Relation with Lake (class): Lake Casualty Cemetery (LCC)  
Total nr. of casualties buried here (TC): 0 end WW2, today 31.600 war graves
Lake casualties here: less than 50
Unknown today: 670
of which unknown from Lake (LC-U): at least 1
of which unknown from North Sea (NS-U): 50 +
Initial burial site in WW2: no.
Post war burial site for collection and reburial from other sites: yes 
Cemetery with Lake casualties today: yes (LCE).


After WW2 the Dutch Army Grave Recovery Unit needed a patch of land to build a cemetery to rebury German soldiers from field graves. The problem was that no Dutch city or community wanted to provide this. Germans were intensely hated after 5 years of brutal occupation. The Dutch cities refused not only a new centralisation site of Germans soldiers on their terrain, but also wanted to get rid of the many 'Heldenfriedhofen' (German military fields of honour) that already existed on their grounds. Solution came in 1946 when quartermaster Captain Timmermans found a desolate piece of poor farmland that could function as central German Military Cemetery in the Netherlands. This was near the village of Ysselsteyn. Between October 1946 and 1960 some 31.600 German remains were brought over and reburied here. We estimate some 100 German casulaties with relation to the airwar over Lake IJsselmeer (Old Zuyder Sea) rest here.


Dutch name cemetery: Duitse militaire begr. pl. 
Full name: German Military Cemetery in NL.
Address (usable for car navigation):
Timmermansweg 75, Ysselsteyn (near Venray)

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Please use as subject title: 'Ysselsteyn'.

The first interred in Ysselsteyn were thousands of German soldiers that were killed in the Allied advance into the South of The Netherlands fall 1944 and the battles for the bridges of Arnhem and Nijmegen. Post war the Americans delivered the remains of 3000 Germans soldiers that had fought in the Hürtgenwald and had been temporary buried next to (in fact in) the US cemetery "Netherlands" in Margraten. Years later in Dutch northern cities and villages the Germans were exhumed and brought over to here. This involved hundreds of Germans (airborne troops) that were killed during the invasion of Holland in May 1940. They came mainly from Rotterdam, Dordrecht, Breda and Goes. From Dutch North Sea coastal towns, or where had been German airfields and hospitals, hundreds of German war dead came over that had been killed throughout the war in the occupied Netherlands (airmen, washed ashore sailors, air raid casualties, suicides, etc.). From non-frontline town Amsterdam came 950 men. Other large German cemeteries cleared were for example Alkmaar, Den Helder, Texel Island and Leeuwarden.


Other German war graves in The Netherlands.
Today (almost) all German WW2 war graves in the Netherlands are centralized in Ysselsteyn. Only on the islands of Ameland and Schiermonnikoog and in Vorden, German WW2 war graves can be found. On Ameland (Nes RK) is buried German meteorologist and 'Regierungsreferendar' Dr. Josef Wille. He flew as crew of a Luftwaffe DO-17 of Wetterstaffel 26 and was shot down over the North Sea March 31, 1940. His crewmate Uffz. Helmuth Biester also washed ashore and was buried also on Ameland, but only Biester was brought over to Ysselsteyn in 1958. Probably family of Dr. Wille paid for eternal grave rights and grave rest, as happened in Vorden (read futher below).

On Schiermonnikoog Island is a private owned cemetery (named 'Vredenhof') for washed ashore victims of the sea. It was founded in 1917 and became because of two World Wars largely a war cemetery. It tries to hold on to every nationality in its care and four Germans killed 1940-1945 were allowed to stay at rest there (1 washed ashore sailor, a pilot and 2 Navy Kriegsmarine sailors that operated heavy Flak on the island). See our articles on Ameland and Schiermonnikoog cemeteries on this site.

In Vorden (east of Zutphen) in total 10 German servicemen are buried in a private owned grave. See photos here on the website of Oud-Vorden.  Most of them are soldiers, killed during a strafing of a train on 26 of March 1945. But also the crew of Luftwaffe nightfighter JU-88 of 7./NJG2 (Feldwebel Hugo Fritz) crashed 27 March 1945 are buried in this collective grave. When the exhumation to Ysselsteyn came up in 1958, the father of JU-88 crew member Adolf Hild had purchased the grave for eternity in advance and in this way kept grave rest for his son and the others. They were not exhumed. The Hild family is owner of the collective grave. When the victims of WW2 are commemorated in the Netherlands on May 4, the presence of the 10 Germans in Vorden (next to the Allied war graves) causes fierce discussions each year whether they should be commemorated or not (so far not).

In Rotterdam Crooswijk (14), Weert (6), Schiermonnikoog Vredenhof (11) and IJmuiden Westerbegr. pl. (5) are German WW1 war graves, 1914-1918.

Below: Path towards visitor building (Besuchergebäude).

Below: Field entree

Map/Cemetery plan Ysselsteyn


Photo below: view from Pflegegebäude (toolshed) towards Hochkreuz (the high cross in the centre).

Photo below: view to the left, Plot 1918 -> Plot AZ. 


Photo below: view Plot 1918 -> Plot BL

Photo below:  view from the central path towards the right. View Plot A -> Plot K.

Photo below: view left, Plot BK -> Plot BH.

 Photo below: view right, Plot M -> Plot U.


Photo below: in the central circle with the high cross (Hochkreuz), view towards Plot CK.

 Photo below: view Plot CK -> Plot CV.

Photo below: Plot CK, row 11, grave 273 (CK-11-273). The German soldier (probably airman) that washed ashore at Urk (Old Zuydersea) on VE-day May 5, 1945. He was buried on Urk in grave 623 and reburied here in 1957. Not identified so far. At first there were 8000 non-identified German casualties in Ysselsteyn. In 1957 all non-ID graves were opened and examined by the Dutch Identification Unit in cooperation with the German authorities. They managed to identify no less than 7330 men. The man from Urk was not identified.


Photo below: commemorative stone for Dutch army captain Lodewijk Johannes Timmermans, initiator and officer in charge of this site 1946-1976. 

 Captain Timmermans was involved with this cemetery from the beginning in 1946. Thirty years later, in 1976, he handed over the cemetery to the German Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V.  When he passed away in 1995, his ashes was spread here.

© ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War).