Ohlsdorf Cemetery – Soviet War Graves
On 22 June 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The first Soviet prisoners of war arrived in Hamburg that summer. These prisoners were sent to two main POW camps or Stammlagern:Stalag X A in Schleswig and Stalag X B in Sandbostel. They were forced to work under inhumane conditions in various work details in the city, including at the Norderwerft shipyard and in Hamburg-Waltershof. Even before the end of 1941, the cemetery administration created a burial ground for the POWs in the active part of the Ohlsdorf Cemetery on what is now Linnéstrasse, just north of Chapel 9. This burial ground now holds the graves of 384 soldiers from the former USSR who died as prisoners of war in German custody in Hamburg between 1941 and 1945. There were originally 307 graves here, but graves were added in the 1950s, bringing the total to 384.
It was not until after the war that the graves were marked with wooden name boards. In 1950, the Gardens and Cemeteries Department erected a central memorial stone in the burial ground with an inscription that originally read: ‘Here lie far from home 307 Russians from the war 1939 – 1945’. The inscription was revised in 1977 and now reads: ‘Here lie far from their home 384 Soviet prisoners of war 1941 – 1945’. The initiative to change the inscription came from Soviet authorities and their representatives in Hamburg, who had used the site since the 1960s for wreath-laying ceremonies and visits by organised tour groups. The wooden boards had been replaced by pillow grave markers made of Bentheim sandstone in 1957/58. An information panel at the burial ground explains the history of the site in German and Russian. This panel was the result of a project carried out by Helmut Schmidt University and the German War Graves Commission.
Hamburger Friedhöfe -AöR-
Opening and closing of gates (for vehicles):
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (April to October),
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (November to March)