French and Russian World War One Memorial in Cemetery in Darmstadt

Pictures and text by Mark R. Hatlie

These pictures were taken on 12 February, 2006 in the forest cemetery in Darmstadt. This complex was built for French and Russian men who died as prisoners of war during World War One.

This complex is isolated from other sections of the cemetery by hedgerows. It consists of two parts which are hard to capture in one photo: a field of graves and a statue by a wall of names.
Here is one shot of the field of graves.
The figure is a male, presumably a mortally wounded soldier, who sadly reaches toward the mural showing several figures. According to Julia Arteno, a student of mine who investigated this memorial in one of my classes, this section, for the French dead, was built during the war. The memorial was built during the war and the original statue sent to France after the war. A copy was put in place of the original.
The figures on the mural appear to represent a family: parents, a wife, a child, possibly a sister.
The names of the 240 French dead appear to be listed in no particular order.
Opposite the statue are the graves of 170 foreign soldiers, primarily Russians.
The markers list the name and, as far as could be ascertained at the time, the regiment, date of birth and date of death.
Some of the men buried here were Serbs.

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Mark R. Hatlie (ViSdM)
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