The German cemetery at Cuacos de Yuste

The remains of 180 soldiers who died during the First and Second World Wars in Spain or near its coasts are buried there

Did you know that there is a German cemetery in Cuacos de Yuste, the only military cemetery in the whole of Spain, and that around 180 soldiers who died during the First and Second World Wars are buried there, either in Spain or near its coasts?

Just a few steps away from the Monastery of Yuste, the place chosen by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, is a very special cemetery. It is the only German military cemetery in Spain, where the remains of 180 soldiers who died during the first two world wars are buried, either in Spain or near its coasts.

All of them are German airmen and sailors who reached the Spanish coasts and lands due to shipwrecks or the downing of the planes they were flying. In total, 26 military personnel from World War I and 129 from World War II from both the Luftwaffe (Air Force) and the Kriegsmarine (Navy). To these figures must be added the graves of a further 25 soldiers In Memoriam (i.e. containing no remains) and eight graves containing the remains of unknown soldiers.

The origins of the cemetery date back to 1919, when the German Cemetery Commission was founded, a non-governmental association whose aim was to find, promote and preserve the graves of soldiers who had died outside Germany. In 1954, the commission was commissioned by the Federal Republic of Germany to search abroad for the graves of German soldiers with the aim of reuniting them all in cemeteries in the countries where there were remains of German soldiers who died during the two world wars.

In 1975, the commission acquired a plot of land in Cuacos de Yuste on which to establish this cemetery. The location was clear: near the place where the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V died. In 1980 work began on the cemetery, which was inaugurated on 1 July 1983 with a mass officiated jointly by a Protestant priest and the abbot of the Monastery of Yuste.

SOURCE: The Adventure of History

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