Linge. The opening of the Museum is conceivable for the year 1980?

June22nd: In the night, sabotage by X... (Fire) adjacent shack to the battlefield, containing many traces found on the battlefield and a part of the library (books and postal cards). Of this shack, it remains only ashes. The loss more important is without protests "Le Lire d'OR". In addition, the flag of the big mast disappeared. An investigation of French police force is opened...


April 2nd: Meeting to Colmar and to Orbey to set up the methods of opening of the Memorial. The proposed date is August 9, second Sunday of the withheld month traditionally for the commemorative ceremonies to the cemeteries of the Wettstein and Baerenstall. The winter in altitude (1000M) having extended itself lately, MM. Mantzer and Fleckinger were able to resume only in mid-April their works of internal installation of the Museum.

June 7th: Sunday of Pentecost: opening to the public the museum public in his superior party. Import duties: 3 Francs by adult and 2 Francs for the groups. Much people.

August 9th: Official inauguration.

They came by thousands to the collar of the Linen for the inauguration; the "Sous Préfet", the General Counselor, civil authorities and military officers, standard bearers, the firemen, clicks it, a district brass band, troops and also of the "old".

In fact, some "old" bloody fight of July 1915 are present. Some are sat, the others stand. M. NARGET Camille, 85 years, 120th BCP, come from the Seine and Marne. M. DEMANGE Léon, 86 years, 121st BCP, come from Bruyères (Vosges) and that was anxious to review the place where, in July 1915, it was buried living during three days in a hole of obus. M. MONNOT, 94 years, the oldest person of the former fighters of Le Linge Roche Lez Beauprés (Doubs).


M. HENRY Pierre, 85 years, of the 106ème BCP, coming from Saint-Dié (Vosges) with the flag of his battalion.

M. MARTY Louis, 85 years, coming straight ahead from Castelnaudary, coming with of Jean Christophe his great-grandson who has in his hands a talk.

Moving instant, Mr. MARTY Louis the old one, that fought here even on the battlefield of Le Linge, climbs on the podium helped by John Christophe that will read the message of "Grand papa"


"Mesdames, Messieurs, c'est par la voix de mon arrière petit fils que je m'adresse à vous. Qu'il me soit permis tout d'abord de féliciter toute l'équipe qui a participé à la réalisation de ce mémorial en souvenir de ceux qui sont tombés sur cette terre d'Alsace. A l'occasion de l'inauguration, c'est un grand honneur pour moi d'envoyer les couleurs au nom de tous les anciens combattants du Linge morts ou survivants. Puisse ce drapeau rayonner sur les tombes de tous ceux qui ont fait don de leur vie pour la libération de leur pays."

Le Colonel Grollemund

"Morts pour le France, par vos sacrifices, nous avons gardé honneur et liberté. Puissions-nous pour les enfants qui grandissent, dignement, préparer un avenir de paix. Et puis, chers et glorieux chasseurs, ne sommes-nous pas toujours sous votre sauvegarde. N'êtes-vous pas chargés d'une autre consigne, plus belle encore que celle que vous accomplissiez dans une oeuvre de sang. Non seulement vous montez une garde éternelle sur ce sol, pour prouver qu'il est pour toujours français, mais encore vous veillez sur les deux coeurs de la France et de l'Alsace, pour garantir l'inaltérable union. Notre reconnaissance, comme votre gloire, ne s'éteindra jamais".

M. HOGG Roland, délégué général pour le Haut-Rhin du Souvenir Français, vice président du Mémorial du Linge

Le Sous-Préfet Thill

THIS IS the Under Prefect that cut the three-colored ribbon that blocked the entry of the museum and the guests were able to visit it after this inauguration, under the conducting of the members of the committee of the association.

The presidents

Maurice GINTZ

1968 to 02/11/1977

Intérim : P. JUNCKER Délégué Général

1977 to 1978


1978 to september 1989

Intérim : Vice-Président : Paul BISCHOFF, Marcel MAIRE, Pierre MAURER, Norbert FLECKINGER

1989 to 1991

Colonel (ER) Pierre CRENNER

1991 to november 1997

Intérim : Vice-Président Marcel MAIRE

1997 to 1999

Général (2s) Pierre-Alain PAULUS

april 1999 to april 2008

Intérim : Roland BODO

april 2008 to may 2009

Composing of the committee 11/06/2016

Members of the bureau

Honor President : Guy Jacquey - Mayor of Orbey et Conseiller Général

Général MULLER Dominique
  first Vice-President
BODO Roland
  second Vice-President
General treasurer
DUPONT Rose-Blanche
JARDY Dominique
Responsable travaux
General secretary
HENRY Régine
Assistant treasurer
HENRY Régine
Assistant Keeper

Assistant secretary

Members of the committee ( assessors )


Members of the committee ( assessors )

  • FERRY Bruno
  • GARAND Thierry
  • GERBER Henri
  • GIRARDIN Robert
  • JACQUERE Jean-Paul
  • SAVOYEN Daniel
  • MUNIER Maurice
  • PERRIN André

Members of Honorary


Honorary member

MAIRE Marcel

Honorary Vice-President


Honorary founder member


Honorary keeper