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.
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.
COMING: GRAVES IN AUSTRIA and GRAVES IN SWITZERLAND
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.
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.
Charlemagne (Karl der Große, 742-814)
Holy Roman Emperor (800-814).
Aachen: Shrine in Aachen Cathedral.
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)
- Death: The German Way of Death and Funerals – Customs, laws and regulations related to funerals, burial and cremation, including info for expats in Germany.
- Mini Bios A-Z – Brief biographies of people from the German-speaking world
- Notable People from Austria, Germany and Switzerland
- Germans in Hollywood – More bios
- Notable Women from Austria, Germany, Switzerland
- Featured Biographies of notable Austrians, Germans and Swiss