Weißensee Cemetery - History and Facts | History Hit

Weißensee Cemetery

Berlin, Berlin, Germany

The largest Jewish cemetery in Europe, the Weißensee Cemetery in Berlin is home to about 115,000 graves. It is popular with visitors due to its beautiful art nouveau mausoleums and mourning hall.

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About Weißensee Cemetery

Berlin is home to a number of cemeteries and all are worth visiting, but without doubt the most hauntingly beautiful is Weißensee Cemetery.

History of Weißensee Cemetery

Located in Berlin’s Weißensee district, it was established in 1880, and walking through you’ll discover stunning art nouveau mausoleums, many of which were created by Berlin’s affluent Jewish families. Initially, the 100-acre site was purchased by the Jewish community of Berlin and divided into areas based on wealth, where individuals would be interred according to their societal status.

As you approach the main entrance, you’ll see a flower bed and a Holocaust memorial paying tribute to the six million Jews who were victims of the Nazis during WWII. Forming a circle, each stone in the monument has inscribed on it the names of all the war’s principal concentration camps. The cemetery also records those who, due to unbearable circumstances, took their own lives following the threat of deportation to a concentration camp. There is also a memorial park with the remains of over 12,000 German Jewish soldiers who fought and lost their lives during the Second World War.

With such a rich history, Berlin’s Weißensee Cemetery is a place of incredible cultural importance to the Jewish community, with many prominent Jewish figures being buried there including politician Max Hirsch, artist Lesser Ury, and physicist Eugen Goldstein.

Weißensee Cemetery Today

Strolling around the cemetery you’ll walk past sepulchral art ranging from the cemetery’s establishment to around 1939. A moving experience, walking through the cemetery will guide you through Berlin’s Jewish history and is well worth a visit.

Getting to Weißensee Cemetery

From the centre of Berlin, the cemetery is a 15-20 minute drive or cycle via the B2 road. The closest bus stop is Albertinenstraße, from where the cemetery is an 8 minute walk.