WW2 trips and museum visits

German War Cemetery

Ysselsteyn, 2011

This German military cemetery is located at Ysselsteyn in the southern Dutch province of Limburg. It’s the largest military cemetery in the Netherlands and it’s the only German military cemetery in the Netherlands. Most of the 31.598 Germans that are buried here perished during the Second World War. 85 of them lost their lives during the First World War and are buried around a memorial near the entrance of the cemetery.

 

Also near the entrance is the cemetery information building. In this building there is lots of additional information about the cemetery and the German grave administration. Also located here are the cemetery registers with every soldiers name plus burial location on the cemetery.

 

The cemetery sizes approximately 28 hectares and was constructed by the Dutch government in 1946. It was maintained by the Dutch until 1976 and until today its maintained by the German Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (German grave administration). From 1948 until 1976 the cemetery was maintained under the supervision of a former Dutch army captain by the name of Captain Lodewijk Johannes Timmermans. When Captain Timmermans past away in 1995 his remains were spread out over the cemetery. A memorial for Captain Timmermans is located near the centre of the cemetery.

 

Also in the centre is the large central memorial of the cemetery. Its a large concrete cross surrounded by concrete grave pillars placed in a big circle. Every half hour a carillon rings its 25 bells in a musical fashion.

 

The former German field commander and town commandant of the Dutch town Arnhem (A Bridge to Far) is also buried on the Ysselsteyn cemetery. General Major Friedrich Kussin is the highest ranking officer buried here at ysselsteyn. He was killed by British paratroopers on 17 September 1944 at a road junction near Oosterbeek.

 

Also buried at Ysselsteyn are two German soldiers that were stationed in my village Oisterwijk. One German soldier was Grenadier Gerhard Robel, he was killed on 25 October 1944 while on a recon by bicycle from Oisterwijk to the neighbouring village of Moergestel. He was killed by a Scottish sniper on Oisterwijkseweg and temporally buried in Moergestel until he was relocated to Ysselsteyn. The other German soldier was Obergefreiter Franz Anton Kolb. He was killed on 26 October 1944 while defending his position during a Scottish attack during the liberation of Oisterwijk. He was temporally buried at the St. Petrus Banden cemetery in Oisterwijk until he was also relocated to Ysselsteyn.

 

 

The body of General Major Friedrich Kussin, the town commander of Arnhem, after his car ran into leading elements of the British.

 

General Major Friedrich Kussin was responsible for the security of the town of Arnhem from September 1943.

He was killed during the Battle for Arnhem on 17-09-44.

Franz Anton Kolb and Gerhard Robel, two German soldiers killed at Oisterwijk. Below is the sanctuary card of Franz Anton Kolb. It say’s Franz was burried at “the cemetery for heroes St. Petrus in Oisterwijk”

Remarkable choice of words I would say!

Your Grave in Enemy territory far away

Is very Painful for us,

But take our Word for It:

Your Grave will not be abandoned.

For during the evening when the Bells are ringing,

Our loving Spirit will Travel there

And will Sprinkle you praying, Flowers of devotion

On your Heroes grave with a religious Spirit.

My Lord, Mercy!

Our Father...                                Ave Maria...

 

Kosel-Print, Kempten

 

Gods Peace

 

Our loving brother, brother in law and uncle

Franz Anton Kolb

Corporal in an Infantry-Regiment

holder of the Eastern Front Medal

born on May 30, 1915 in Obereiberg

fallen Oct. 26, 1944 at Oisterwijk/Holland

He rests on the German cemetery for Heroes

St. Petrus in Oisterwijk/Holland