Memorial to Soviet prisoners of war at Bergedorf Cemetery
The burial ground with the graves of Soviet prisoners of war now lies within the newer part of the Bergedorf Cemetery. When it was created in 1941, it was located in an empty area outside cemetery.
652 Soviet prisoners of war are interred here. The dead were wrapped in cloths and buried in rows. Nearly 550 of these prisoners died between November 1941 and May 1942 in the Neuengamme concentration camp due to starvation, epidemics and the deliberate killing operations of the SS. The Wehrmacht had transported 1,000 prisoners from the Wietzendorf POW camp on Lüneburg Heath to Neuengamme, where they were to be used as labourers.
The cemetery also holds 104 Red Army soldiers who died in various factories in the Bergedorf region. 92 of them perished between November 1941 and February 1942 in a camp in Lohbrügge. They were supposed to be put to work in a crankshaft factory in Glinde, but they were already completely debilitated and malnourished by the time they arrived at the camp.
Shortly after the end of the war, the Soviet Military Administration erected a wooden Orthodox cross in the grounds and installed the first memorial stone. In the 1950s, pillow grave markers were placed in the burial ground with the victims’ names and their dates of birth and death. These grave markers have been preserved to the present day.
In November 1986, a plaque with additional information was placed in the burial ground, and a Russian translation of the text was added a few years later. In 2002, a monument designed by the artist Grigory Yastrebenetsky (born 1923) from St Petersburg was erected on the initiative of the German War Graves Commission. It depicts a shackled prisoner in front of barbed wire. The commemorative site also includes a memorial stone placed by the Ukrainian Consulate General.