a A

Memorial Book on Burial Places of Soviet Citizens in Bavaria

Compiling a memorial book on burial places of Soviet citizens in Bavaria, Lars Thiele from the Dresden Documentation Centre paid a visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen this week. He scrutinized the reports Bavarian communities had produced on the burial places of non-Germans in the post-war era. “I have already looked at two thirds of the collection”, said the research assistant. “We plan to complete the documentation on Bavarian burial grounds and war graves and to publish results by the end of 2014.”

The Documentation Centre is a historical research facility of the Foundation of concentration camp memorials in Saxony established for commemorating the victims of political tyranny. Since 2001, the office’s staff have devoted themselves to the project “Soviet and German Prisoners-of-War and Internees. Research on the Second World War and the Post-War Era”. The office’s findings will prove beneficial to scholarly analyses and publications on the one hand, but will also be passed on to the families of victims which hope to learn about the fate of their next-of-kin. “Last year we managed to give answers to 6000 requests submitted by victims’ families”, said the 31-year-old. “People want to know where their dear ones are buried. They wish to have certainty and a place for mourning.”

A data collection on Soviet prisoners-of-war and burial places in Saxony can already be viewed on the internet page of the documentation office. “The documents from the ITS archives are an enormous help for our compilation work”, explains Thiele. “But also records from the Deutsche Dienststelle (the WASt providing information on German army members fallen or missing in action) in Berlin, from the “Kriegsgräberfürsorge” (an institution which takes care of war graves) and from other partners enrich our research work and allow us to reach an overall picture.”