The Commonwealth War Cemetery Arnhem Oosterbeek, also known as the Airborne Cemetery, contains the graves of most of those killed during the September landings, and many of those killed in later fighting in the area.

There are now 1,680 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 245 of the burials are unidentified and two casualties are commemorated by special memorials. There are also 73 Polish, 3 Dutch and 3 non-war (former CWGC employees) graves in the cemetery.

Significant about this cemetery is the fact that a part of the Polish war graves is located separately at the left and right of the entrance. This is related to the year 1946 and the upcoming Cold War. Polish soldiers who had perished were due to be transported back to Poland from Driel, The Netherlands, but the now communist authorities blocked this transport, as these Polish fighters had worked with the British Allies. The bodies were returned to The Netherlands to be buried in Oosterbeek. The cemetery there only had room left at the edge of the fields.

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  • Text: Lennard Bolijn
  • Photos: Arjan Vrieze

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