Rare Nazi wall slogans to be lost forever

WITHIN weeks, an Occupation relic will be gone forever.

Festung Guernsey project coordinator Paul Bourgaize alongside the two Nazi slogans found and temporarily restored on a wall in a classroom of the former Boys’ Grammar School. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1295593)
Festung Guernsey project coordinator Paul Bourgaize alongside the two Nazi slogans found and temporarily restored on a wall in a classroom of the former Boys’ Grammar School. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1295593)

WITHIN weeks, an Occupation relic will be gone forever.

During the Second World War, two propaganda slogans and the Nazi eagle and swastika were painted on a wall at the former Boy’s Grammar School in Brock Road.

Now the Guernsey Housing Association is redeveloping the site and the wall will soon be torn down.

Preservation group Festung Guernsey spent 10 weeks uncovering the historic slogans.

Project coordinator Paul Bourgaize said it was sad to lose them, but the wall had been photographed and recorded. ‘It is a shame, but this is progress,’ he said.

Comments for: "Rare Nazi wall slogans to be lost forever"


How can it possibly be progress to destroy something from our Islands history. Its very sad.


This is something that one absolutely cannot afford to lose. I am aware that the swastika (a symbol that has its roots in primitive religious sects) has become synonymous with all that is evil due to it being appropriated by degenerate murderers, but preserving this relic will do much to epitomise how Guernsey is accepting dark elements of its past and that it, like many other Euorpean places, was once lowered to the depths of human depravity.

We cannot ignore the past, no matter how unsavoury, as it is the past that has set in motion the events/state of affairs of the modern age and retrospective analysis serves to ensure that such calamities are averted in the future. That's why I would recommend putting great emphasis on these relics as they are a part of the story of how humanity functions today.


Why not take that piece of wall and relocate?

Island Wide Voting

The Google translator suggests the right hand slogan reads something like " Germany must live and we shall die if we must"

Pity PB is blocking the other slogan


The other slogan is probably based on a quote from Bismarck -

“Man muss das Unmögliches verlangen, um das Mögliche zu erreichen.” (Otto von Bismarck)


See 9 below for translation.

B Le Maitre

So Environment are get cross if a fence is half an inch too high but historic vandalism is fine?

I'm still surprised that nothing more was done with the guy that took a digger to part of a Miras battery.


Idea certainly has the right idea, this is a priceless part of the Islands heritage which must be preserved.


Preserve us from the pathetic heritage lobby. You've got your goddam photos. Now get the damn thing down, pronto, and get on with the job.


Martino. What next? maybe you could lobby the Polish government to level the Auschwitz concentration camp so they could build a housing estate. Thank God not everyone is like you!

Pepe Le Pew

Martino may be a bit on the ruthless side when it comes to heritage issues but comparing the Auschwitz memorial to this piece of Teutonic graffiti is misrepresenting his point completely.


Ted, could you please tell me the difference between a concentration camp, a labour camp & a death camp? It's just that you seem to have very strong opinions towards this matter so obviously you have knowledge on this subject which maybe more useful than google etc etc. I await your reply which I think will be very intriguing if you facts are right which im sure they will be. Thank you


Sick note, I don't intend to be rude, but I don!t think it is likely that Ted will respond any time soon for the last tie he posted it was January 19th.

However, I will make the differences clear:

A concentration camp was where political prisoners or so-called racial or biological 'deviants' or those who carried out rebellious acts, such as subversive youth groups, were incarcerated within as punishment. They would be subject to a brutal regime of manual labour and live in squalid, though often regimented, conditions, which would lead to starvation, infection and so death for many inmates. Most importantly, their sole purpose was punishment and demoralisation.

Conversely, death camps were places, such as Sobibor and Treblinka, of which the sole purpose was to have inmates murdered as efficiently as possible through gassing in chambers. The only individuals who had some chance of survival were those who were skilled in practical trades, such as carpenters, goldsmiths and seamstresses, as they would produce goods for both the camp operators, staff the crematoriums where victims were incinerated and assist in the upkeep of the camps environment as a whole.

Unfortunatley, quite a few of those workers would be murdered either by the deputy camp commandants or the

chief himself so that they could indulge their sadism.

Labour camps, on the other hand, were used to aid the German war effort, which involved the employment of workers from various places in Europe to assist in the manufacture of armaments- a more frequent activity in the latter part of the war as Armaments' Minister Albert Speer recognised the importance of using existing facilities in order to make armament production more economical and efficient. However, conditions were poor, like the concentration camps.

Auschwitz was unique inasmuch that it had a concentration camp, extermination facilities (gas chambers) and scientific laboratories wherein SS doctors would experiment on inmates, especially twin children, in order to 'unlock' the secret behind the so called 'Herrenvolk'(Aryan Master Race) and develop new, more efficient techniques for sterilising people such as gypsies- those deemed to be a biological threat to the Aryan race.

B Le Maitre

I think the hidden text translates as "you must try the impossible to achieve the possible", or words to that effect


Perhaps 'You must yearn for......


Please explain...... Forgive my lack of knowledge on this subject i'm very keen to find out what it means. Also whilst we are on the subject of German, could you tell me what the saying 'Albeit marc fri' they have it over the death camp gates at Dachau.

Island Wide Voting


Google 'Arbeit Macht Frei'


My vote is to extract the piece of the wall and display it somewhere.


In principle that sounds perfectly reasonable to me - it would be a good addition to the Occupation Museum and wouldn't hinder the development of the site.

One thing crosses my mind though - surely Festung Guernsey would have already proposed that if they thought it was reasonably possible? (that's presuming they didn't of course).


A little bit of history vanishes

Thank you Paul for photographing it

Never ever forget history Martino, what legacy will you leave? Strange how Castle Cornet & Martello Towers survived!!


Must be someone here who can give an accurate translation.



When you pass on from this planet, would you like a Head Stone on your grave site or perhaps you would prefer not??

You obviously weren't on Island during the Occupation?

It's all part of Guernseys' History and not to be forgotten.


Bee, if I remember rightly, you should perhaps avoid giving history lessons.....!


My Grandmother was here during the occupation and she told me would be more than happy to rid the Island of the memories (think she may have been talking of her generation that lived through it)of these invaders and their illegal activities we see on a daily basis. Not sure i agree entirely with her and its good to have the museums with all the history for those that choose to go and look.

As for remembering the occupation i have no recollection of it as i and i`m sure most who are alive today can`t remember a thing about it.


Martino is right. It's like all those Elephants. Pandas and Whales. We have the David Attenborough films, lets just wipe them all out and get on with a bit more progress.


The whole purpose of those David Attenborough documentaries is to encourage the masses to appreciate the supreme value of the environment and thus to ensure that further action is taken to mitigate adverse ecological changes. The same sentiments can be applied to this situation, yet the object behind conserving historical artefacts is to achieve spiritual enlightenment, rather than to safeguard the physical environment. Therefore, we cannot simply just accept that we were victimised by an evil regime and allow the articles to vanish, we must have them preserved as they will act as a subtle reminder that historical wisdom will enable us to ensure that we don't remain in an unenlightened world, but are able to use our own initiative in order to create ourselves more promising futures. In that respect, your post is rather ironic as you claim that those documentaries must now be eliminated to allow us to advance, but it is keeping them 'alive' and cementing the information in our brains and taking action accordingly that will enable our environment to be enhanced physically and us to progress spiritually.


May i suggest you go and preach up at plienmont point (between the hours 1am and 5am)? i`m sure someone will turn up to listen to your garbage? wont they?



Do you know of something called 'wisdom'; advice that should be taken in order to develop spiritually ?

All what I am saying contains an element of truth. Would you ever criticize some of the most outstanding playwrights for producing works that reflect their worldview, namely J.B. Priestley or Tennessee Williams ?


Ed most of your posts on just about every topic ends up with the same old stuff.

Sugared Brazil Nut

Maybe Ed missed a hint of sarcasm in blindOrange's post before once again becoming inebriated by the exuberance of his own verbosity.....

And Tennessee Williams?? More like Kenneth Williams.


Festung are just a group of boy soldiers trying to find the illusive trench shovel. They should think about all the poor people that went through what they did before pasting it everywhere. Countless thousands of pounds in unearthing things that were buried for a reason, they need to get a grip and stop thinking about their own selfish pleasures, get rid of it all, it does not and will never serve any purpose, its not as if we have a million pound tourist trade because of it all is it.



Notsostupid - This part of our history is not important for tourists but for the locals who were left here abandoned by the British government during WW2.We have not forgotten.


Pop over to continental Europe and have a look at Oradour sur Glane, or go a bit further into Poland to see Auschwitz-Birkenau.

There you will see the real suffering of people under the Third Reich.



Nazi terror inflicted acute misery wherever German forces invaded. It was not merely restricted to the extermination centres such as Auschwitz- everybody in a Nazi-occupied country suffered greatly at their hands. Guernsey people were living in a state of perpetual fear knowing that engaging in activities deemed subversive or failing to comply with their German leaders the latter would have subjected them to severe punishment.


I absolutely appreciate that our States have an appalling rep for destroying historically important buildings/selling them off to developers so they can destroy them and fill them with UK retailers, but really, don't we have enough 'reminders' of the Occupation absolutely everywhere without having to preserve some random Nazi vandalism written by persons, unknown?


Perhaps to a nationalistic Guern during the War this may have appeared as nothing more than vandalism carried out by infiltrators of evil from a hostile nation, but there is a quirky aura about such relics inasmuch that they are held in greater admiration than present day graffiti. This exposes an intriguing aspect of the human psyche (for some individuals at least) as, if a similar illustration was made today, it would be dismissed as the work of a dossing street artist (though I am not insinuating that all street artists are idlers) who 'decorates' a wall in order to enlighten the masses to their apparently hidden genius.


Ed, when you've left home, wash your own pants and pay taxes I'll heed your point of view, however overly verbose and pompous.

Until then, shut up and go clean your room.


Are you insinuating that my ostensibly childlike naivety is an obstacle to you heeding my wisdom ? If that's the case then I sincerely recommend that to erase that ill conceived concept from your mind and replace it with one that is compatible with an advancing (slowly progressing ) society- accept that the wisdom from that of a youth can be just as credible as the sagacity from an adult. The upshot from rigidly applying theories that derive from conventional wisdom will not always be desirable.

Do you see the logic behind what I am saying in my previous post ?


OK, let me be more concise, Ed.




One of the counters to wisdom is foolishness

You would be "wise" to heed the following:

“Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words.”

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

guern abroad

That would be then to hasten the progress to self destruction.


I think I have found the translation " ANYONE FOUND DEFACING THESE WALLS WILL BE SHOT "


Not even the malicious nature of that statement will shatter my firm belief in what I view as a historical relic worth conserving. It's the precise statement made that warrants it preservation ; the explicitly evil quality of the statement does much to epitomise how the barbarism of the Nazi regime engulfed Europe.


Yes JohnT - but that one was left by the headmaster, not the Germans!!


Yes Ted we must never forget how we were abandoned by that warmonger Churchill .


If you take a look at what happened to a lot of the cities in the UK and even further away in Malta during the second world war then you will realise that Churchill did Guernsey a big favour by moving the troops out.

Town. Dweller

If you read the full article in the Press Paul Bourgaize states the slogans are not the original artwork, but have been 99% restored by Festung Guernsey.

If the group had found anything original the wall would have been kept. Asit was they were happy to photograph it and let it be knocked down.

I am not a member of Festung or connected to them but the comments stating German `artefactz` should not be preserved is ludicrous and very short sighted to future generations.


If you are correct that they have been 99% restored they probably fall into that group of historic artifacts containing the broom that George Torode's workmate had used to sweep the streets for twelve years. Original but it had three new handles and five new heads.

Dave Jones

That fact is true.

I was shown around the school in the early days of planning and went to see this bit of German graffiti it was barely legible, it had suffered from the ravages of time and the paint work had peeled.

I was told they were going to try and pick out the lettering so they could record it before demolition took place, which is what they have done.

Trying to preserve the plaster work would be a futile exercise we have been advised, as it would undoubtedly crack trying to remove it. I am awaiting a full translation of the text from Paul which I will pass on when I get it,

Dave Jones

Translations are as follows;

L/H Side "We must demand the impossible to get the possible accomplished".

R/H Side "For Germany to live we may have to die".

Island Wide Voting

Thanks for that translation

Would it be worth substituting the word Guernsey for Germany and painting both slogans behind the Bailiff's chair in the States Chamber ?

Dave Jones


An interesting thought

Pepe Le Pew

I certainly agree with you on the LH one Ray - it would be a lighthearted reminder to our Deputies what the people who elected them are like sometimes. The other one is perhaps a little on the melodramatic side!


@ Scarlett

If I remember rightly your comments on certain subject matter are totally irrelavant and quote ' pompous'and just a tad bit heckling, son't you think it would be a good idea to put your heckling to States Members on any subject that you may have strong beliefs about. If any??????? Rather than heckling those who make comments on certain sites.


No, I 'son't' (don't...?) think you are 'remembering', Bee, not even a 'tad bit', I think you are stating your opinion of my observations, which is totally subjective, personal (to you) and what you are absolutely entitled to do on here.....

just as I have done to Ed, politicians or anyone else I choose to....

which is actually, fyi, Bee, what comments boards are for and why people come here.

Right, back to you for more incisive, grammatically interesting observations and history lessons, maluv!.....:)

ps. for the record (and purely to satisfy my never-ending curiosity), it was you that got shot down in flames for your entirely incorrect, misinformed and somewhat insulting observations about the Occupation, wasn't it.............?



Your P.S. doesn't ring any bells with me re: Occupation History lessons? Unless you're referring to the present occupation of Sark?

One query, what has happened to the German Bunkers dotted around the coastline? Sold off no doubt as desirable accomodation, as were the Martello Towers. All Guernsey History. Why not destroy the German Underground Hospital? If one wishes to obliterate any remembrances of the Occupation Era.



FYI Scarlett

Yes I did get involved with an individual who inferred that those that decided to stay on Guernsey during the Occupation were Sheep being herded by the Occupying Forces. Which was NOT SO. I took exception to that observation.

As your memory is failing Scarlett take your own advice 'DO SHUT UP!'


Dear god, Bee, how do you react when people really insult you? I dread to think - does it often end up at the Police station - ?

No memory fail, a simple mistake, it happens, Bee, even to you. Apologies.

As for your overly reactive, super aggressive retorts to my original brief, innocuous comment to you regarding the giving of history lesson and subsequent enquiry (I wasn't sure, hence I asked - politely, or so I thought), I wouldn't dream of telling a lay-dee to 'SHUT UP' (as a gentleman I have broader shoulders and can take it - and ignore it), but what I will say is....

DO CALM DOWN, dear, even your less evolved relatives of a similar name know they should save their stinger and choose their battles with considerably more aplomb than you seem capable of at the moment.


I had to smile when I read a certain young 'poster' referred to his, 'wisdom'. Ah yes, I remember when I was 16 and new it all, but now, some 60 years later, I think that I am finally reaching that goal.



Are you alluding to me ?

W H Bonney

The fact is - they are not even the original artworks anyway - someone has painted over them so if anyone wanted to re create them - go buy a tin of paint & write it yourself - it will be as original as these are!

And one more thing - my grangfather lived through the occupation in Guernsey & I can assure you that anyone from that generation would say tear it down & smash it to pieces. It isnt nostalgia - its what the Germans used for inspiration whilst they were holding Guerns against their will, having killed many of them to show they had control of the island...

Shame on any Guernseyman that wants to keep this


I couldn't agree with you more on both your points, WH.

It seemed quite obvious to me that they had been repainted, and therefore are not the actual 'originals' at all.

Who are 'Festung Guernsey', btw? Does anyone know? What are their associations with the Occupation? Were they there? Were their families? Or could it be that they are a group of over grown schoolboys who are morbidly obsessed with the war and Nazis?

I would genuinely like to know.

Both sides of my family lived through those terrible times, and not one of them gets the feel good factor from the apparent need to have constant reminders of it and the verging on obsessive need to preserve every last piece of what were some truly terrible times for them, and I mean, not one.

If any of those on here ranting on about how we should 'preserve' this poorly renovated piece of Nazi graffiti are in doubt, try actually speaking to an Occupation surviver, you might be surprised to hear what their thoughts are on the subject.

Oh Dear

Scarlett Festung Guernsey are a group of people who restore wartime paraphernalia. I think it's basically a hobby to them.

I think it's important to preserve these items, I know the people that were here, during the war, would rather things were removed but they are a part of our history. These artefacts (bunkers etc.) bring tourists into the island and are a great learning tool for local children. What better way to learn than to see the original objects?

Oh and please don't resort to your usual angry ranting just because I disagree with your statement.


'usual angry ranting...'

Please, enlighten me with examples so we can discuss, OD.

I am not talking about not preserving anything from the Occupation, simply that I can see no need to preserve absolutely everything, and fail to see what anyone can 'learn' from a few small examples of anonymous graffiti restored with Dulux.


Well said Scarlett and W H Bonney.

I would add that the trouble with these heritage obsessives is they can never see the wood for the trees. Every tiny little thing they find or unearth is deemed vital to our heritage and their 'protect it all' philosophy does tend to detract from the value of our true historic treasures. This is one of the reasons why I cannot take this Festung lot too seriously.

Oh Dear

Look through virtually all of your posts, you're quite agressive.

Terry Langlois

Martino - you seem confused. Festung are not trying to preserve the graffiti and are satisfied having taken photos. So your criticism is misplaced.


That's fine Terry, they've now made their position on this one clear, but judging from their supporters on here it was an act of historic vandalism tantamount to removing all traces of Ausctwitz, the Martello Towers and even endangered wildlife. People tend to blow their credibility when they come out with such silly statements.

PS to Oh Dear, I don't think you meant me with your last comment, but just in case you did I'd invite you to re-read virtually all my posts again.

Oh Dear

Not to worry Martino, this site doesn't display correctly on my browser, it's difficult to see where the reply hyperlink is.


Well said W.H. my Grandmother was of the same opinion.


who would have thought there would be such outcry over some graffiti being removed. Guernsey is so ahead of the times looking at Graffiti as arts and culture where most countries view it as vandalism.


I don't think anyone including Paul B himself wanted the wall protected if one reads this article. All Festung have done is to restore the writing for photographs to be taken so that a historical record of this exists.

Why is that so bad? And calling people pathetic for wanting to preserve things physically or in this case photographically is in itself pathetic.


Martino you are incorrect in the preserve all statement you have posted. It is the unique, important, and best that is part of Festung Guernsey`s remit for conservation. Contact them for more info.


Lets stick to the facts

Its another guernsey shambles


Would anyone be able to tell me how you translate the Waffen SS moto into English? I've done it in Czech, Polish, South American, but I have had little success. So far I'm sure it's 'My honour lies in loyalty'