Soviet Memorial in main cemetery in Dortmund

Pictures and text by Mark R. Hatlie

These pictures were taken on 8 June, 2007 in the main cemetery (Hauptfriedhof) in Dortmund. The memorial is located across the street in the section labelled "Jewish cemetery" on some maps. It holds the old and new Jewish cemetery sections as well as several foreign gravesites.

This is the view shortly after entering the main gate of the "Jewish" cemetery. The graves on the left and the right are Jewish, but the Soviet memorial is already visible in the background.
According to information available inside the cemetery, this marker stood at the western entrance to the cemetery until 1964.
The top of the column reads, "To our fellow countrymen who died from fascist violence / In eternal memory from the Soviet people 1941-1945(Sootechestvennikam pogibshim v fashistskoi nevole / Na vechnoi pamiat' ot sovetskogo naroda 1941-1945.)
Throughout the area surrounding this column, there are smaller obelisks scattered about. 5095 people from the Soviet Union are buried here in mass graves.
And there is this little stone that reads, "for our comrades who fell in the grip of fascist terror / 1230." (Vechnaia pamiat' pavshim tovarishcham v tiskakh fashistskogo terrora / 1230.) The number might refer to the number of people buried here.
This newer marker reads in Russian and German "May their souls rest in peace."
The obelisks all have the same text, but with differing numbers of dead. This one reads, "Here rest the bodies of 365 Soviet citizens who died in fascist captivity in the period 1941-1945." (Zdes' pokaiatsia tela / 365 / sovetskikh grazhdan / pogibshikh v fashistskom plenu v period 1941-1945.)
This stone, almost hidden from view under a bush, reads in Russian and English: "In memory of 2136 comrades who died as victims of the Nazi terrorism in Germany." The "z" in Nazi is backwards!

The visit to this location was paid for by a research grant from the
American Public University System.
"Educating those who serve."

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