Section II.—Graves (Art. 225 and 226)
The Allied and Associated Governments and the German Government will cause to be respected and maintained the graves of the soldiers and sailors buried in their respective territories.
They agree to recognise any Commission appointed by an Allied or Associated Government for the purpose of identifying, registering, caring for or erecting suitable memorials over the said graves and to facilitate the discharge of its duties.
Furthermore they agree to afford, so far as the provisions of their laws and the requirements of public health allow, every facility for giving effect to requests that the bodies of their soldiers and sailors may be transferred to their own country.
Note to VI, 225
An agreement between France and Great Britain signed at Paris November 26, 1918 (111 British and Foreign State Papers, p. 254) made provision for the care of British war graves. France recognized [Page 370]the Imperial War Graves Commission, constituted by royal charter of May 10, 1917, as the sole official body for the care of British military graves. The commission was granted extensive rights with regard to the repatriation of corpses, exhuming bodies from isolated graves, and burying them in cemeteries acquired by arrangement with local French authorities. Provision was made for common cemeteries and for the care of British cemeteries. Commemorative monuments were erected after agreement with the French authorities. An Anglo-French Mixed Committee, 4 honorary and 12 technical members, was constituted by the commission as its active organ. In consideration of the lump sum of one franc, the immovable properties of which the Governments of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Newfoundland, military units, or private individuals had become possessed by deed or gift with a view to the erection of commemorative monuments were transferred to the French Ministry of National Defense and War by a convention concluded at Paris December 28, 1938 (United Kingdom, Treaty Series No. 24 (1939), Cmd. 6003). The supervision and maintenance of the monuments on the 43 plots mentioned remained with the Imperial War Graves Commission.
The Government of the United States, represented by the chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission, concluded with the French Government on August 29, 1927 an agreement for the acquisition of sites for monuments (Treaty Series 757). The commission was created by act of Congress approved March 4, 1923. The French Government acquired the real estate of which the commission had become proprietor and undertook to acquire other sites which the commission required for the erection of memorials at the expense of the commission. In no case were the debts so incurred to “be susceptible of cancellation against any debt whatever of the French Government towards the Government of the United States”.
In the eight American military cemeteries in Europe 30,540 bodies were buried, while a total of 46,214 bodies were returned to the United States.
The graves of prisoners of war and interned civilians who are nationals of the different belligerent States and have died in captivity shall be properly maintained in accordance with Article 225 of the present Treaty.
The Allied and Associated Governments on the one part and the [Page 371]German Government on the other part reciprocally undertake also to furnish to each other:
- A complete list of those who have died together with all information useful for identification;
- All information as to the number and position of the graves of all those who have been buried without identification.