Monument De Koedriest

14960Monument ‘De Koedriest’ (also known as the Russian monument) stands on the spot where after the war a mass grave with the bodies of 77 Russian prisoners of war was uncovered. It is situated at the end of the Loes Overeemlaan, past the former Camp Amersfoort and golfclub De Hoge Kleij.

The 77 Soviet soldiers, mostly from the republic of Uzbekistan, were shot by the Germans on 9 April 1942. It was the second biggest mass execution in the Netherlands during World War II.

The 77 belonged to a group of 101 Soviet soldiers taken to Camp Amersfoort on 27 September 1941. Within half a year 24 of these PoW’s had died of starvation, illness or abuse. All 101 were reburied in the Russian war cemetery constructed after the war.

IMG_1245In 1954 a sober monument was erected in the place of execution, which on May 4th 1962 was replaced by the present memorial. The inscription on it reads, ‘To the glorious sons of the Soviet people that fell in the struggle against the German occupying power in 1941-1945. From the grateful motherland.’

Ever since 2012 the Stichting Russisch Ereveld holds an annual commemoration at the monument on April 9. At daybreak 77 candles are lit, one for each victim. ‘De Koedriest’ is the name of the wooded area where the executions took place.