Above/featured: Cemetery view facing west, from the shelter building to the Stone of Remembrance, Cross of Sacrifice, and Terrace in the distance (WCL-X70: 14/21mm).
There’s a presence from western Canada buried in eastern Germany.
In Vancouver, Canada, the H.Y. Louie family has long been a part of the Chinese-Canadian community and the overall merchant community. Their current business holdings include the London Drugs chain of stores and the IGA grocery-store chain; both are recognized and known throughout greater Vancouver.
One member of the family is resting permanently 8000 kilometres away in Berlin, Germany. After learning about this, an important goal in a return to the German capital city is to visit the cemetery where Q.J. Louie is buried and pay respects at his grave. It has never been a matter of if, but when I return to Berlin.
The Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery is a cemetery in the southwest corner of Berlin’s Westend (Bezirk/borough Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf). Established in 1945, the cemetery is about 4 hectares (10 acres) in size and home to over 3500 members of Commonwealth armed forces, about 400 of whom remained unidentified.
On my 1st full day in my return to the German capital, my pilgrimage to the cemetery lasts about 90 minutes during which I’m mostly alone.
In this map view, north is at the bottom, the nearest bus stop “Scholzplatz” is 400 metres to the left/east. The red filled circle marks the approximate location for Q.J. Louie’s grave.
Shelter Building (east)
At the shelter building, one wall of the north space has two memorial plaques; the south room has a “register box” containing a book with map, index, and names of those buried here. Looming large in the near distance is the 231-metre (758-foot) high red-and-white radio and television broadcast tower for Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB).
Stone of Remembrance
I’m late to the cemetery, but my travel itinerary made my delayed visit inevitable. I’m visiting this cemetery a full 9 days after Remembrance Day, for which it’s patently obvious a number of wreathes from that day’s ceremony lie at the bottom of the memorial. Remembrance Day is a holiday in Commonwealth countries, but not in Germany. In parts of Germany, 11 November is recognized as St. Martin’s Day, but also, 1111am on 11 November marks the beginning of Karneval season in Cologne.
Quan Jin Louie
Born in Vancouver, Canada, Quan Jil Louie served in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as Flying Officer in the 420 (Snowy Owl) Squadron. He and five others perished on 16 January 1945 when their plane was shot down during an Allied bombing mission over northern Germany.
It’s a few steps to the cemetery’s section 5. Halfway down row G, I see his name on the headstone. Like many, he died young; he was only 2 weeks from celebrating his 24th birthday. I’ve brought 3 poppies with me from Vancouver, and laid them at the base of his gravestone.
Cross of Sacrifice
“Indian Graves” (northwest)
The naming for this corner of the cemetery is admittedly terse, but not everyone in service to the Commonwealth was of the Christian faith. For those from the Asian sub-continent buried here, inscriptions on their headstones reflect their faith and background. Over two million people from British India volunteered for service in the British military during World War 2.
Final look, up front
Directions with public transport
• U-Bahn U2 to station Theodor-Heuss-Platz, then hop on the M49 bus from stop “U Theodor-Heuss-Platz Nord” to stop “Scholzplatz”. Cross Heerstrasse to the south side of the street, walk west for about 400 metres on Heerstrasse to the signed cemetery entrance.
• S-Bahn S3 or S9 to station Pichelsberg, walk south for about 350 metres on Schirwindter Allee. Cross Heerstrasse to the south side of the street, walk west for about 400 metres on Heerstrasse to the signed cemetery entrance.
I made all photos above on 20 Nov 2021 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-lRg.