German Army liaison Sgt. Maj. Kay Wittmann stands, overlooking one of his countrymen’s graves in Fort Knox’s Main Post Cemetery at Fort Knox Dec. 1, 2021. In all, 17 German POWs are buried at Fort Knox.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – German Army liaison Sgt. Maj. Kay Wittmann stands, overlooking one of his countrymen’s graves in Fort Knox’s Main Post Cemetery at Fort Knox Dec. 1, 2021. In all, 17 German POWs are buried at Fort Knox. (Photo Credit: Jenn DeHaan) VIEW ORIGINAL
German Army liaison Sgt. Maj. Kay Wittmann stands, overlooking one of his countrymen’s graves in Fort Knox’s Main Post Cemetery at Fort Knox Dec. 1, 2021. In all, 17 German POWs are buried at Fort Knox.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – German Army liaison Sgt. Maj. Kay Wittmann stands, overlooking one of his countrymen’s graves in Fort Knox’s Main Post Cemetery at Fort Knox Dec. 1, 2021. In all, 17 German POWs are buried at Fort Knox. (Photo Credit: Jenn DeHaan) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT KNOX, Ky. – It’s a long-standing annual tradition dating back more than half a century — German Army soldiers visit Fort Knox’s Main Post Cemetery where several German World War II prisoners of war are laid to rest.

German Army liaisons Sgt. Maj. Kay Wittmann (left) and Lt. Col. Siegfried Balk walk through Fort Knox’s Main Post Cemetery Dec. 1, 2021, during their visit to honor German prisoners of war buried there.
German Army liaisons Sgt. Maj. Kay Wittmann (left) and Lt. Col. Siegfried Balk walk through Fort Knox’s Main Post Cemetery Dec. 1, 2021, during their visit to honor German prisoners of war buried there. (Photo Credit: Jenn DeHaan) VIEW ORIGINAL

After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the visit in 2020, however, two German Army liaisons from Fort Benning, Georgia, returned this year. According to Sgt. Maj. Kay Wittmann of the German Army, the experience was very humbling.

“I really appreciate that the U.S. takes care of the graves,” said Wittmann. “It’s an honor for me to be here to see this. In the past we were enemies, and now we’re friends and allies. To see how we take care of each other is impressive.”

The grave of German POW Frederick Wolf is one of 17 at Fort Knox’s Main Post Cemetery. One Italian POW is also buried there.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The grave of German POW Frederick Wolf is one of 17 at Fort Knox’s Main Post Cemetery. One Italian POW is also buried there. (Photo Credit: Jenn DeHaan) VIEW ORIGINAL
German Army liaisons Sgt. Maj. Kay Wittmann and Lt. Col. Siegfried Balk are joined by Fort Knox Cultural Resources manager Criss Helmkamp and historic preservation specialist Matthew Rector during their visit to the Fort Knox Main Post Cemetery Dec. 1, 2021.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – German Army liaisons Sgt. Maj. Kay Wittmann and Lt. Col. Siegfried Balk are joined by Fort Knox Cultural Resources manager Criss Helmkamp and historic preservation specialist Matthew Rector during their visit to the Fort Knox Main Post Cemetery Dec. 1, 2021. (Photo Credit: Jenn DeHaan) VIEW ORIGINAL

According to Fort Knox historic preservation specialist Matthew Rector, the tradition of German liaisons visiting the cemetery dates back to the 1960s. In total, 17 German POWs are buried at Fort Knox.