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The cemetery for Russian prisoners of war, who were kept in the nearby brick factory and who died of cholera, was set up in summer 1915 on the pasture of Köntösgát, on the western side of Debrecen, on the northern side of the main road to Hortobágy. The death toll of the epidemic, which raged for nearly a month, came to 1,500; the fenced off burial ground was expanded in 1917/1918 for more victims of infectious diseases. The bodies of soldiers, including Hungarian nationals, exhumed from the temporary burial places of military hospitals that operated in the inner areas of the town found their final resting place here in 1925.


History

Russian POW cemetery on Köntösgát

 

The first rail carriage transporting Russian prisoners of war to Debrecen, the large hinterland town during WWI, arrived here 103 years ago, on 14 October 1914. According to the agreement between the municipality and military leadership, the disinfection and medical observation of those arriving from “areas infected with war epidemics” were carried out on the premises of the brick factory on Balmazújvárosi Road and the Lime-sand brick factory in the environs of Diószegi Road, while some of the officers were tended to at the hospital of DEMKE (South Hungarian Cultural Union). The thousands of POWs transported here were typically taken to the bathing and observation points from the MÁV railway station through the streets in the town’s inner areas. According to the surviving data, ca 6,300 prisoners crossed through the town’s public areas from 5 to 8 April 1915.

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