• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Russian day care on graveyard sparks outrage

The Local · 24 Jan 2013, 14:19

Published: 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.

Story continues below…

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

Related links:

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
The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

German broadcaster sues Turkey over confiscated video
Akif Cagatay Kilic. Photo: DPA

German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Monday it had filed a civil complaint after a Turkish minister's office confiscated a taped video interview with him.

Germany's 'James Bond' goes on trial over tax evasion
Werner Mauss. Photo: DPA.

Germany's former top spy, Werner Mauss, went on trial on Monday accused of hiding millions of euros from authorities.

Germany holds first national 'mermaiding' championship
Photo: DPA

Ariel would be proud.

Gallery
15 pics that prove Germany is totally enchanting in autumn
The Max-Eyth-See in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

As summer fades into a distant memory and you start to begrudge trading Birkenstocks for boots, these pictures may help change your perspective on the new chill in the air.

Left politician who smuggled refugee could lose immunity
Diether Dehm. Photo: DPA.

Die Linke (Left Party) politician Diether Dehm could lose his immunity as an elected official after he admitted to smuggling a refugee into Germany.

Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record in Berlin marathon win
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
5,643
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd