French Military Cemetery in Gdansk
Monument at the Gdansk Cemetery. Source: MINDEF/SGA/DMPA
This military cemetery contains the bodies of Frenchmen who died on Polish territory during the Second World War.
The French military cemetery in Gdansk, Poland, contains the bodies of Frenchmen who died on Polish territory during the Second World War.
After the Second World War, France organised the search for, identification and repatriation of prisoners of war and military personnel buried abroad. A “French search mission in Poland” worked in the country until 1950, looking for tombs and drawing up a list of the dead. In 1948, Warsaw granted the French authorities a 99-year right to an 11,500 m² plot of land to the west of the city of Gdansk to gather together the tombs of soldiers who were not repatriated during the repatriation campaigns of 1951, 1953 and 1961 – 2,180 bodies were claimed by the families.
This cemetery holds 1,152 bodies, including 329 that have not been identified. Among them there are prisoners of war, resistance fighters or political deportees, recruits from the Compulsory Work Service (STO - Service du Travail Obligatoire), Alsatians enrolled by force into the German Army and fugitives who had escaped from detention camps and who fought with the Polish resistance. The remains mainly come from the Voivodeships of Olsztyn, Gdansk, Bydgoszcz, Kosalin, Szczecin, Upper and Lower Silesia. The site comprises sections adorned with 1,127 funerary emblems marking the tombs, 961 of which are occupied – 25 of them contain several unidentified bodies. Three monumental stylised crosses were erected on a stone podium reached by a flight of stairs.
The consular services at the French Embassy in Warsaw ensure maintenance and management for the site based on a budgetary allocation from the Ministry of Defence.
French Embassy in Warsaw 1, rue Piekna 00-477 Warsaw
Tel.: + 48 (22) 529 30 00