|Entrance to the Italian War Cemetery, Berlin-Zehlendorf|
The majority of the people buried here (80%) were Italian soldiers captured by the German Army after the surrender of Italy on 8th September 1943. The remainder, which includes 22 women, were civilian workers who perished as a result of either aerial bombardment, hunger and disease, worked to death in German labour camps, or who were simply murdered for being Italian. Included are 127 POW's murdered at the end of the war in Treuenbrietzen, Brandenburg, a satellite concentration camp of Sachsenhausen. (Treuenbrietzen is also darkly known for the massacre and rape of over a thousand German civilians by the Soviet Army when they came across the camp and town on 21 April 1945 see here for example).
There is a quite well executed memorial to the Italians buried here, with the names of the fallen written on brass plaques on plinths circling around a bronze wreath.
The force behind getting this War Cemetery built was Monsignor Luigi Fraccari, who was a missionary in Berlin for 35 years from 1944. The cemetery was inaugurated on 21st December 1958.
Whilst at the Waldfriedhof, it was interesting looking at the graves of other people buried there. For example, Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany:
|Willy Brandt's grave|
|Grave of Ernst Reuter|
|Grave of Jakob Kaiser|
|Grave of Hildegard Knef|
|Grave of Ulrich Schamoni|