Polish graves at the Perlacher Forst cemetery in Munich

The cemetery at the Perlacher Forst, Munich
The cemetery at the Perlacher Forst, Munich 2018
The cemetery and its history


Due to Munich's steady population growth there was a shortage of free space in the city's cemeteries at the end of the 1920s. For instance, in 1929 the East Cemetery was completely overcrowded. Thereupon plans were made to build a new cemetery for up to 100,000 graves on a 100 hectare site at Schwanseestraße. The Stadelheim prison was nearby. Since there was a wide strip of land between the building and the planned cemetery, the planners took over the site. The implementation of the project was entrusted to the city council architect, Hermann Leitenstorfer. It was to be Munich's largest and most beautiful cemetery complex. A chapel was built in the middle of the complex, from which there ran radial avenues surrounded by hedges. Furthermore, trees were planted along the avenues, thereby linking the entire complex to the nearby forest that gave its name to the new cemetery.

Although the complex had not yet been completed the cemetery was opened on February 1. 1931. The chapel was not to be built until two years later. Initially workers and the poorest of the poor were buried in the cemetery. But it was not long before the National Socialists seized power and political reprisals increased. Over 1,200 people were executed in the neighbouring Stadelheim prison until 1945 (the exact number is unknown). Some of them were buried in anonymous mass graves to wipe out any reminder of the deeds. Other corpses were sent to anatomical institutes.

 

Stadelheim


Stadelheim prison dates back to the end of the 19th century. From 1942 onwards it was one of several places of execution used by the 'Volksgerichtshof'. Until then death sentences had been carried out in Berlin-Plötzensee: but the increasing imposition of death sentences then led to decentralisation. Stadelheim prison served as the execution site for south-eastern Germany and a part of the occupied territories. At the end of the Second World War more than four thousand urns were buried in the cemetery, most of them containing the mortal remains of the victims of the Dachau concentration camp.  The cemetery was partially destroyed by an air raid on Munich at the beginning of January 1945. The radial cemetery complex was also changed when the prison was extended in the 1950s.

 

Groves of Honour and Memorials


After the Second World War it was decided to revive the cemetery and to set up groves of honour and memorials at the sites where victims of the Third Reich had found their final rest. The neighbourhood of Stadelheim prison turned out to be significant for the new purpose given to the cemetery. Among those executed and buried there were members of the Weiße Rose, a resistance group against National Socialism.

 

The victims of the Dachau concentration camp


The urns of the victims from the Dachau concentration camp had originally been buried in various Munich cemeteries after cremation in the camp, but now the city council decided to bury them in the first Grove of Honour, which was built in 1950. Among the prisoners who had died were Germans, Austrians, Czechs, Poles and people from the former Soviet Union, France and the Netherlands. Altogether 44 burial grounds, each containing 96 urns, were created. Every burial ground was given its own memorial stone. A fountain with mosaics and a Stone of Hope were erected in the centre of the complex. The grove was planted with lime trees, symbolising justice, love, peace and homeland. The number of victims on the memorial stone at the entrance amounts to 4092.

Mediathek
  • View of the Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich

    The Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich

    View of the Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich
  • Grave of Sophie and Hans Scholl. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich

    Grave of Sophie and Hans Scholl

    Grave of Sophie and Hans Scholl. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich
  • Grave of the victims of the Dachau concentration camp, Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich

    Grave of the victims of the Dachau concentration camp

    Grave of the victims of the Dachau concentration camp, Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich
  • Memorial stone for the 4092 buried victims of the Dachau concentration camp, Am Perlacher Forst cemetery, Munich

    Memorial stone for the 4092 buried victims of the Dachau concentration camp

    Memorial stone for the 4092 buried victims of the Dachau concentration camp, Am Perlacher Forst cemetery, Munich
  • Memorial in memory of murdered forced laborers, prisoners of war and former concentration camp inmates, Am Perlacher Forst cemetery, Munich

    Memorial at the Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich

    Memorial in memory of murdered forced laborers, prisoners of war and former concentration camp inmates, Am Perlacher Forst cemetery, Munich
  • Granite plate commemorating the fallen Polish soldiers, topped with an eagle. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich

    Granite plate commemorating the fallen Polish soldiers

    Granite plate commemorating the fallen Polish soldiers, topped with an eagle. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich
  • Das Gefängnis Stadelheim am Friedhof Am Perlacher Forst, München.

    Das Gefängnis Stadelheim

    Das Gefängnis Stadelheim am Friedhof Am Perlacher Forst, München.
  • Grave of the murder victims of Dachau concentration camp at the Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    Grave of the murder victims of Dachau concentration camp

    Grave of the murder victims of Dachau concentration camp at the Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • View of the cemetery, on the right side the chapel. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    View of the cemetery, on the right side the chapel

    View of the cemetery, on the right side the chapel. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • View of the chapel. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    View of the chapel

    View of the chapel. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • A freestanding monument. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich

    A freestanding monument

    A freestanding monument. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich
  • View of the chapel. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    View of the chapel

    View of the chapel. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • Graves of the members of the White Rose: Sophie and Hans Scholl (the Scholl siblings) and Christoph Probst at the Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich

    Graves of the members of the White Rose

    Graves of the members of the White Rose: Sophie and Hans Scholl (the Scholl siblings) and Christoph Probst at the Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich
  • Grave of 96 murdered inmates of Stadelheimer prison. On the stone uncovered in 1996, the names of all the victims were displayed. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    Grave of 96 murdered inmates of Stadelheimer prison

    Grave of 96 murdered inmates of Stadelheimer prison. On the stone uncovered in 1996, the names of all the victims were displayed. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • The names of the 96 murdered prisoners of the prison Stadelheim. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    The names of the 96 murdered prisoners of the prison Stadelheim

    The names of the 96 murdered prisoners of the prison Stadelheim. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • Grave of the murdered of Dachau concentration camp at the Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    Grave of the murdered of Dachau concentration camp

    Grave of the murdered of Dachau concentration camp at the Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • Memorial stone: Grave of the murdered of Dachau concentration camp in the Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    Grave of the murdered of Dachau concentration camp

    Memorial stone: Grave of the murdered of Dachau concentration camp in the Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • Memorial for Forced Laborers, Prisoners of War and former Displaced Persons. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    Memorial for the murdered

    Memorial for Forced Laborers, Prisoners of War and former Displaced Persons. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • Memorial for Forced Laborers, Prisoners of War and former Displaced Persons. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    Memorial for the murdered

    Memorial for Forced Laborers, Prisoners of War and former Displaced Persons. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • Memorial for forced laborers, prisoners of war and former concentration camp inmates (Displaced Persons) at the cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    Memorial for forced laborers, prisoners of war and former concentration camp inmates

    Memorial for forced laborers, prisoners of war and former concentration camp inmates (Displaced Persons) at the cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • Granite plate commemorating Polish soldiers topped with an eagle. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    Granite plate commemorating Polish soldiers

    Granite plate commemorating Polish soldiers topped with an eagle. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • Granite plate commemorating the Polish soldiers.The grave in the background. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    Granite plate commemorating the Polish soldiers

    Granite plate commemorating the Polish soldiers.The grave in the background. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • Grave of Polish soldiers. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    Grave of Polish soldiers

    Grave of Polish soldiers. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  • Grave of 96 people who were murdered in Stadelheim prison. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.

    Grave of 96 people who were murdered in Stadelheim prison

    Grave of 96 people who were murdered in Stadelheim prison. Cemetery Am Perlacher Forst, Munich.
  •  View of the chapel, Cemetery at the Perlacher Forst, Munich

    View of the chapel

    View of the chapel, Cemetery at the Perlacher Forst, Munich