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The German soldier cemetery
The German Soldier Cemetery is located on the corner of Herkaus Manto st., at the turn to Melnragė. The memorial grounds are comprised of two separate cemeteries: to the soldiers and civilians, who died during World War I, and to those, who died in World War II.
The cemetery was first named Heldengräber, Heldenfriedhof – the Cemetery of Heroes. There were 127 people buried here. The cemetery was established after World War I. The names of the fallen were engraved in tombstone tablets.
In the Autumn of 1931, a 4 metre granite monument with a metal cross and with the date 1914–1918 was placed in the centre of the cemetery. This was a project proposed by Paulius Giesingas, the Klaipėda city constructions advisor, and funded by the citizens of Klaipėda. The monument is dedicated to the Klaipėdians, who have fallen during World War I in 1914–1918 for their homeland in Germany and for their motherland in the Klaipėda region. In 1938, in memory of the late former president of Germany and honorary citizen of Klaipėda, Paul von Hindenburg, the memorial was named Hindenburghain.
When World War II broke out, the cemetery was expanded: until 1945, around 1,300 people were buried here, most of whom died during the Autumn of 1944, when the German armies were being pushed out of Lithuania. After World War II, the German prisoners of war, who died during their sentences in the camps in Klaipėda between 1945 and 1948, were also buried within the territory of the cemetery. In the 1960s, the cemetery was levelled to the ground and the granite monument that stood in the middle was disassembled in 1970.
In 1995, the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e. V. initiated cemetery restoration works. German soldiers, who died in other parts of Western Lithuania during World War I and II, were also brought into the cemetery.
The memorial was ceremoniously unveiled and sanctified in 1998. The newly placed memorial plaques contain the names of those, who have fallen, and a separate memorial stone was laid down to commemorate the soldiers, the crew, and the civilians on board the ship Füsilier, which sank on November 20th, 1944. In 2005, the remains of 832 German soldiers, who died during World War I, were gathered from Panevėžys and reburied in this cemetery.
Submitted: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I.Simonaitytės biblioteka | http://www.klavb.lt/lt/
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