Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde

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A memorial to the fallen Spartacists, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1926; after 1933 destroyed by the Nazis. On the left: Ernst Thälmann
Memorial: Central porphyry obelisk and inner circle of 10 graves
Memorial to the Immortal Fighters for Socialism
Speech at a memorial commemorating Rosa Luxemburg, with Honecker, Mielke, and other high-ranking GDR leaders, January 1989

The Friedrichsfelde Central Cemetery (German: Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde), also known as the Memorial to the Socialists (German: Gedenkstätte der Sozialisten), is a cemetery in the borough of Lichtenberg in Berlin. When the cemetery was founded in 1881 it was called the Freidrichsfelde Municipal Cemetery Berlin (German: Berliner Gemeindefriedhof Friedrichsfelde). In 1919, with the burial of Wilhelm Liebknecht, founder of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the cemetery became the resting place for many of the leaders and activists of Germany's anti-fascist, social democratic, socialist and communist movements. In 1919, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, co-founders of the Communist Party of Germany, were buried there. The division of Berlin following the Second World War caused the cemetery to be within the borders of East Berlin, where it was used to bury East German (GDR) leaders, such as Walter Ulbricht and Wilhelm Pieck, the first President of the GDR.

Architect and future Bauhaus director Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed in 1926 a 12 metre wide and 6 metre high red brick Monument to the Revolution which the National Socialists (Nazis) destroyed in 1935. This was replaced in 1951 by the present memorial, the "Memorial to the Socialists". This consists of a central porphyry stele or obelisk with the words Die Toten mahnen uns (The dead remind us) surrounded by a semi-circular wall into which are set gravestones and urns. Surrounding the central stone are 10 graves commemorating foremost socialist leaders, namely: Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, Ernst Thälmann, Wilhelm Pieck, Walter Ulbricht, Franz Mehring, John Schehr (de), Rudolf Breitscheid, Franz Künstler (politician) (de), and Otto Grotewohl.

On one part of the surrounding wall is a set of large tablets recording the names of 327 men and women who gave their lives in the cause of fighting Fascism between 1933 and 1945. Included in the list are Hans Coppi, Hilde Coppi, Heinrich Koenen, Arvid Harnack, Harro Schulze-Boysen, John Sieg, and Ilse Stöbe.

Notable interments[edit]

Gallery[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 52°30′56″N 13°30′38″E / 52.51556°N 13.51056°E / 52.51556; 13.51056