• Germany edition
 
Russian day care on graveyard sparks outrage
Photo: DPA

Russian day care on graveyard sparks outrage

Published: 24 Jan 2013 14:19 GMT+01:00
Updated: 24 Jan 2013 14:19 GMT+01:00

Barely an hour after digging into the ground in Baltijsk, a small coastal town near Kaliningrad, workers were faced with bones of German residents past, buried when the town was called Pillau.

Historians caught wind of the discovery and the town administration found itself in the firing line of local outrage. “The graveyard is clearly marked on up-to-date maps,” Valery Limonov, a history researcher.

How building permission was granted is a mystery to Limonov, who said that there should have been a geological survey prior to giving construction the go-ahead. The town council said that they had no idea though.

“From the outside there was nothing to see, the area has been used as parkland for decades,” said the council in a statement. It added that in now way did they want to hurt the feelings of the former inhabitants of Pillau.

See photos of the unearthed graveyard

The site became a park in the 1950s, when Soviets levelled the graveyard and was only recently earmarked as the location of Baltijsk's new kindergarten. When built it should house 240 children, have a playground and a swimming pool.

Town residents also seemed wary about sending their children to school on top of an old graveyard. “A kindergarten on a cemetery? I would never forgive the town for that,” said one woman on regional forum NewKaliningrad.ru.

To cool anxious residents, the town council has agreed to exhume all 150 of the newly discovered bodies. It has tasked the moving them to a nearby church to a company used to digging up the dead.

The firm Avanport has plenty of experience exhuming German soldiers from the giant military graveyard in the area which lies in the dune hills next to the town. There are 13,500 people buried there from the Second World War.

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:42 January 24, 2013 by Englishted
Oh the shock ! is this the land where I can't be buried in my town because I don't pay church tax,the same land where you never see a graveyard around a church because they use the space for other things now, but there were graveyards around the churches before so somebody moved those graves.

Plus you have to pay a fee yearly to stay in the church 's graveyard (not you but your living family) or they just dig you up and use the ground again for some other unquestioning golden egg layer.
17:53 January 24, 2013 by DerHirsch
uh,... no. The graveyard mentioned in the article above is in Russia. Or in the former East Prussia.
21:10 January 24, 2013 by DOZ
Possible flaming article.
10:58 January 25, 2013 by raandy
Englishted, yes indeed -:)

When I first came here and took my first walk through the graveyard, I asked my wife what the red tags on some of the sites were. She said that no one had paid the grave fees so they dig up the plot and but another "Golden Egg layer" in their place.
14:56 January 30, 2013 by Vargaz
What IS it with the constant rehashing of things that happened 80 years ago and for whom NO ONE for the last 67 years is responsible for? People need to GET OVER IT, grown up, and move on. Memorialize it all you want but don't cram it down our throats constantly. Same thing with this "outrage" at building a school over a decades old cemetery. I'm sure those interned would not mind considering they are DEAD! Progress is the way to live, not by stubbornly dragging your feet through the quick-setting cement of the ad nausea past.
Today's headlines
Boko Haram claim to be holding German hostage
Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau. Photo: DPA

Boko Haram claim to be holding German hostage

Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau claimed in a new video obtained by AFP on Friday to be holding a German national, who was kidnapped in northern Nigerian earlier this year. READ  

Presented by Home Exchange
Travel & live like a local with Home Exchange
A property listed in Costa Rica on the Home Exchange website. Photo: Home Exchange

Travel & live like a local with Home Exchange

Swap your home, save a fortune, and have a great time in the process. The Local finds why thousands of people from around the world have embraced the Home Exchange phenomenon. READ  

Germany's estate agents plan strike action
Photo: DPA

Germany's estate agents plan strike action

First it was the pilots, then train drivers - now Germany's real estate agents are threatening to go on strike. But their call to arms has been met with sneers rather than sympathy. READ  

Finger slicer's insurance scam fails
Ralf-Werner arriving in court last week. Photo: DPA

Finger slicer's insurance scam fails

An insurance salesman who sawed off his own finger and thumb to claim insurance was given a suspended sentence by a court in northern Germany on Friday. READ  

PKK: banned in Germany, allies in Iraq
Kurdish demonstrators at a rally in Düsseldorf in October. Photo: DPA

PKK: banned in Germany, allies in Iraq

Germany finds itself in a complicated relationship with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). At home, police must investigate anyone who flies the flag, but in the Middle East they are the best hope of beating back the Islamic State. READ  

Quiz
Will our Halloween quiz give you a fright?
Walpurgis Night in the Harz. Photo: DPA

Will our Halloween quiz give you a fright?

Germany is home to a plethora of haunted castles and has a huge stock of gruesome stories. How well do you know the spooky side of the Germans? READ  

Retail sales show biggest drop for seven years
Photo: DPA

Retail sales show biggest drop for seven years

German shoppers cut back on their spending in September at the fastest rate for seven years, official data showed on Friday. READ  

Fall of the Wall - 25 years
'I'm leaving for the West, who's coming?'
Engels at the spot where he drove through the Wall and in hospital in 1963 after being shot. Photo: Nick Allen/Fotoarchiv Alex Waidmann Berlin

'I'm leaving for the West, who's coming?'

There are many of tales of ingenious and well-thought out escape plans from people desperate to flee from East to West Berlin. Wolfgang Engels’ wasn’t one of them. It was, however, one of the most daring. READ  

Police probe pupils who made Nazi salutes
Pupils used WhatsApp to share messages which are police are investigating. Photo: DPA

Police probe pupils who made Nazi salutes

Police are investigating pupils at a school in Saxony-Anhalt for incitement of the people and use of banned symbols after teenagers allegedly made the Hitler salute. READ  

Time running out for refugees in Berlin school
Representatives of the refugees at a press conference last week. Photo: DPA

Time running out for refugees in Berlin school

An ultimatum for the remaining refugees and their supporters to leave an occupied school in Berlin, which has been the scene of protests for months, will expire at midnight on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Travel and have a great time with Home Exchange
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles from British Airways
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Want to study in Germany? These are the subjects to choose
Photo: DPA
Society
Germans are wide of the mark on immigration
Photo: DPA
Society
Halloween: Where are the spookiest spots?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Who wants to work in Germany? A third of the world
Photo: DPA
Society
'We can't allow a proxy war on German streets'
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: How well do you know Germany?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,509
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd