International Necronautical Society INS Inspectorate Berlin
return: documents

report no.: 020
informant: RR
location: Grabfeld 64, Zentralfiedhof, Lichentberg
date: 1919–2005

25 January 1919: Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg are buried at Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfeld. The burial turns into a massive demonstration.

1920s: KPD decides to build a memorial monument called Revolutionsdenkmal at Grabfeld 64 for Liebknecht, Luxemburg and all who died in the revolution.

1924: Laying of the foundation stone for the Revolutionsdenkmal by Wilhelm Pieck; architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The memorial is built out of faulty bricks; the money for the transport of the bricks is raised by selling postcards picturing a model of the monument, with the KPD badge etc. The bricks were supposed to remind you that many people are shot against walls; Revolutionsdenkmal is a wall of 12m long, 4m wide, 6m high.

13 June 1926: Unveiling of the Revolutionsdenkmal on the 7th anniversary of the death of Luxemburg.

1933: Last large demonstration against fascist regime at the Revolutionsdenkmal. Three people (Alfred Kollatsch, Paul Schulz, Erwin Berner) are killed by the Nazis. Nazis use the monument as a trap for persecuting communists and social democrats.

January 1935: Revolutionsdenkmal is demolished by the Nazis, earlier the monument has been vandalised by the Nazis by stealing the red star. The red flag is saved, however, and finds a home at the Museum für Deutsche Geschichte in 1952.

June 1941: At the site of the Revolutionsdenkmal new graves are set up. Liebknecht's body may still be there. Documentation of the desecration of the monument by photographer Etsuji Sumiya; grave stones of Liebknecht und Luxemburg are saved and today standing at the Museum für Deutsche Geschichte.

1946–1950: Tradition of memorial day for Liebnecht and Luxemburg is reestablished.

1951: New memorial monument called 'Gedenkstätte der Sozialisten is built in the front entrance area of the Zentralfriedhof. Fake tombs for Luxemburg, Liebknecht and other heroes of the revolution or the DDR state are arranged around a central column. The outer circle is decorated with salvaged grave stones of other communists from the revolutionary era and memorial plaques for party officials.

1983: Memorial monument commemorating the earlier monument is built over the remaining foundations of the destroyed Revolutionsdenkmal. Architects: Günter Stahn, Gerhard Thieme.

A bronze plaque depicts the orginial Revolutionsdenkmal (by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe) in rielief shown. On the board it says: "Auf diesem Fundament stand das Revolutionsdenkmal für Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg und viele andere revolutionaere Kämpfer der Deutschen Arbeiterbewegung. 1926 errichtet von der Kommunistischen Partei Deutschlands nach Plänen von Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. 1935 von den Faschisten zerstört."

2005: site no longer designated as Grabfeld 64

13 May 2005: INS Aerial Reconnaissance carried out by AA