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Photographer's Note

Pictured here is a fountain named "The Fates" situated at the Leeson Street entrance to St Stephens Green park, in south central Dublin

The fountain was a gift to the people of Ireland from the German Federal Government. It was a monument to show thanks for the hand of friendship offered from Ireland to Germany at the end of the second world war.
The Irish put forth great efforts to help German refugees after World War II focusing mostly on helping German children.

They did this mainly through Operation Shamrock and the “Save the German Children Society”

Following World War 2, Dr Kathleen Murphy founded the “Save the German Children Society” with the aim of inviting traumatized German Children to Ireland to help them recover from the nightmares and destruction they witnessed during the war.

As Europe was still devestated from the effects of the war and the millions who had lost their lives, the Irish government of the time did not want to be seen to be overly friendly to Germany. Soon after the creation of the programme, the government handed control of it to the Irish Red Cross.

It was in 1946 that the Red Cross formally asked the allies to allow 100 children to be sent to Ireland from Germany, where they could recover from the horrors of war they had witnessed. Despite severe reservations by the Allies, in May of that year, the first wave of child refugees arrived in Dun Laoigaire in Dublin. Within a year of this, over 450 German children between the ages of 3 and 10 were living with foster families in Ireland.

Within 3 years, most had returned home, but 50 chose to stay with their new families in Ireland.

The German government was so grateful for this act of kindness that they commissioned Josef Wackerle to design a fountain to be sent to the Irish to show their appreciation.

The three figures represent the three fates, Urd (past), Verdandi (present) and Skuld (future). In Norse mythology these three female figures are known as norns, who rule the destiny of Gods and men.

it is surrounded by three plaques, engraved in English, German and Irish, which state

"This fountain, designed by the sculptor Josef Wackerle, is the gift of the people of the German Federal Republic to mark their gratitude for Ireland’s help after the war of 1939-45. The bronze group portrays the three legendary fates spinning and measuring the thread of man’s destiny."

Because the norns are sometimes to be considered higher than the gods the German government thought that this fountain depicting the three norns would be appropriate in demonstrating their thanks to the Irish.

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2639 W: 12 N: 6308] (22092)
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