Südfriedhof (Leipzig)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
South (rear) side of the chapel complex. The columbarium is located in the upper arcade and behind the grids at ground level , with two chimneys of the crematorium in the background .

The South Cemetery with 82 hectares of the largest cemetery of Leipzig . It is located in the south of Leipzig in the vicinity of the Völkerschlachtdenkmal and is one of the largest park-like cemeteries in Germany, alongside the Hamburg cemetery Ohlsdorf and the south-west cemetery Stahnsdorf near Berlin.


The chapel complex from the viewing platform of the Monument to the Battle of the Nations, 2015.
Grave of the architect Hugo Licht
Grave of the Leipzig horticultural director Otto Wittenberg
Grave for Gustav Mönch, first director of the cemetery
Grave of Christian Fürchtegott Gellert
Memorial plaque for Samuel Heinicke

Planning for the cemetery began in 1879. Initially, it was laid out on an area of ​​54 hectares. The main people responsible for this were the Leipzig horticultural director Otto Wittenberg and the architect Hugo Licht .

Due to the rapid development of the city during industrialization , the impending incorporation of surrounding areas and the associated steadily increasing population, new cemetery areas were necessary. After the Leipzig North Cemetery in 1881, the South Cemetery was opened on June 1, 1886 by Mayor Carl Bruno Tröndlin . Shortly afterwards, the first funeral took place. The grave is still preserved today in the 1st department. However, the Südfriedhof was initially very unpopular as a burial place. The people of Leipzig continued to be buried in the New Johannis Cemetery (today the Peace Park). This changed when the Neue Johannisfriedhof began to fill up and the trees in the Südfriedhof became larger and the intended park character became recognizable.

The first thing visitors notice to the neighboring Völkerschlachtdenkmal is the chapel, which opened in 1910, with its 60 meter high bell tower . The neo-Romanesque building ensemble, which was erected under the direction of Leipzig's building director Otto Wilhelm Scharenberg , was modeled on the Romanesque monastery of Maria Laach in the Eifel and is considered the largest cemetery structure in Germany . The complex of chapels, crematorium and columbarium blends inconspicuously into the overall picture.

In recent years the structure has been gradually repaired. The cremation facility was renewed in 1998/99. Instead of the previous three ovens, two new cremation ovens including three flue gas ducts were built in the historic building. The third flue gas duct is currently not in use, it is intended for a possible expansion with a third furnace. The main chapel was reconstructed in 1996/97 and the choir room was repainted according to historical findings. The listed columbarium was renovated over two years after years of neglect and vandalism and was used again on the 125th anniversary of the opening of the cemetery in June 2011.

By 1924 the cemetery was expanded to 63 hectares. During the Second World War , the cemetery was expanded to its present area of ​​82 hectares for the last time. 3474 victims of the bombing raids on Leipzig were buried in today's XXVIII. Department. A total of 4500 of the almost 6000 civilian air war victims in Leipzig were buried in the southern cemetery.

The historical tombs are particularly worth seeing, some of which were created in various styles by important artists such as Max Klinger , Wolfgang Niedner , Fritz Behn , Max Lange or Carl Seffner .

Flora and fauna

There are around 10,000 rhododendron bushes up to four meters high on the site of the cemetery . Other features include baumkundliche sweetgum , Oregon grape , ornamental cherry , dawn redwood , weeping ash , antlers tree , Ginkgo and various Linde species . 60 breeding bird species are registered in the cemetery. There are plenty of squirrels and in the quiet hours of the morning and evening you can spot deer, rabbits or foxes and bats at dusk .


Acts of vandalism occur again and again on the large area of ​​the cemetery . In addition to the permanent theft of grave plantings, the brutal destruction of grave monuments has recently been lamented. In 2015, non-ferrous metal thieves left a trail of devastation by stealing large bronze parts from tombs.

The saddest climax of the destruction so far was the " beheading " of the most artistically valuable marble grave sculptures in August 2016. The following were irretrievably destroyed:

  • Max Alfred Brumme : Mother with children, Kaps tomb , XIV. Department
  • Ulfert Janssen : boy with rose garland, tomb Franz Schlohbach, II. Department
  • Felix Pfeifer : Engel, Haertel-Kipke tomb, XX. Department
  • Robert Schenker: Mourners, Rüdinger tomb, XVI. Department

Buried personalities

Memorial stone for Marinus van der Lubbe
Gravestone Lene Voigt
Wolfgang Mattheuer's grave with bronze sculpture "Showing face"
Memorial complex for the victims of the tyranny 1945–1989 in the urn garden north, near the cemetery wall
Memorial stone for Werner Teske
Gravestone of Stanislaw Trabalski on the honor grove of the Leipzig South Cemetery
Herrmann Ahlswede tomb with bronze Pietà by Max Alfred Brumme ; Restored in 2015 on behalf of the Paul Benndorf Society
"The victims of the Second World War accuse". Cross at mass graves with bomb victims
"The bomb victims of the city of Leipzig 1943–1945". Architect: Jörg Hasse, "Mourning Youth" (Marie-Luise Bauerschmidt)


  • Joachim Aubert: Handbook of the gravesites of famous Germans, Austrians and Swiss. Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich 1975, ISBN 3-422-00344-4 .
  • Wolfgang Knape, Thomas Steinert: Tell about the south cemetery. History and stories, strolls and signs of life. Verlag Kunst u. Touristik, Leipzig 1993, ISBN 3-928802-15-1 .
  • Rosemarie Fret , Brunhilde Rothbauer: Places of Living. Leipzig's old cemeteries. Sax-Verlag, Beucha 2000, ISBN 3-934544-03-7 .
  • Katrin Löffler, Iris Schöpa, Heidrun Sprinz: The Leipziger Südfriedhof. History, gravesites, grave monuments. Edition Leipzig, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-361-00526-4 .
  • Alfred E. Otto Paul: The art in silence. Art treasures in Leipzig cemeteries. Private printing, Vols. 1 to 5, Leipzig 2009ff.

Web links

Commons : Südfriedhof (Leipzig)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Monumental melancholy. In: FAZ of June 7, 2011, page 32
  2. ^ Beate Berger (City Archives Leipzig): Retrospectives Leipzig 1989-1999: A Chronicle . Leipzig University Publishing House, 2000
  3. Unknown people chop off heads from sculptures in the Leipziger Südfriedhof , Leipziger Volkszeitung from September 28, 2016.

Coordinates: 51 ° 18 ′ 33 "  N , 12 ° 24 ′ 45"  E