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ÖSTERREICH AUSTRIA
Bundesland: Niederösterreich Lower Austria
Bezirk: Zwettl  

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Edelbach

2538 Edelbach the former village of Edelbach was situated in an elevated area around 6 km east of Allentsteig. Edelbach was one of the about 50 villages which together with the market town Döllersheim were evacuated in 1938 so that the area could be used as a military training area by the German Wehrmacht. The training area was originally named after Döllersheim. Today, the training area is still in use by the Austrian army and is named after Allentsteig.

When the village Edelbach was evacuated in 1938 it consisted of about 60 houses. During World War II, Edelbach served as a detention camp (Oflag XVII A) for captured officers of the French army. A few tenants were allowed to live in Edelbach until 1952. Between 1946 and 1955 the training area was occupied by the Soviet army. After that, the training area was used by the Austrian army. From 1956 on, former residents of Edelbach and the village of Merkenbrechts were allowed to visit the cemetery to take care of the graves of their families. However, this later was made impossible when an ammunition depot was set up in Edelbach a few years later. In 1998 the former cemetery was cleared of brushwood but the tombstones were removed and the graves were levelled. Each year an open-air holy mass is celebrated on All Saints Day.

The parish church Sankt Stephan [left] was located at the highest elevation of the village. The last holy mass was celebrated on the 2nd of August, 1938. During World War II the church was used as a detention place for prisoners of war. From 1952 on it rapidly was reduced to ruins. The tower of the church collapsed in 1979.

[http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truppenübungsplatz_Allentsteig, http://www.doellersheim.at/doellersheim/post_scriptum/Uber_das_Buch/uber_das_buch.html, http://www.doellersheim.at/doellersheim/post_scriptum/Gedenken/gedenken.html]


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