Le Petit Donon is one of the northern summits of the Vosges Mountains. In 1914 a short but fierce battle took place between the German and French armies. It ended with a German victory.
The dead were buried on the mountain in individual or collective graves, marked by wooden crosses. In 1916, corporal Ludwig Gebhardt was commissioned by the German military command to replace the crosses with steles engraved on sandstone blocks. Each stele includes a serial number, regimental number, rank and name of the buried (if known).
After the war the bodies were reburied at other cemeteries. The many steles remained and can be found around the summit.
Because of coastal erosion, a lot of the Atlantic Wall bunkers in Denmark are on the beach or in the sea. These fortifications were built to last forever but now the sea gradually destroys them. I’ve spent a week travelling along the coast of Jutland to shoot these impressive structures.
Today it's nine years ago I visited the abandoned WWII airfield Bluie East Two in Greenland. It was part of a boattrip to the Knut Rasmussen glacier and I didn’t know anything about the airfield and its history. This visit came as a complete surprise. We stayed there for two hours, which was way too short for me. I was so impressed by the place that I whished I could stay there for the rest of the day. The rusting vehicles in this remote and desolate landscape created a surreal sight.
After returning home I started collecting information about the airfield. Resources were limited, but I learned something about the presence of the United States in Greenland during World War II. Although I regret the pollution caused by the remnants of the airfield, its unknown and fascinating story inspired me.
My trip to Bluie East Two was a memorable one and it moved me into the direction of photographing historic landscapes.