Westerhüsen cemetery

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Westerhüsen cemetery chapel
Memorial stone at the cemetery entrance

The Westerhüsen cemetery is the municipal cemetery in the Magdeburg district of Westerhüsen .


The cemetery, which today extends over 4.4 hectares, is located west of the town center on the west side of the Magdeburg – Leipzig railway line . The Volkspark Westerhüsen park extends to the south and west of the cemetery . To the north is the Tonschacht sports complex.

History and layout

The original cemetery of the municipality of Westerhüsen was in the vicinity of the Sankt Stephanus Church and was probably in use since the 9th century. The last burial took place there on May 15, 1835. It was the three-month-old daughter of the innkeeper Friedrich Curio . The old gravestones in the cemetery had largely disappeared as early as the 1870s, with the exception of two still existing gravestones of Pastor Wenzlau, who died in 1834, and his wife on the west wall of the church tower. Two fragments of another historical tombstone from Westerhüsen are in the St. Gertraud Lapidarium in the Saint Gertraud Church in Salbker . These are the remains of the tombstone for Matthias Alharte (1662–1684), which was originally in the cemetery of St. Stephen's Church . The old churchyard took on the character of an ornamental garden, which it still largely has today.

As early as 1830, a new cemetery was laid out in the area of ​​the curve of today's Zackmünder Strasse outside the village. The first burial took place on July 23, 1830 with the burial of Marie Sophie Cordula Schaefer , the eldest daughter of Pastor Schäfer , who died at the age of 66 . With the construction of the Magdeburg-Leipzig railway line approved from 1837, however, the cemetery was cut through so that parts of it could no longer be used. The wealthy Ackermann Stöffler managed to get the hereditary burial site in the affected area preserved and protected by a wall. From 1894 the four-track expansion of the line to Schönebeck took place, which increased the space required by the railway. The western part of the cemetery had to be completely abandoned. Stöffler's hereditary burial also disappeared.

With the growing population due to increasing industrialization, a new cemetery was required in the long run. After the incorporation of Westerhüsens into Magdeburg in 1910, the city of Magdeburg acquired an area of ​​140 acres at the foot of the wave mountains , which until then had been used as fields and meadows. It was intended to create a larger cemetery for the south-east of Magdeburg away from the residential development. The smoke from the planned crematorium should not bother the population. In 1916 a competition was held with the aim of designing cemetery facilities including crematorium, in which well-known architects such as Leberecht Migge , Albin Müller , Bruno Taut and Martin Wagner took part. However, a draft is not implemented. The cemetery for the Westerhüsen district was opened in 1918 on a sub-area of ​​3.7 hectares in the northeastern part of the area. The remaining area became the Volkspark Westerhüsen. The first burial in this cemetery was the burial of the bricklayer Karl Lindemann , who died at the age of 45 on October 16, 1918 . The remaining part of the old cemetery was given up. In its place is the fire station of the volunteer fire brigade Magdeburg-Südost, the kindergarten and allotment gardens, including the school garden of the Westerhüsen elementary school .

Plans in the 1920s to almost double the population of Magdeburg to around 500,000 and to significantly expand the development of the city of Magdeburg in the southeast, envisaged the area of ​​today's Volkspark as a large cemetery. From March 12 to 20, 1920, the designs for a new cemetery were exhibited in Magdeburg City Hall . There were designs by Reinhardt & Süßenguht from Charlottenburg, Building Councilor Wagner from Berlin, Albin Müller from Darmstadt and by Bauer, Schütz and Günther from Magdeburg. The winner among the four designs was that of Reinhardt & Süßenguht. Street planning in the northern settlement of Westerhüsen , according to the Weimarer Straße layout , was based on the planned large cemetery. The planning of the large cemetery was later dropped. Instead, the Westfriedhof was expanded with the incorporation of Diesdorf . In Westerhüsen it remained with the small cemetery only oriented towards the Westerhüsen district. The celebration hall and the administration building of the small cemetery were designed by city architect Bruno Taut, the cemetery was supplied with water from a small spring on the hillside. The rest of the area was reforested, redesigned as a public park and opened on May 1, 1933, according to other sources on May 1, 1934 as the Volkspark Westerhüsen.

In 1942, the Diana forced labor camp was set up north of the cemetery . The people caught there, mainly from Eastern Europe, had to work in the nearby Fahlberg-List chemical plant . The poor living conditions resulted in many deaths, including children born in the camp. The deceased forced laborers were buried in the southern part of the cemetery. In the early summer of 1941, a free section in the southern part of the complex of 1500 m² was separated from the cemetery. The so-called foreigner cemetery , today's field of the United Nations , was laid out here. All of the concentration camp prisoners, prisoners of war and foreign workers who died in Magdeburg were buried in this cemetery. In 1943, the municipal garden and cemetery administration put up signs with the inscriptions Access only for Germans , for the northern part, and Access for foreign civil workers and prisoners of war for the southern part of the cemetery.

At the end of the war, German prisoners of war under US command buried German soldiers who died in the vicinity of Westerhüsens in the cemetery. The number is unknown. Fallen US soldiers were buried in the neighboring foreigners cemetery.

After the end of World War II , the southern burial ground was dignified and named the United Nations field in honor of the United Nations founded in 1945 . After 1989 the burial ground was redeveloped. A memorial stone in front of the cemetery indicates the dead buried in the United Nations field.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the cemetery chapel from the early days of the cemetery was demolished and replaced by a new building in 2007. The building offers space for 50 guests and has an organ . The cemetery includes row graves and optional graves for both burial and urn burials. There is also an urn community facility .

Funerals of well-known personalities

At the cemetery is Rudolf Zernick (1929-1997), a chemical engineer and long-time head of the Engineering School of Chemistry "Justus von Liebig" buried. Ingelore Buchholz (1936–2006), head of the Magdeburg City Archives for many years , was also buried here.


  • Hans-Joachim Krenzke, Magdeburg Cemeteries and Burial Places , State Capital Magdeburg 1998, page 128 ff.
  • The cemetery guide, MAMMUT-Verlag Leipzig 2008, page 48 f.

Individual evidence

  1. The Westerhüser Friedhöfe in the municipal newspaper Magdeburg-Westerhüsen, 11th year, No. 10, October 1934
  2. ^ Annette Dorgerloh , Friedhelm Ribbert: Lapidarium St. Gertraud. Magdeburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-00-035134-1 , page 40
  3. All sorts of things from eleven centuries in Westerhüser Gemeindeblätter, probably 1942
  4. ^ The exhibition of the drafts for the new cemetery in Westerhüsen In: Volksstimme . March 12, 1920.
  5. The new cemetery in Westerhüsen In: Volksstimme . March 27, 1920.
  6. Peter-Ernst Schmidt, The “Field of the United Nations” on the Westerhüser Friedhof , Magdeburg June 2011
  7. ^ Krenzke, Magdeburger Friedhöfe, page 131
  8. All sorts of things from eleven centuries in Westerhüser Gemeindeblätter, probably 1942
  9. Peter-Ernst Schmidt, The “Field of the United Nations” on the Westerhüser Friedhof , Magdeburg June 2011
  10. Peter-Ernst Schmidt, The “Field of the United Nations” on the Westerhüser Friedhof , Magdeburg June 2011

Coordinates: 52 ° 3 ′ 32.1 "  N , 11 ° 40 ′ 29.2"  E