Where are they buried? Below is Part 2 of our 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.
Famous People Buried in Germany – Part 2
CONTINUED FROM PART 1 (A-D)
Theodor Fontane (1819-1898)
German poet and novelist of French Huguenot descent. Considered the leading exponent of “poetic realism” in 19th Century German literature, two of Fontane’s best-known novels are Effie Briest (1896) and L’Adultera (1882), both based on real-life episodes in Prussian Berlin and Brandenburg.
Berlin: Friedhof II der Französisch-Reformierten-Gemeinde, Liesenstraße. Note: This cemetery is notable for having been partially destroyed by construction for the Berlin Wall, which used to cut through it. Fontane’s gravestone was destroyed in World War II, but later restored. His grave (in East Berlin) was accessible only with a special permit while the Berlin Wall was still standing.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
Poet, author. Germany’s “Shakespeare.” (See full bio.)
Weimar: Historischer Friedhof (Historic Cemetery) in the Fürstengruft (Royal Vault). Note: There is an entrance fee of 2.50 EUR to view the closed oak coffins of Goethe and Friedrich Schiller side-by-side in the Fürstengruft building. (They share the room with Weimar nobles, for whom the vault was originally built.) Schiller’s coffin has been empty since 2008, when genetic testing of the remains proved they were not Schiller’s.
Jacob Grimm (Jacob Ludwig Karl, 1785-1863)
Wilhelm Grimm (Wilhelm Karl, 1786-1859)
Writers, linguists. The Brothers Grimm did important work in the field of German grammar and linguistics. Between 1821 and 1822 they also collected three volumes of folktales from all across the German-speaking region (Grimms Märchen). The first volume (“A-Biermolke”) of their ground-breaking Deutsches Wörterbuch (“German Dictionary,” DWB) was published in 1854. The last DWB volume was not completed until 1960, a century after their deaths. Berlin: Alter St. Matthäus Friedhof.
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Tarzan in Acapulco
Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) was born in Austria-Hungary, in what is today Romania. The Olympic swimming champ later became Tarzan on the silver screen. But why is his grave in Acapulco, Mexico?
Alfred Herrhausen (1930-1989)
Speaker of the Board of Directors of Deutsche Bank. Herrhausen was assassinated by a roadside bomb set by the RAF (Rote Armee Fraktion) terrorist group not far from his home in Bad Homburg, Germany. Bad Homburg: Waldfriedhof, where old and new sections border each other. – Also see Terrorism in Germany.
Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894)
Physicist. Besides lending his name to the term for “cycles per second,” as in kilohertz (KHz) or megahertz (MHz), Hertz did pioneering research related to electricity and electromagnetic waves. (See Hertz bio.)
Hamburg: Ohlsdorfer Friedhof, section Q 24, 53-58.
Heinrich Hoffmann (1809-1894)
German physician, poet, and author of Der Struwwelpeter (1845). Frankfurt am Main: Hauptfriedhof (Main Cemetery), Eckenheimer Landstraße 194; Location: North Wall, Hoffmann-Donner. WEB: Der Struwwelpeter and other books by Hoffmann at Project Gutenberg
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859)
Geographer, naturalist and explorer. The Humboldt Current west of South America is named for him. Humboldt was one of the first scientific explorers, journeying to the Americas in the early 1800s. He was one of the world’s first environmental scientists. His older brother, Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835) was a distinguished linguist, diplomat, and founder of the Humboldt University in Berlin. The two brothers are buried near their former residence, Schloss Tegel, in the Reinickendorf district of Berlin. (More…)
Berlin: Schlosspark Tegel (Tegel Castle Park).
Also see: Alexander von Humboldt: Why Do We Find His Name All Around the Globe
Erich Kästner (1899-1974)
Author. Two of Kästner’s humorous tales for children, Emil und die Detektive and Das doppelte Lottchen, were made into Disney films: Emil and the Detectives (1964) and The Parent Trap (1961, 1998). (More about Kästner from About.com.)
Munich: Bogenhausener Friedhof.
Ernst Litfass (Litfaß, 1816-1874)
Printer, publisher. Pioneering inventor of cylindrical advertising columns (Litfaßsäule, Berlin, 1854).
Berlin: Dorotheenstädtischer und Friedrichswerder Friedhof, Chausseestraße 126.
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Religious reformer, Bible translator. Luther was the principal figure in the 16th century Protestant Reformation in Europe. (See Luther bio.) Wittenberg: Schlosskirche (Castle Church), below wooden pulpit.
Heinrich Mann (1871-1950)
Author, novelist. Heinrich was the elder brother of Nobel Prize-winning novelist Thomas Mann. His best-known novel is Professor Unrat (1904), which was later the basis for the movie Der Blaue Engel (1930), starring Marlene Dietrich.
Berlin: Dorotheenstädtischer und Friedrichswerder Friedhof. Note: When he died in California, Heinrich Mann was first buried in Santa Monica’s Woodlawn Cemetery. In 1961 his ashes were moved to Berlin (then East Berlin), but his gravestone in Santa Monica remains. His wife Nelly is buried in California. His brother Thomas died in Switzerland and his grave is near Zurich.
F. W. Murnau (Friedrich Wilhelm Plumpe, 1888-1931)
Film director. German-born Murnau worked briefly in Hollywood (Sunrise, 1927) before being killed in an auto accident in Santa Barbara. His best-known film is the silent classic Nosferatu (1922). Stahnsdorf (near Potsdam): Südwestfriedhof der Berliner Synode (Southwest Cemetery). See photo below.
Helmut Newton (1920-2004)
Fashion photographer. Groundbreaking, controversial photographer born in Berlin. Berlin: Friedhof III (Cemetery III), Berlin-Friedenau.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
German philosopher. (See Nietzsche bio.) Röcken (near Leipzig): Röcken Kirchhof (churchyard cemetery).
Georg Simon Ohm (1789-1854)
German physicist. (See Ohm bio.) Munich: Alter Südfriedhof (Old South-Cemetery).
Carl Orff (1895-1982)
German composer. Best known for his classic “Carmina Burana” cantata, Orff was born in Munich.
Andechs (near Munich): Schmerzhafte Kapelle (Chapel of Sorrows) in the Andechs Abbey Church (Klosterkirche).
Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)
German composer. (See Pachelbel bio.) Nuremberg: Rochusfriedhof (St. Rochus Cemetery).
Ernst Reuter (1889-1953)
German politician. Reuter was the mayor of Berlin (1948-1953) during the city’s critical post-war years and the Berlin Airlift. Berlin: Waldfriedhof Potsdamer Chaussee.
Manfred von Richthofen (The Red Baron, 1892-1918)
Legendary World War I flying ace who shot down 80 enemy aircraft. Later known as “The Red Baron,” Richthofen had a total of four burials! (See photo below.) Also see his full bio.
Wiesbaden: Südfriedhof (South Cemetery), since 1975
Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812)
Mayer Rothschild was the German Jewish founder of the European financial dynasty that began in Frankfurt am Main in the early 1800s. Over time Mayer and his sons expanded their banking and financial empire from Frankfurt to London, Naples, Paris, and Vienna.
Frankfurt am Main: Jüdischer Friedhof (Jewish Cemetery), Battonstraße 2. The Battonstraße cemetery dates from the 13th century and is the oldest Jewish cemetery in Frankfurt, older than the so-called “Old Jewish Cemetery” (1828), and one of the oldest in Germany. It was partially damaged by WWII bombing. – NOTE: The graves of Mayer Amschel’s sons (and their wives) lie in the Alter Jüdischer Friedhof (Old Jewish Cemetery) on Rat-Beil-Straße. A framed, glass-enclosed map near the Old Jewish Cemetery entrance shows the location of the Rothschild family graves, as well as the grave of Paul Ehrlich, the Nobel Prize-winning discoverer of a cure for syphilis, and other notable Frankfurt Jews. A third Jewish cemetery, the New Jewish Cemetery, north of Frankfurt’s Main Cemetery, was opened in 1928. Address: Eckenheimer Landstraße 238.
Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841)
German architect. Many of Berlin’s buildings and monuments were designed by Schinkel. Web: Schinkel (Wikipedia).
Berlin: Dorotheenstädtischer und Friedrichswerder Friedhof, Chausseestraße 126.
Helmut Schmidt (1918-2015)
German politican, publisher. Schmidt was Willy Brandt’s successor in 1974 and West German chancellor (SPD) for the next seven years (before the “other” Helmut, Helmut Kohl). See our Helmut Schmidt – Mini Bio for more.
Hamburg: Schmidt joined his wife Loki at the Ohlsdorfer Friedhof in November 2015.
Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin (1838-1917)
Inventor of the rigid-frame airship named for him. (See Zeppelin bio.) Stuttgart: Pragfriedhof (Prague Cemetery).
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.
AT THE GERMAN WAY
- 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