An undated portrait shows Erich Kaestner. who died Jan. 1, 2008 quietly in a nursing home in Cologne at the age of 107, his son Peter Kaestner told The Associated Press. When France's second-last surviving veteran from World War I, Louis de Cazenave, died Jan. 20, the news made international headlines. But in Germany, which lost both world wars and has had to cope with the shame of the Nazi genocide for more than six decades, there is not even an organization keeping track of the remaining veterans. It was an American, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who famously reflected that 'old soldiers never die; they just fade away.' But the phrase seems to apply better to the quiet passing of the German believed to have been the country's last World War I veteran. (AP Photo)
Kaestner was born in 1900, and had just graduated from high school in 1918 when he entered the army, his son said.
Following training, he was sent to the Western Front to fight in France, but was never sent to the front lines, he said.
One lucky fellow.. in many ways
IIRC, a 110 year old WWI French vet just die too.
Ya’ just had to sink the Lusitania didn’t ya’?
Astonishing how long a human life can be - imagine the changes he saw in the world.
I can remember having a few WWI vets as patients at a VA hospital during the 80’s. That was pretty cool.
Most people think of World War I as a black and white war with some jittery silent movies.
Here are some color pics using a very early color process mostly taken by the French.
It’s surprising how color makes it all seem not so long ago.