War Memorials in Municipal Cemetery at Muehlacker

Pictures and text by Mark R. Hatlie

These pictures were taken on December 27th, 2005 at the municipal cemetery of Muehlacker between Stuttgart and Pforzheim. They show a memorials for the two world wars and the Franco-Prussian war. It was a rather gloomy day and a layer of fresh snow covered the area.

The field with the war memorials is near the center of the cemetery. This picture is what the visitor sees coming from the entrance. On the left, still out of view, is the main ensemble. There are graves along the right hand edge, back under the trees. The obelisk near the path is the 1870-1871 memorial.
This is left, up the stairs, the main ensemble.
In front of the list of the names of the fallen, three wreaths were recently placed, probably on the national day of mourning in November. The one on the right is from the local Italian community! The others are from the city of Muehlacker and the Volksbund deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, the organization that has cared for German war graves since 1919.
Above the figures, partially hidden by the trees, the text (which is from Matthew 11:28, but not marked as such) reads, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden (Kommet her zu mir alle die ihr muehselig und beladen seid). On the ground, mostly covered in snow, there are several gravestones.
The metal plates list the names of the fallen and missing from both world wars, in alphabetical order, with birth and death years.
The names of the fallen include women. The final "names" listed under the dead for the Second World War are Eight unknown German soldiers 1945 An unknown woman 1945 An unknown boy 1945.
To the right, a path leads away. On the left, there are gravestones and the crosses typical of German postwar military cemeteries. On the right, a row of gravestones.
Here the World War One crosses are visible in the background.
All the stones at this cemetery are round, unlike most I have visited so far. They show the name and birth and death dates.
At the other end, there is an obelisk to the Franco-Prussian War and two rows of crosses for the fallen of World War One.
Each cross is quite elaborate, with an iron cross, the words, Here lies (Hier ruht), the name and the regiment.
The eagle at the top of the Franco-Prussian War memorial appears to be out of focus because of the layer of snow on its wings.
The front shows the dates 1870-1871, the years of the war against France, an iron cross and a branch.
One side lists the battles of Woerth and Lichtenberg...
...while the other lists Sedan and Champigny. These were probably battles in which the unit memorialized here participated in. Interestingly, the monument gives no further clue as to which unit it is. It is probably the local Wuerttemberg infantry unit.
The three panels list a total of approximately 75 names. They are likely not the names of the fallen, but of all participants, as only a few names are marked with crosses, presumably those who died in the campaign.

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