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Billmuthausen memorial

Billmuthausen was a village in Germany, founded in 1340. It was destroyed by the East German authorities in 1978 as it stood too close to the Inner German border (part of the larger "Iron Curtain"), the border between the post-war states of East and West Germany. It lay in the extreme south of Thuringia in the Heldburger Land in the district of Hildburghausen, only five hundred meters away from the Thuringian-Bavarian border. In January 1965 the authorities destroyed the very old little church of village. In September 1978, the last family left the village. After that, all the houses were demolished and the land leveled.


Billmuthausen is first mentioned in historical records in 1340. Back then, it was known as Billmuthausen Billmuthehusen. In 1840, the village was a manor, comprising 14 households. A decade later, the village had grown to include a saw and grinding mill and a church, and it population stood at 68.[1]

Billmuthausen is now a memorial with a memorial stone and cross, and a new chapel is located at the site of destroyed church. What remains is the village cemetery, a transformation tower and the village well. In 1991 the book Billmuthausen-das verurteilte Dorf was published about the village. There is a yearly ceremony to commemorate the history of the village.

The former border security tower built by the East German forces nearby Billmuthausen, today a protected environment for bats and birds

Bell consecration in 2014[edit]

On May 31, 2014, fell silent for 50 years two bells of the destroyed church rang again at Billmuthausen. During a solemn ecumenical open-air church service with more than 150 participants in the memorial Billmuthausen the bells consecration took place. The two bronze bells by the name of faith and hope are constantly kept in the Otto-Ludwig-Museum ice rink, put on such occasions by Billmuthausen and ringing bells on portable chairs.


  1. ^ Goepfert, Ulrich. "Billmuthausen: From razed village in the lowlands Heldburger". Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  • Norbert Klaus Fuchs: Billmuthausen – Das verurteilte Dorf. Greifenverlag zu Rudolstadt & Berlin, 2009, ISBN 978-3-86939-004-8
  • Norbert Klaus Fuchs: Das Heldburger Land–ein historischer Reiseführer; Verlag Rockstuhl, Bad Langensalza 2013, ISBN 978-3-86777-349-2

Coordinates: 50°17′N 10°47′E / 50.283°N 10.783°E / 50.283; 10.783