München – Ostfriedhof


As opponents of the Nazis were killed, the Nazis had to get rid of their bodies. This was done, among other things, by using existing crematoriums that existed previously, including at Ostfriedhof in Munich. Between 1933 and 1945, the crematorium was used in the cemetery (Ostfriedhof) to cremate bodies that were murdered by the Nazis based on political and racist motives. Among other things, victims of the so-called. Long night of the knives in June 1934, about 4,000 prisoners from the concentration camps Dachau, Auschwitz and Bucenhwald as well as people murdered in the Nazi T4 program.  That prisoners were cremated in crematoriums outside concentration camps was not uncommon before the concentration camps got their own crematorium starting 41/42. 

On October 16, 1946, the death sentences of eleven Nazi leaders sentenced to death were carried out in the Nuremberg trial. The executions were carried out in a gymnasium by hanging and first out was Hermann Goering. But Goering had the hours before committed suicide by taking poison. The other ten executed were Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Alfred Jodl, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Alfred Rosenberg, Fritz Sauckel, Arthur Seyss-inquart and Julius Streicher. After the execution of the judges, the bodies were laid, incl. Goering, in coffins and was secretly transported to Munich and the crematorium at Ostfriedhof where they were cremated. A twelfth empty coffin was also included to confuse any witnesses. The ashes were then spread in the river Isar. A conscious or unconscious rumor was spread afterwards that the bodies were cremated in the crematorium in Dachau, but that is not true. 

Current status: Preserved with monument (2020).

Address: St. Martin Strasse 60, 81541 München.

Get there: Metro to St. Martin Strasse Station.

My comment:

For a long time it was unknown to the public where the bodies were cremated and perhaps only in the 2000s it became a known secret. There was probably a concern that the place would become a pilgrimage site for sympathizers and other suspicious people but it did not exist. The monument adjacent to the crematorium is dedicated to the victims cremated between 1933 and 1945 and no others.

Follow up in books: Tusa, Ann & John: Nuremberg Trial (1996).