Gravesite for the Innocent
“That was the war. In memory and remembrance of the days of horror – August 9, 1944, October 19, 1944, and January 8, 1945 – on which 125 children, women, and men lost their lives to bombings.”
The town of Speicher was bombed three times by the Allied Forces during WWII. The target was a factory, which they believed was being used to build and manufacture weapons for the German army. In their attempts to destroy the weapons, they dropped bombs on the areas which they thought were the most critical. As it turned out, though, the factory was being used for no such purpose and 125 innocent people were killed.
The crosses stand in perfect rows, shaded from the street by a tall hedge.
Some of the victims were family members. Several crosses have two, sometimes three names listed. These often include children – some as young as just one year old.
It is quite chilling to walk along the rows and see the same dates repeated over and over again.
If you’re interested in visiting the memorial, the cemetery is open daily. It is on L39 (Kapellenstraße), on the east side of town, next door to Rewe.