German War Graves Commission

The German War Graves Commission ( Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge in German) is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of German war in Europe and North Africa. [2] Its objectives are acquisition, maintenance and care of German war seriousness; tending to next of kin; youth and educational work; and preservation of the memory to the sacrifices of war and despotism.

Foundation in 1919

It was founded as a private charity is 16 December 1919 as the Recognized [German] Commission under the provisions of Article war grave 225 of the Treaty of Versailles . [2]

Members, Offices

By the 1930s, the Commission had established numerous cemeteries for German World War I dead. [2] During World War II , the Volksbund’s work was carried out by the Wehrmacht’sown serious service. [2]

After World War II, the Volksbund resumed its work in 1946 and soon established more than 400 war cemeteries in Germany. [2] In 1954, the German chancellor Konrad Adenauer , tasked the Volksbund with the establishment, care and upkeep of German war cemeteries abroad. [2]


To guard the memory of the victims of war and violence, to work for the peace of all nations and to guarantee the dignity of men, are the main goals in the statutes of the German War Graves Commission. All activities of German War Graves Commission have to harmonize with these general principles. [3]

Members and private donators

The Commission spent about 41 million Euro (in 2013). Two-thirds of this sum was financed by private donations. One third was paid by government and some states (maintenance of some serious war within Germany). [1]


Casualties, serious war, serious prisoner of war

The commission looks after “832 military cemeteries in 45 countries with about 2.6 million dead” and its work is carried out today by 8,000 honorary and 571 full-time employees. [1] Since the end of the Cold War , the Volksbund has access to Eastern Europe, where most World War II German casualties occurred. [2] Since 1991, 188 World War I cemeteries and 330 World War II cemeteries in eastern, central and south-eastern Europe have been reconstructed or rebuilt and about 759,110 bodies have been buried in new grave. [2] Maintenance of German war cemeteries in France is looked after by the German War Graves Maintenance Service(the “German Military Burial Maintenance Service”) known as SESMA . [4]

  • With regard to foreign countries, the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom, have decided to settle the case. [1] Requests on foreign war in Germany will be dealt with by the German War Graves Commission. [5]
  • On behalf of German Government the construction, repair and care of German War Cemeteries outside of Germany is dealt with by the Section of Care and Repair of War Cemeteries (in German: Referat Friedhofspflege und Bauunterhaltung). In 2010 the workload covered more than 330 war cemeteries of World War I and World War II and more than 800 war cemeteries / memorial sites of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. [6]
  • The German War Graves Commission (Volksbund) cooperates with and uses the files of Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) in Berlin (Register of German soldiers killed in action or who became prisoners of war). This office collects and preserves data and dog tags of active German soldiers of World War II. The Volksbund is in close contact with other tracing services, eg the German Red Cross . Information gathered on the subject of exhumation of bodies will be recorded by Volksbund. These records will be used to identify missing people (by dog tags ) and by update files.
  • The commission searches for war casualties and when found in Central Europe , Germany and Western Europe by the Volksbund exhumation served (in German: Umbettungsdienst). There were 36,943 exhumations in the year 2013. [1] Search for undetected burial places of war casualties is done by records of WASt, time witnesses, historical photographs of World War II cemeteries, assistance of local people and when new roads or houses are built . [6] Names of missing soldiers are remembered, eg in Rossoschka German war cemeterywe are cubing out of granite as we know it for the family members and as warning sign for future generations in their effort to live in peace. [7]
  • The exhumation service documents in a draft manual document for each body of a soldier, the dog tag (if still there), the rests of the clothes and other individual belongings, human height, characteristics of the human skeleton, state of dental notation to make it easier to identify later [8]
  • From about 6,200 cemeteries for German prisoners of war were reconstructed (state: 2011). All cemeteries for prisoners of war can not be maintained. So only a selection of prisoner of war cemeteries will serve the memory of those who died in war captivity. [9]

War grave database online

The German War Graves Commission offers an accessible database of 4.6 million individual names for World Wars I and II. [10] [1]

War cemeteries and war dead of World War I and II are also documented in these files (895,561 in 2010). Among these are war dead to Germany or persons who died within Germany. But only those are registered in the area of ​​civil cemeteries.

Further in this database persons can be found Who died by aerial bombing of cities , as prisoner of war or in s doing , Mostly foreign members of German auxiliary troops Who died in World War II or Even some members of Wehrmacht Who died before World War II Began .

A serious research request ( Grabnachforschungsauftrag in German ) can be sent online or as a hardcopy to Volksbund (German War Grave Commission) to clarify the unknown fate of a German soldier. As some family namesare very common it is important to mention all the names and the date of birth of the missing soldier . As additional data should be given if available: date of death , last unit ( Trumpentil in German ) and last letters. Often withdrawing troops could not bury their casualties. World war I was destroyed in Berlin during World War II, [8]by aerial bombing in February 1945, when the files of the office Zentralnachweiseamt ​​für Kriegerverluste und Kriegsgräber (ZNA) were lost. [11]

War cemetery database online

Volksbund also has an online database on war cemeteries. Data collected for each cemetery are location (geography) , how to reach, number of dead, race of military events in the region and architecture of the cemetery . [12]The search for war cemeteries can also be done in geographical order (country, cemetery). [13]

List of German cemeteries by country / conflict

German War Graves Commission has an online inventory of its cemeteries. [14] [15] Some of these cemeteries are described below:

First World War at Laventie German Military Cemetery, France
Australia – World War I & II
  • Tatura German Military Cemetery (Total Burials: 250)
Austria – World War I & II
  • List of German war cemeteries in Austria from: List of Soldatenfriedhöfen in Österreich
Belgium – World War I
  • Vladslo German War Cemetery (Total Burials: 25,644)
  • Langemark German War Cemetery (Total Burials: over 44,000)
  • Menen German War Cemetery (Total Burials: 47,864)
  • Hooglede German War Cemetery (Total Burials: 8,247)
Belgium – World War I & II
  • Lommel German war cemetery , (World War I total burials: 542, World War II: 38,560)
Belgium – World War II
  • Reconnaissance German war cemetery , (Total burials: 6,809)
Canada – World War I & II
  • Kitchener German War Cemetery , [16] [17] Ontario (Total Burials: 187)
Croatia – World War II
  • Split German war cemetery (Lovrinac)
  • Zagreb German war cemetery
Egypt – World War II
  • El Alamein German War Cemetery in El Alamein
France (Western Front) – World War I
  • Fricourt German War Cemetery (Total Burials: 17,027)
  • Vermandovillers German war cemetery (Total burials: 22,632) [18] Somme Department
  • Neuville-St Vaast German War Cemetery (Total Burials: 44,843)
France (Normandy) – World War II
  • Orglandes German war cemetery (Total burials: 10,152)
  • Huisnes-sur-Mer German cemetery en: Mausoleum of Mount Huisnes (Total burials: 11,956)
  • The Cambe German War Cemetery (Total burials: 21,222)
  • Andilly German war cemetery en: German military cemetery Andilly (Total burials: 33,085)
  • St Desire de Lisieux German War Cemetery
  • Marigny German war cemetery en: Marigny German War Cemetery (Total burials: 11,169)
  • Champigny-Saint-Andre German War Cemetery (19,831)
Southern France – World War II
  • Berneuil German war cemetery en: Berneuil German War Cemetery (Total burials: 8,332)
  • Dionyssos-Rapendoza German War Cemetery
  • Maleme-Crete German War Cemetery
Ireland – World War II & World War II
  • Glencree German war cemetery
Israel – World War I
  • Nazareth German war cemetery by: Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof in Nazareth
Italy – World War II
  • it: Cimitero Militare Germanico della Futa
Luxembourg – World War II
  • Sandweiler German War Cemetery (Total Burials: 10,913)
Netherlands – World War II & World War II
  • Ysselsteyn German War Cemetery , (Total World War I Burials: 85, World War II: 31,513)
Russia – World War II
  • Krasnogorsk German War Cemetery (POWs, near Moscow )
  • Rossoschka German war cemetery by: Deutsche Kriegsgräberstätte Rossoschka
  • Sologubovka Cemetery
Spain – World War II & World War II
  • Cuacos of Yuste German War Cemetery : Cementerio Alemán de Cuacos de Yuste
Tunisia – World War II
  • Bordj Cedria German war cemetery , Tunisia by: Soldatenfriedhof Bordj Cedria
United Kingdom – World War I & II
  • Cannock Chase German war cemetery (looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission ) (Total Burials 4,855)

See also

  • War-serious commissions in other countries
    • Austria – Austrian Black Cross (Austrian War Serious on the Vienna Central Cemetery is still being looked after by the German War Graves Commission. [19] )
    • France – Ministry of Defense [20]
    • Netherlands – Oorlogsgravenstichting [21] (Netherlands Wikipedia)
    • Russia – Association of War Memorials
    • United Kingdom – Commonwealth War Graves Commission
    • United States – American Battle Monuments Commission


  1. ^ Jump up to:f Arbeitsbilanz 2013. In: Frieden, April 2014, S. 1 AB-AB 12(PDF, 660 kB)
  2. ^ Jump up to:h German War Graves Commission homepage (in English)
  3. Jump up^ Satzung Volksbundes Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, § 3 – Aufgaben und Rechtsgrundlagen (Activities and legal basis)
  4. Jump up^ (en)Landscapes and memorial sites of the Great War: Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge – SESMA
  5. Jump up^ Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e. V. (Hrsg.):Arbeitsbilanz 2010.Sonderdruck 2011, S. 13
  6. ^ Jump up to:b Arbeitsbilanz 2010. In: Stimme & Weg, 2/2011, pp. AB 1-AB 12.
  7. Jump up^ Kriegsgräberstätte Rossoschka on the website of Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e. V. (in German)
  8. ^ Jump up to:b Beate Kalbhenn: Der Name ist entscheidend. Grabnachforschung durch den Volksbund. In: Stimme & Weg x / 1997, pp. 24-25
  9. Jump up^ Kriegsgefangenenfriedhöfe
  10. Jump up^ Online-Search for War Graves(in German)
  11. Jump up^ clio online, Themenportal 1. Weltkrieg
  12. Jump up^ Website of Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge: German war cemeteries in alphabetical order
  13. Jump up^ Website of Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge: German war cemeteries in geographical order (Land = country, Friedhofsname = name of cemetery)
  14. Jump up^ Inventory of German War Grave cemeteries in geographic order (Land = country, Friedhof = name of cemetery)
  15. Jump up^ Inventory of German War Grave cemeteries in alphabetical order
  16. Jump up^ Woodland Cemetery
  17. Jump up^ Kitchener
  18. Jump up^ Website German War Graves Commission: Vermandovillers cemetery in France
  19. Jump up^ Österreich betreut Kriegsgräberstätten. In: Stimme & Weg, 2/2011, p. 24.
  20. Jump up^ Ministry of Defense, SGA War Graves ( Archived2013-06-21 at theWayback Machine).
  21. Jump up^ Website of the Oorlogsgravenstichting in Netherlands

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