The Sandweiler German war cemetery
is a World War II cemetery in Sandweiler, in southern Luxembourg. It
contains the graves of 10,913 German servicemen from the Battle of the
Bulge in winter 1944 and spring 1945. Of these, 5,599 were buried by the
American war graves service during the war; American casualties were
buried at the
Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial about 1.5 kilometres
(0.93 mi) away in Hamm.
After the war, following an agreement reached in 1952 between the Grand
Duchy of Luxembourg and the Federal Republic of Germany, 5,286 servicemen
were moved to Sandweiler from 150 different cemeteries throughout
Luxembourg. They had mostly lain in mass graves for which only incomplete
records were available and the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund
Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge) set about identifying as many as possible.
As a result, 4,014 of the 4,829 in the communal comrades' graves are now
identified and listed.
Planning for the cemetery began in May 1952, and it was inaugurated on 5
June 1955, ten years after the end of the war. The ceremonial opening took
place in the presence of more than 2,000 relatives of the dead, whom the
Volksbund had brought to Sandweiler in special trains. With them came
also delegations of school children from every German federal state.
In 2005, a special ceremony attended by civil and military representatives
from Luxembourg and Germany as well as members of youth groups, took place
to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the cemetery.
The last remains interred were those of an unknown German soldier
discovered in the forests of Schumann's Eck near Wiltz in the fall of
Architect: Keally & Patterson;
Landscape: Alfred Geillert Jun.
pictures courtesy of Nicholas Philpot