American Children Graves
compiled by John T. Halbert
A total of 451 American children were buried in the Main Cemetery in Kaiserslautern, Germany between 1952 and 1971. Most of these children were infants who died before reaching three months of age from causes such as pneumonia or pulmonary distress after being born premature.
With few exceptions these little ones were children of parents stationed by the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force in the Kaiserslautern area (Including Landstuhl AB, Ramstein AB, Sembach AB, Panzer Kaserne, Daenner Kaserne, Kleber Kaserne, Rhein Ordnance Barracks, Pulaski Barracks, the Weilerbach Munitions Storage Area and the Miesau Munitions Storage Area).
At the time (1952-1971), support from the U.S. government or the American Red Cross was not available to transport these young children to the United States for a stateside burial. Until the 1980s the Kinder graves were scattered throughout the cemetery and many of the leases for those graves had expired. In Germany, graves are leased for a certain number of years and then reused.
The future of the graves was secured in 1986 as result of donations from the German-American Women’s Club of Kaiserslautern; the area Army and Air Force Wives’ Clubs, and other private sources. The city of Kaiserslautern donated a site for a consolidated Kinder grave park and the Ramstein Area Chief’s Group (Chief Master Sergeants or Sergeant Major ranks) acting as agent for the Kaiserslautern Kinder Grave Foundation leased another small area in the cemetery which guaranteed a plot large enough for the graves to be relocated in a single cemetery site.
The $2,500 extended lease with the City of Kaiserslautern runs until year 2011. There is one guaranteed renewal until 2041. The Kaiserslautern Kinder Grave Foundation accepts donations to maintain the site and replace worn out grave stones.
The American Children graves are located in the southeast portion of the large Hauptfriedhof, across the street from Kleber Kaserne and next to Daenner Kaserne. Closest access is a pedestrian gate next to the US Army Chapel next to Daenner Kaserne. Parking is available at the Chapel.
Access can also be made at the cemetery entrance along Mannheimerstrasse. Visitors would take the first service road to the right before the fountain and proceed about ˝ kilometers to the first T-intersection. The graves are on the left.
For additional information on Kaiserslautern and maps of the city visit the Kaiserslautern On-Line Web site (in English).
Search this list of American children buried in the Kaiserslautern Hauptfriedhof (Main Cemetery) by surname:
*Complied by John T. Halbert, Weilerbach, Germany
Genealogical Association of English Speaking Researchers in Europe