Memorial to German Postwar Refugees in Marburg

Pictures and text by Mark R. Hatlie

These admittedly very poor pictures were taken on 15 Februrary, 2006 in the main city cemetery of Marburg.

The marker has claimed a sizeable area in the cemetery. The cemetery itself is on very steep ground, so the gravesites and markers are often as if elevated above the pathways. In this case, the marker is placed as if on a stage or altar. The path is wider here and there are benches for sitting. Groups of people who were driven from their homes in 1945 and after and fled to western Germany hold memorial services here.
The red and white wreath is from "Der Kreistag der Kreissausschuesse des Landkreises Marburg Biedenkopf" (The Conference of County Committees of the County of Marburg Biedenkopf). The other one reads, simply, "In quiet remembrance" and is from Bund der Vertriebene und die Landsmannschaften, the organizations of German refugees.
The marker reads, "Those who were driven from their homelands for their dead".
This photo shows a wreath-laying ceremony on 22 May, 1971. Former members of the German units which fought against communist forces (the Baltenregiment in Estonia and the Baltische Landeswehr in Latvia) placed wreaths for their units here. The 22nd of May is significant as the day that those forces liberated the city of Riga from Bolshevik forces in 1919. (The photo is the property of the Baltische Historische Kommission. All rights reserved. The original can be viewed at the archive of the Herder Institut in Marburg. 120 BR-BLW X1, 140o.)

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Mark R. Hatlie (ViSdM)
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D-72072 Tübingen

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