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German War Cemetery Lilienthalstraße

German War Cemetery Lilienthalstraße

National Socialist temple

In the middle of Berlin, on the border between Kreuzberg and Neukölln, a temple was built in the 1930s by the National Socialists in honor of the fallen soldiers of WWI.

Doric columns

The still-controversial monument, including Doric columns, is from the drawing board of architect Wilhelm Büning in the 1930s, who designed it on behalf of government architect Albert Speer.

Fallen soldiers would be honored here annually on the "Heroes Memorial Day" introduced by the National Socialists for their "heroic patriotism."

Solemnly inaugurated 

In May 1940, the inauguration of the "Ehrenhalle" took place, at which Adolf Hitler himself was present. Almost immediately afterward, the Second World War broke out, and the first war soldiers aged 40-45 were buried there.

Soldiers and civilians

The Second World War soon brought in a fresh supply of bodies, not only of soldiers but also of civilian casualties who fell victim to bombings. Altogether, there were now five thousand war victims, soldiers, and civilians buried at the German War Cemetery Lilienthalstraße.

After the Third Reich collapsed, the Ehrenhalle was given a new function, namely as a funeral chapel for the nearby parish.


In 1966, a cube-shaped building was constructed in front of the Ehrenhalle, containing the "Eichenkranz" by Ludwig Gies, a sculpture from 1931 that first stood in the Neue Wache. The wreath has been in the German Historical Museum since 2004.

3rd Armored Division

In a dark corner of the cemetery hangs a memorial plaque for the fallen soldiers of the 3rd Armored Division Berlin-Brandenburg.

This tank division of the German Wehrmacht rolled into Poland, France and the Soviet Union, among others, during the Second World War.

The faded wreath of flowers that dangle underneath does not immediately contribute to the Salonfähigkeit of the cemetery and illustrates its controversial origin.


The cemetery is still quite controversial - because of its builder. "For a long time, the National Socialist history of the cemetery was covered in a cloak of silence. Since 2013, a public debate has begun about the balance between memories and perspectives," wrote the Neuköllner.

Wreath laying

Every year on Volkstrauertag, a wreath-laying ceremony takes place to commemorate the victims of war and tyranny. Opposition to this is expressed in Berlin through the organization Pink Rabbit, which disrupted the wreath-laying ceremony in Lilienthalstrasse, and other places.

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