When you’re travelling south of Göttingen, Germany, you will see a memorial on top of a hill. It is the Friedland-Gedächtnisstätte or Heimkehrerdenkmal located at Friedland. The memorial consists of four huge blocks of concrete pointing north, south, east and west. It is 28 meters high and has been placed there in 1967 because of the Grenzdurchgangslager near the hill – Friedland was the place where after World War II the persons arrived that were living in the lost eastern regions of the country and the prisoners of war. The foundation stone was laid by Konrad Adenauer – the first chancellor of Germany – in 1966.
Völker entsaget dem Hass – versöhnt euch, dienet dem Frieden – baut Brücken zueinander!– Heimkehrerdankmal, Friedland
The memorial reminds on the suffering of these displaced persons. The last transport arrived at Friedland in 1956, but when this memorial was erected still not all persons were free again. Unfortunately, the Heimkehrerdenkmal fails in telling the reason why so many people lost their homes in the former eastern Germany and why so many German soldiers were prisoners of war. The Museum Friedland (within the railway station) does better and opens with the information, that all this suffering was caused by Germany starting World War II. But the memorial calls for the right answers – to reconcile and build bridges between the people of the world.
If you want to visit the Heimkehrerdenkmal: it is a pleasant 20 minutes walk (signs throughout the city will show you the way) from the railway station of Friedland – but there is also a car park underneath. The memorial is placed on a nice meadow with opportunities to sit down.
Friedland-Gedächtnisstätte / Heimkehrerdenkmal
Am Schwarzen Bach 1