A German perspective: 'It's our heritage too'

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Two German participants in events commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme tell the BBC News website why it is so important that they take part.

"Many people think the Germans were guilty but in my opinion all the European countries were guilty. The new generation think as Europeans - we want to go forward."

Mario Zutt, a 35-year-old accountant from Biskirchen, 100km north of Frankfurt, is going to France for the Somme commemoration as one of 10 German "re-enactors" on a march organised by the National Army Museum in London.

He will walk alongside about 100 British men, half of whom had ancestors who would have faced his own great-grandfather, Jacob Zutt and his great-great-uncle Herman Emrich across the front line.

Germans and British together will be dressed in their own reproduction uniform, set up Living History campsites along the way and share rations.

The irony is not lost on Mario but he points out he has taken part in war re-enactments with former "enemies" before - "We have a very good friendship, we re-enactors are like family," he says.

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