Netherlands American War Cemetery and Memorial Margraten


Posted: , Last update: December 17 2017, in Cemeteries. No Comments

Overview American War Cemetery Margraten

Overview of Netherlands American War Cemetery Margraten – Zuid Limburg

This is the only large WW2 cemetery for fallen American soldiers on Dutch soil. The cemetery was taken into use during the war based on a temporary right of use, starting from November 1944, shortly after the town of Margraten was liberated. During these first years the cemetery was used to bury the fallen of all nationalities, including German war victims. Most of these victims fell during Operation Marketgarden, the Ardennes Offensive and the Battle of the Ruhr.

American Cemetery Margraten Netherlands

American Cemetery Margraten Netherlands

In 1946 it contained more than 17,700 American fallen soldiers, more than a thousand Allied soldiers of other nations (the majority being Russian) and clearly separated in a plot under the name of “Enemy Dead” more than 3000 German dead. The cemetery finally got it’s permanent status as an American Military Cemetery in 1947, from which point on the dead of other nationalities were moved. The Russians were reburied at the Russian War Cemetery at Amersfoort and the German fallen at the German War Cemetery Ysselsteyn. More American fallen were brought here from their temporary war graves scattered across Belgium and the Netherlands and parts of West Germany and interred. In 1948 around 10,000 American soldiers were repatriated back to the US.

Pvt. John Shimek from Iowa of the 82nd Airborne Division at Margraten Cemetery

The grave of Pvt. John Shimek from Iowa of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment 82nd Airborne Division at Margraten Cemetery

Nowadays the cemetery holds 8,301 permanent graves. Another eleven American soldiers have remained buried in smaller cemeteries scattered across the Netherlands. The Dutch government has relinquished the 65.5 acres of burial grounds in perpetual loan to the United States out of respect and gratitude.

The Court of Honor

After climbing the steps towards the cemetery you will first pass the Court of Honor. In the center lies a rectangular pond with the Statue of the Weeping Mother standing at the small end of it. The reflection in the water makes her look even more dramatic. Behind her stands the tall memorial tower with inside it the Chapel.

Statue of the weeping mother at American War Cemetery Margraten Netherlands

Statue of the weeping mother at Netherlands American War Cemetery Margraten

Memorial tower and statue of weeping mother at American war cemetery margraten holland

Memorial tower and the statue of the weeping mother at Netherlands American War Cemetery Margraten

The Walls of the Missing

These walls line the memorial square and show the names of the missing. It’s very impressive as there are over 1700 names listed. The names of those that have been found over time are marked with a rosette at the beginning.

View of the Walls of the Missing at Netherlands American WW2 Cemetery Margraten

View of the Walls of the Missing at Netherlands American WW2 Cemetery Margraten

Walls of the Missing Margraten Cemetery

Walls of the Missing – Netherlands American War Cemetery Margraten

Detail of the Walls of the Missing at Margraten

Detail of the Walls of the Missing at Margraten

Memorial Tower and Chapel

The Memorial Tower was added to the cemetery from the 1950’s. The structure is more than 30 meters high. Inside it is the memorial Chapel.

The Memorial Tower at Netherlands American War Cemetery Margraten

The Memorial Tower with the entrance to the Chapel at Netherlands American War Cemetery Margraten

Inside memorial tower margraten american war cemetery Margraten

Wall inscription inside the memorial tower at Netherlands American War Cemetery Margraten

Stars and Stripes at American war Cemetery Margraten Netherlands

Stars and Stripes at Netherlands American war Cemetery Margraten

Margraten memorial chapel chandelier

Chandelier hanging from the Memorial Chapel ceiling inside the tower at Netherlands American War Cemetery Margraten

Visit Netherlands American War Cemetery Margraten

The cemetery is under the care of the American Battle Monuments Commission and publicly accessible. For more information about visit hours please contact the cemetery’s visitor center.

Netherlands American War Cemetery Margraten

American Cemetery Margraten Netherlands

American Battle Monuments Commission sign at Margraten

American Battle Monuments Commission sign at Margraten





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