Famous Graves

The Final Resting Place of Notable People

The graves of the famous deceased from the German-speaking countries have long been one of my favorite subjects. Over the years, my wife and I have enjoyed touring the many cemeteries across Europe where these late personalities rest in peace.

The London grave of Karl Marx

The author pays a visit to Karl Marx at Highgate Cemetery in London.
PHOTO © Cheryl Flippo

It is important to point out that many of these interesting people are not buried in the country of their birth. Karl Marx is a good example. The famous father of communism was born in the German city of Trier, but you’ll find his final resting place in London (see photo), where he spent his last years in exile.

Another exile example is Sigmund Freud, born in Austrian Moravia (now in the Czech Republic), but also buried in London. (Well, it’s more accurate to say his ashes rest in London, since he was cremated and his urn is in a columbarium.)

In our case, my wife and I visited both Freud and Marx in reverse: first the graves in London, and several years later Freud’s house in Vienna and Marx’ birthplace in Trier. (See the photo on the Karl Marx Bio page.)

Our most recent cemetery adventure took place in Mexico in October 2015. The US Olympic champion Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) was born in Austria-Hungary, in what is today Romania. He later became Tarzan on the silver screen. His grave is in Acapulco, Mexico. Do you know why? You can learn more about that and his Austrian/German connections in Tarzan in Acapulco.

If you think it’s odd to tour graveyards, you are missing an interesting cultural experience. Most cemeteries are pleasant, park-like places where you can follow in the footsteps of history while relaxing in a quiet garden. I have been doing “graveyard tours” for many years and I recommend it highly.

Where are they buried?
Below is a guide to people buried in Germany. In most of the entries below, we use the German word for cemetery (der Friedhof, FREED-hohf). If you want to learn more about the lives and careers of the people listed below, please see our Notable People pages.


Also see: Death: The German Way of Death and Funerals – Customs, laws and regulations related to funerals, burial and cremation, including info for expats in Germany.

Famous People Buried in Germany

Herb Andress (1935-2004)
Austrian-born film actor who appeared in American movies and TV series (Combat, My Favorite Martian). Munich: Nordfriedhof.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Composer and organist. Leipzig: Thomaskirche (Saint Thomas’ Church), in front of altar. (See bio.)

Willy Brandt (1913-1992)
Politician (mayor of Berlin, chancellor of West Germany) and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Berlin: Waldfriedhof Potsdamer Chaussee.

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)
Playwright (Threepenny Opera). Berlin: Dorotheenstädtischer and Friedrichswerder Friedhof, Chausseestraße 126.

Buchholz grave

The Berlin grave of film actor Horst Buchholz.
PHOTO © Hyde Flippo

Horst Buchholz (1933-2003)
Film actor (One, Two, Three, The Magnificent Seven). Berlin: Waldfriedhof Heerstraße.

Robert Wilhelm Bunsen (1811-1899)
Chemist. Best known for his Bunsen burner. Heidelberg: Bergfriedhof.

Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908)
Artist, author, humorist (Max und Moritz).
Seesen (am Harz): Friedhof Mechtshausen.

Heinrich Böll (1917-1985)
Author (Gruppenbild mit Dame, Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum). Nobel Prize for Literature, 1972.
Bonn: Friedhof Bornheim-Merten.

Charlemagne (Karl der Große, 742-814)
Holy Roman Emperor (800-814).
Aachen: Shrine in Aachen Cathedral.

William (Wilhelm) Dieterle (1893-1972)
Film director, actor. Hollywood work: Madame DuBarry, Juarez, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Elephant Walk.
Hohenbrunn (Bavaria): Friedhof Hohenbrunn.

Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992)
Film actress (The Blue Angel, 1930). Her Hollywood work includes: Morocco, Shanghai Express, Destry Rides Again, A Foreign Affair, Rancho Notorious, Witness for the Prosecution. Dietrich died in Paris, where she spent the last decade of her life. More…
Berlin: Städtischer Friedhof III (Friedenau), Berlin-Schöneberg, Stubenrauchstraße 43-45 (next to fashion photographer Helmut Newton, 1902-2004)

Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)
Painter, artist famous for his drawings, paintings, woodcuts and etchings, including “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” Born in Nuremberg on May 21, 1471, Dürer also died there on April 6, 1528. See Mini bio.
Nuremburg: Sankt Johannisfriedhof (St. Johannis Cemetery)


Next | Famous Graves in Germany – Part 2

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