Jumet-Gohyssart - Tombs of prisoners of war and partisans dead in Belgium during World War II
- Bruxelles, Etterbeek
- Bruxelles, Evere
- Bruxelles, Ixelles
- Dotsenko Tree (Bois de Stepennes)
- Fleurus (Vieux-Campinaire)
- Hoves /Silly
- Les Villettes
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- Liège, Cointe
- Liège, Robermont
- Liège, Saint-Walburge
- Namur, Belgrad
- Robertville (Orthodox cross)
- Sprimont (Dotsenko Monument)
- Trois Ponts
At the cemetery of Jumet-Gohyssart (a suburb of Charleroi, Hainaut province), the remains of the Soviet soldier Mikhail Plotnikov, who was born 02.02.1920 in Stalinabad (now Dushanbe), the Tajik SSR, are buried. He was reportedly a member of the Belgian Resistance.
According to local authorities, after the liberation of Charleroi from German troops in September 1944, in the area of the village of Jumet (Charnier du Diarbois) there was discovered a mass grave of people shot by the Nazis during the occupation. Out of 241 (238 men and 3 women from 9 European states), only 207 remains were handed over to the victims’ relatives. The rest were long time unclaimed, and the city administration made the decision to commit them to the earth on a special site of a city municipal cemetery.
Despite the fact that the information about the number of the grave of the Soviet soldier (194/35) remained in the town records, now it is impossible to determine its exact location, because the place of burial of unidentified and unclaimed remains now is a kind of a mass grave in the lawn, covered with fine gravel. Along the site there is a concrete wall with the inscription in French in the center: “Here lie the remains of 24 civilian heroes who were shot by the enemy during the war of 1940–1945.” On the left edge of the site there is a concrete gravestone with the inscription in French in bronze letters: “In honor of the victims of two wars of 1914–1918 and 1940–1945”.
On May 9, 2012, a nameplate with the personal data of the Soviet soldier was fixed on the mass grave. The inscription in French in gold letters on the grey marble reads: “Mikhail Plotnikov, born 02.02.1920 in Stalinabad, USSR. Shot by the Nazis in Charleroi. Member of the Belgian Resistance.”
In the area of Charleroi airport (at the intersection of Zoning industriel 11eme rue and Allee Centrale-Zoning de Jumet) in memory of the victims of the shootings in 2004, there is a monument in the form of a male figure with his hands tied, standing near the wall. On the reverse side of the monument there is a sign with the inscription in French: “In memory of 241 victims in the mass grave of Serna, Charleroi on September 4, 2004” (“Hommage aux 241 victims du charnier de la Serna. Charleroi le September 4, 2004”).
Every year in August-September, local authorities and veteran organizations hold a rally in front of the monument with the invitation of representatives of foreign states, whose citizens died on this site.
On May 9, employees of Russian foreign missions located in Belgium lay flowers to the monument.
The report on the opening of the monument in 2004, see here (http://www.gosselies.be/60_ans_serna.htm)
Annual memorial ceremonies
We would like to draw your attention to the fact that spelling of the names, surnames and places of birth of Soviet citizens buried in Belgium may be distorted due to the fact that they are quite often written only in Flemish and French in registration books and on monuments.
We thank the Brussels-Belgian Archdiocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, the organizations of Russian compatriots and Russian foreign institutions accredited in Belgium for providing photos and their efforts to preserve the memory of the heroism of the Soviet soldiers who fell in the Great Patriotic War.
The Embassy will be grateful for providing any information and photos of Soviet military graves of the Second World War in Belgium and the ceremonies held on them. Please send material to the email address of the Embassy firstname.lastname@example.org with the note «War Graves».