Gedenkstein für 17 gefallene Zwangsarbeiter Flugplatz Gütersloh (Foto: Marc Tecklenborg)

Today is Volkstrauertag (Remembrance Day) all over Germany, we commemorate the victims of violence and war: children, women and men of all nations and races who died as soldiers, prisoners, refugees, people who died while trying to resist tyranny and terror all over the world. Unfortunately, we still complain in the 21st century victims in large numbers. Despite technological progress, people still die daily in wars, or as a cosequence of terrorism and oppression.

We at the Flugplatzmuseum Gütersloh are confronted daily with these horrors of war while working on the build up of the museum. With the support of the Förderverein, the museum should become a state of the art project for peace and freedom in our region. Despite all the fascination for aviation and technology, it is very important to us to warn especially young people of the horrors and consequences of war and tyranny and to sensitize them for a life in peace and freedom.

From the year 1941 onwards, prisoners of war from Poland, Russia and Serbia were used for forced labor in enterprises of the city of Gütersloh and on the airfield. They came from the camp STALAG 326 VI K from Stukenbrock. (More information at Errected on the airfield is the memorial stone shown below, it was formerly on Gütersloh’s Lorenkamp, ​​where a special cemetery was established. This stone was later put on display on the airfield just a few meters away. This is how Rudolf Herrmann reports. The stone bears the inscription: “HERE REST 17 FALLEN RUSSIAN SOLDIERS 1942-1945 ” The names of the formerly buried persons are known, except for one, thanks to a research work by the employee of the “Memorial and Documentation Center STALAG 326 VI K”, Ms Laura Niewöhner. The dead are resting today in the honorary cemetery of the Soviet war veterans in Stukenbrock.

Lest we forget.

Für das Flugplatzmuseum Gütersloh und den Förderverein:

Hannu Peters und Marc Tecklenborg
(Flugplatzmuseum Gütersloh gemeinnützige UG)

Paul Curzon
(Verein zur Förderung des Flugplatzmuseum Gütersloh e.V.)