1 Air Division Miscellaneous

German Military Cemetery at Luxembourg

[Luxembourg Military Cemeteries]

This map shows the location of the German and the American military cemeteries in relation to the airport.

During the heavy fighting in the winter and spring of 1945 along the Luxembourg-Belgian and Luxembourg-German borders, the American war grave and burial service recovered the bodies of their own as well as German victims of war from the fighting zone and buried these in two provisional cemeteries in their own military zone. They are located approximately 1.5 km apart in two adjacent municipalities; the German in Sandweiler, the Americans in Hamm.

When the US Army Burial Service had completed its work, the German cemetery totaled 5,599 graves. It was divided up into several blocks of 300 graves, each one being identified by a small wooden cross.

In 1952 an agreement was signed between the governments of the Dukedom of Luxembourg and the Federal Republic of Germany with respect to the provision for the German soldiers graves on Luxembourg territory.

In addition to those German soldiers buried in common graves in Sandweiler, there were also at that time graves of German soldiers in 150 other Luxembourg municipalities with a total of 5,286 dead. These were mostly mass graves for which only incomplete records were available. The Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (German Association for the Provision of War Graves) transferred these bodies to graves in Sandweiler where sufficient grounds were available for expansion to enable a cemetery for German soldiers to be finally planned. This operation also offered the opportunity of identifying the unknown dead.

The laying out of the cemetery was begun in May 1952. It was the first cemetery of the 1939/45 war which the Volksbund had been able to build outside of the Federal Republic of Germany. The ceremonial opening took place in June, 1955 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 the development of the cemetery the Volksbund made use of donations by German school children to a considerable extent.)

A narrow path through the wood leads to the entrance with its wall to the front. In the center is a narrow gate with hand-forged copper railings through which the visitor can see the 5 m high stone cross at the end of the graveyard.

The upper end of the cemetery is terminated by a comrades’ grave in front of which stands the over-towering cross on a 2 meter high, circular base.

Of the 10,913 German soldiers buried at Sandweiler 4,829 of these are in the large comrades’ grave.

The comrades’ grave is located behind the large cross. Of the 4,829 dead buried here 4,014 are identified by name. These names are listed on bronze plaques in the enclosure wall of the comrades’ grave.

A few steps lead up to the inscription on the sarcophagus stone on the comrades’ grave, which reads:



Click on the description text to view the photograph.
  1. Sign with directions to the German cemetery in Luxembourg - June 1965.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

  2. Postcard view of the monument at the German cemetery in Luxembourg - June 1965.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

  3. Panoramic view of grave markers in the German cemetery in Luxembourg - June 1965.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

  4. Postcard view of the German cemetery at Luxembourg - October 1964.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

  5. View of the main monument from the entrance of the cemetery - October 1964.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

  6. Grave marker within the cemetery - October 1964.
    Grave markers indicated four names. Two on each side of the marker.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

  7. Visitors walking towards the main monument - October 1964.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

  8. General view of grave markers in the cemetery - October 1964.
    Courtesy Ren L'Ecuyer.

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Updated: August 5, 2004