Time table Prisoner of War Camp – Prisoner of War Cemetery

The following table describes as a time table POW camp – war gravesite from the beginning of its creation until today.

September 1914

Creation of the prisoner of war camp with hospital, planned for 10,000 prisoners

End of December 1914

3 000 prisoners of war (POW) in the camp,
20 – 50 POW are living in one barack each
 23. December 1914 The 1st camp death, an Irishman, is burried with military honors
 December 1914 – April 1915 Several visits to the camp by Sir Roger Casement to recruit Irish volunteers for an Irish Brigade to intervene in the looming Irish uprising (Easter Rising). There were only 56 volunteers.
But during a speech to the captured Irish in February 1915 he was booed out of the camp.
 May 1915 12 000 POW are living in the camp
 Mid July 1915 54 dead are burried in the cemetery
 August 1916 The cemetery is extended as a military cemetery, until the beginning of August 141 dead have been buried.
 December 1916 Dissolution of the POW camp,
the approximately 3,000 prisoners will be distributed to other camps.
 Mid February 1917 Restocking of the camp with prisoners
 25. May 1917 The “Irish High Cross” is erected
 03. August 1918 A French monument is erected.
In the cemetery are buried:
334 Russians, 123 French, 59 Italians,
47 English, 45 Irish, 7 Serbian, 1 Belgian, 1 Romanian.
 12. August 1919 – 20. March 1920 The camp becomes a release and transit camp for German soldiers.
34,997 German soldiers are discharged from here to their homeland.
 1. August 1920 Dissolution of the prpocessing center of the POW camp.
The construction of the POW camp required a cost of about two million marks.
The sale of the POW camp is likely to have yielded twice that amount.
 1923 The burried French, Irish, Italians, English and Belgians are exhumed and relocated.
The Russians remain in the cemetery.
 1942 – 1945 247 Russian soldiers are buried in the cemetery.
 21. October 1954  3 Russian soldiers, exhumed from a field grave near Limburg, are buried here.
 1959 The defective French monument will be demolished, Russian one is newly erected
 Beginning of the 60th The cemetery is being embellished.
 1972 The cemetery was embellished again. But soon it will be devastated.
 1984 Soldiers from Supply Command 3, Diez, are beautifying the graveyard.
 03. November 1984 Orthodox memorial service at the cemetery
 April 1990 The cemetery is devastated again.
 12. June und 13. June 1998 The cemetery was embellished again by the reservist comradeship Limburg.
 21. August 1998 Orthodox memorial service at the cemetery
 9. March 2004 Initiation of a Dietkirchen working group to organise an Irish Folk Festival, the net proceeds of which are to be used for the restoration of the cross.

09. July – 10. July 2004

1st Celtic Cross Folk Festival for the rescue of the Irish High Cross
Open air event with 11 bands or performers, who all performed at this charity event without a fee.
 April 2007 Start of the restoration of the high cross by the company Matthias Steyer from Niedernhausen under the direction of the conservator Silke Schaper.
 June 2007 Completion of the restoration work on the high cross
At the same time creation of a bronze plate with the names of the deceased Irish Prisoners of war.
These names were also engraved in the lower part of the stone base of the cross, but had become illegible in the sandstone over the decades.
 November 2007 The official inauguration of the renovated cross then took place on 18 November 2007.

1) History of the Russian military cemetery from the 1st World War in Dietkirchen, Author: Oberstabsfeldwebel a.D. Franz Prox †
2) School chronicle of the elementary school Dietkirchen Volume II (1902-1969)
3) Memories Ludwig Ries