Commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War: Ringing of bells all over the world

02.11.2018 - Press release

The Federal Foreign Office and its partners all over the world will hold a large number of joint events and activities this autumn to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War. A highlight will be the ringing of bells all over the world. This idea came from the UK and is supported by the Federal Foreign Office. To mark this occasion, both partners jointly call for church or secular bells to be rung in unison in Germany

at 1.30 p.m. CET on 11 November 2018, the centenary of the Armistice,

in order to send a strong message of support for peace and reconciliation.

Bells will be rung at around midday on 11 November 2018 to pay tribute to the over 17 million victims of the First World War and to call for international understanding and reconciliation. The initiative is linked to 11 November 1918, when people in many countries spontaneously rang bells as a joyful response to the news of the Armistice.

In Germany, congregations including the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Kaiser Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche) in Berlin will join in the bell ringing. The famous ruins of the church tower are a striking warning against war and destruction. The bell ringing at 1.30 p.m. will be accompanied by prayers at the Cross of Nails from Coventry in the Hall of Remembrance in the ruins of the tower.

In the UK, the bell ringing will take place at 12.30 GMT, thus coinciding with the traditional parade held each year to mark Armistice Day. At the invitation of the UK Government, Federal President Frank Walter Steinmeier will attend the memorial ceremonies as the first German Head of State to do so. Events will also be held in Paris to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice. A large number of Heads of State and Government, including Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, will be in attendance.


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