Freie Universität Berlin, Max Planck Society, and the Berlin Heritage Authority Announce March 23, 2023, as Date for the Memorial Service and Burial of Human Remains

Victims of crimes committed in the name of science will be laid to rest

A public memorial service to mark the burial of the human remains that were uncovered in the course of several excavations on the Freie Universität Berlin campus from 2015 onward will be held on March 23, 2023, at the Waldfriedhof Dahlem cemetery. Representatives from different organizations and associations agreed that the human remains should be laid to rest in a dignified manner, without the use of religious or Eurocentric symbols. These groups included the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, as well as other grassroots associations and a working group, of which Freie Universität Berlin, the Max Planck Society, and the Berlin Heritage Authority are also members. Representatives from these institutions, associations, and organizations will attend the ceremony to honor the memory of the victims.

The human remains recovered from various excavations stem from victims of crimes. In particular, they used to be part of collections held in the former Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics. On the basis of the investigations conducted, it cannot be excluded that some of the bones might originate from a context directly linked to National Socialist crimes. In the fall of 2022, the research institutions involved announced that the scientific investigation and analysis of the remains had been completed.