Sections of Cemetery for Air Raid Dead in Karlsruhe

Pictures and text by Mark R. Hatlie

Skip to World War One | Skip to World War Two

These pictures were taken on 25 March, 2006 in the main city cemetery of Karlsruhe. The dead from Allied air raids are buried in three sections. Those from World War One are in one section. Those from World War Two are in two sections. There are 10 photos here of the first section and 16 from the other two.

World War One Air Raid Victims

The section for World War One dead is wedged in between two pathways. The post which stands the front of it is obviously much newer than the gravestones themselves.
When viewed from the side, the gravestones of soldiers who fell in World War Two are visible in the background. The head marker for those graves is right across the path (although not visible in this picture). Go to pictures of military gravesites.
On the left side of the post, it reads, "The use of air forces made the war total / Children, women and the elderly became participants in the war even far behind the front lines / 768 people died in air attacks on Germany, 168 of them in Karlsruhe"
On the other side, it reads, "German and French cities near the border were attacked from the air / The heaviest attack on 22 June, 1916, claimed 120 lives / 71 children who were visiting the Hagenbeck circus on the festival square on that Corpus Christi holiday were among dead"
Rectangular gravestones are arranged in pairs along the outside of the site, in front of the hedge. Each bears a cross, a name, and dates of birth and death.
Inside, the graves are shaped like crosses.
They have a laurel wreath, first and last names, and dates of birth and death.
Here is the gravestone of a five-year-old boy, presumably among those killed at the circus. His father had been killed at the front the year before. The grandparents remember their son at this site, probably for lack of any other marker for their son. The plaque they have added reads, "in loyal memory of our loving son".

World War Two Air Raid Victims

The section for the airraid dead for the Second World War is larger and more noticeable than the section for the First World War. The field of graves is open to two main paths with no dividing hedge.
There is a large statue of a mother and child at the head of the display.
The wreath at her feet reads, "With love and thankfulness / Your children and your grandson".
The view from the side shows the artist's name, Erich Lipp, and the date, 1955.
Behind the statue, there is a field of gravestones.
A mother and two daughters.
Here is the view from the back. The statue of mother and child can be seen in the distance.
They apparently ran out of space to bury the dead from Allied bombings and opened a new section. It is closer to the main entrance, but almost hidden in a corner of the cemetery that one would not happen to come across by chance. It is adjacent to the section for foreign wartime dead.
There are three crosses in the center. They read acros the top, "1939 Our Air Raid Victims 1945".
The arrangement of crosses in sets of three among rows of small headstones is typical for German military cemeteries of the Second World War.
Each stone bears the name of one or two individuals, together with years of birth and death.

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