Monument unveiled in Germany for soldiers of Soviet War Cemetery

In Lüdenscheid a monument has been unveiled with the names of 133 war victims from the Soviet Union who lie buried at the Soviet War Cemetery in Leusden. They succumbed in the German town to tuberculosis.
The monument represents two lungs full of alveoli. All 234 Soviet soldiers who died in Reservelazarett Baukloh suffered from the lung disease tbc, as a result of their appalling treatment in captivity.
The Americans brought their remains to the Netherlands straight after the war. Before the arrival and after the departure of the American army dead soldiers were buried on the spot.
For a long time the residents of Lüdenscheid did not know of the death of so many Russian prisoners of war in Reservelazarett Baukloh. The Americans had requisitioned the hospital on a hill just outside the town and out of sight of the locals.

Only when in 2009 researcher Remco Reiding rattled the cages in Lüdenscheid did local historians learn of the many Soviet soldiers who in April , May and June 1945 had died in their town. And now there is a monument with the names of the POWs, partly supplied by the Soviet War Cemetery Foundation. “Without Remco and his co-workers this monument would not have come about”, said initiator Matthias Wagner at the unveiling ceremony.
The event was attended by two school classes and the deputy mayor of Lüdenscheid. “The names of these boys are no longer eradicated in Germany”, says Reiding. “But they are more than their names. They had a wife and kids, a face, a life. Let’s all of us try to figure out their stories and pass them on.”
Right now at the Soviet War Cemetery photos are displayed on the graves of over a hundred soldiers. They lend a face to the tombstones and can be seen till the end of the month.