GA listed These famous people are buried in Bonn

Bonn · Schlegel, Schumann, Hans Riegel - many famous people had a close connection to Bonn - and are buried in Bonn. Here and in the towns nearby there are many famous graves

Particularly the graves at the Alte Friedhof allow an insight into Bonn’s history. Some artistically designed graves at the second largest public green space in Bonn are hints to the city’s past. The following people and their graves are listed to provide a journey through history.

Clara und Robert Schumann

Particularly the graves at the Alte Friedhof allow an insight into Bonn’s history. Some artistically designed graves at the second largest public green space in Bonn are hints to the city’s past. The following people and their graves are listed to provide a journey through history.

Ernst Moritz Arndt

The German writer, historian, freedom fighter and mainly most important lyricist of the liberation wars moved to Bonn late in his life. Ernst Moritz Arndt was born 1769 on the island of Rügen, he worked as a professor at the university of Greifswald from 1805. In 1818 he began to lecture at the university in Bonn. He was a explicit opponent of Napoleon Bonaparte and wrote many patriotic scriptures during the liberation wars. His grave can be found at the Alte Friedhof since 1860.

Beethoven's mother, Maria Magdalena

Maria Magdalena van Beethoven was born in Ehernstein in 1746, but she later moved to Bonn and met her husband Johann there. Together they had seven children, amongst them the world famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven. Her grave is located at the Late Friedhof since 1787, but only in 2015 was it cleaned by the residents of the Prälat-Schleich-Haus and got a new flowerbed, for the Beethoven festivities.

August Wilhelm Schlegel

The German literature historian and critic August Wilhelm Schlegel is known for the „romantic school“, which he influenced together with his wife, his brother and wife as well as Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Ludwig Tieck and the writer Novalis. In Bonn he became famous for being the first lecturer of indology in Germany at the then newly found Bonn university in 1818. He was buried in 1846 at the Alte Friedhof.

Peter Grabeler

Another interesting grave at this cemetery stems from 1830. Peter Grabeler was a famous musician during Beethoven’s time. He could not follow his dream to become conductor at the cathedral because he had to take over the family brewery after his father’s death. The column grave symbolises the early death of the musician in its broken aspect.

Charlotte von Schiller

The wife of the famous german poet Friedrich von Schiller brought up their four children as a single mother after her husband’s death 1805 in Weimar. 20 years later she moved to Bonn to stay with her son Ernst and died a year later, in 1826, of a stroke. Her grave is also located at the Late Friedhof.

Mathilde Wesendonck

The writer was a muse for Richard Wagner and never lived in Bonn, but the city always played an important role in Mathilde Wesendonck’s life. After her son’s death in Bonn in 1882, the family grave was erected in Bonn at the Alte Friedhof. Since it was gold plated in 2012, it is one of the most beautiful at this cemetery.

Friedrich Wilhelm August Argelander

The German astronomer became observatory manager in Bonn in 1836. He became famous for the „Bonner Durchmusterung (BD)“, which is the comprehensive astrometric star catalogue of the whole sky (325,000 stars). He was buried as a famous scientist in 1875 at the Alte Friedhof.

Mildred Scheel

As opposed to most of the famous people buried at the Alte Friedhof, this grave is from the 20th century. As the wife of former Federal President Walter Scheel, Mildred Scheel gained a prominent international reputation for her social commitment. She pursued the fight against cancer and founded the German cancer society in 1974. When she died of colon cancer in 1985, she was buried in this grave of honour at the Alte Friedhof.

Hans Riegel

Although he is clearly differentiated from the former persons, the biggest sweets manufacturer of Europe has to be mentioned, definitely, as a part of Bonn’s history and tradition. He founded Haribo in 1920 and made the small gold bears famous worldwide. The entrepreneur was buried in 1945 at the Südfriedhof in Bonn.

These famous people were buried in or near Bonn.

Also, Konrad Adenauer and Heinrich Böll had a close connection to Bonn and are inseparable from the city’s history.

Herbert Richard Wehner

The German politician was a member of the Communist Party (KPD) as a young man and when the party was prohibited he was active in the resistance against the National Socialists. He was arrested in 1942 in Sweden but returned to Germany in 1946. He moved to Hamburg and joined the Social Democrats. He was Federal Minister for all-German questions and led the SPD fraction until 1983. He died in Bonn in 1990. He was buried at the Burgfriedhof in Bad Godesberg.

Paul Magar

Equipped with an extraordinary artistic talent, the painter Paul Magar even designed his gravestone himself. Already during his military duty during World War II, he processed his emotions and impressions in his art. The majority of his paintings were destroyed though. After the war he started anew in Bad Godesberg, where he was buried in 2000 at the Burgfriedhof.

Paul Kemp

The actor and character comedian Paul Kemp celebrated his theatre debut in Düsseldorf, where his varied career began. He died in 1953 in the university hospital in Bonn and was buried at the Burgfriedhof in Bad Godesberg. 25 years after his death, the Bachstraße - where his parents’ house is located - was renamed Paul-Kemp-Straße. The German Film Museum in Frankfurt bought articles of his heritage and exhibited them.

Konrad Adenauer

Adenauer was the first Chancellor of the newly founded Federal Republic of Germany. Despite being born in Cologne, he campaigned for Bonn as German capital. The former Lord Mayor of Cologne was Chancellor from 1949 until 1963. When he died in his house in Rhöndorf in 1967, he was buried at the Waldfriedhof there.

Rupert Neudeck

The German journalist founded the German NGO Cap Anamur/Deutsche Not-Ärzte e.V., together with his wife and German writer Heinrich Böll. He became world famous after rescuing 10.375 Vietnamese refugees in the Chinese Sea with his freighter Cap Anamur. He was also co-founder and chairman of the peace corps Grünhelme e.V. and campaigned for more knowledge about Islam in order to reduce fears about it. After his death in 2016, he was buried at the cemetery in Spich in Troisdorf.

Erich Ollenhauer

He joined the SPD at the age of 17, but had to flee from the NS regime. After the war he returned to Germany, and was party chairman from 1952 until 1963 and competed as chancellor candidate against Konrad Adenauer twice. He died in 1963 because of a pulmonary embolism and was buried at the Südfriedhof in Bonn.

Werner Flume

The German legal scholar was know as one of the most influential jurists of the 20th century. He moved to Bonn to study and returned after several years in Berlin to Bonn, where he took a position as private lecturer in 1948. After his death in 2009, he was buried at the Zentralfriedhof in Bonn.

Alexander Koenig

Everybody in Bonn knows the Museum Koenig. Alexander Koenig himself founded the large Museum of Natural History. But because he lost all his wealth during the inflation of the Second World War, he had no choice but to hand it over to the German Reich. It was opened in 1934, and Koenig lived in Bonn until he died in 1940 when he was buried at the Südfriedhof.

Hans-Dietrich Genscher

The German politician (FDP) was Federal Interior Minister from 1969 until 1974 and then became Foreign Minister. Genscher is indispensable from German history, because of his involvement in the political settlement between East and West Germany. He came to Bonn in 1956 as a scientific assistant in the FDP. In 2016, he died at the age of 89 in Wachtberg and was buried at the Rheinhöhenfriedhof in Ließem.

Viktor Verpoorten

The manufacturer of the well-known egg liquor „Verpoorten“ was founded by Eugen Verpoorten in Heinsberg in 1876. Viktor Verpoorten was heir and CEO of the company in its fourth generation. But it was he who built the headquarters in Bonn and created the slogan „Ei, ei, ei - Verpoorten!“. The successful CEO was buried in 2003 at the Südfriedhof.

Heinrich Böll

The famous post war writer grew up not far from Bonn, in Cologne’s South. He began his writing career with letters which he wrote during his time as a soldier and when he was imprisoned during the Second World War. Later, he published many short stories, post war novels and many political essays. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972. He died in 1985 and was buried at the Alte Friedhof in Merten.

André Osterritter

The painter, graphic designer and caricaturist André Osterritter was the oldest of seven children when he was born in Bonn. He completed his apprenticeship in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Munich before he opened his first exhibition in the former Stadtmuseum in Bonn in the Villa Obernier. After that he worked as a freelancer for the university of Bonn and the Chamber for Agriculture. He died in 1957 and was buried in Mehlem.

Please note: This is a list of dead people’s graves in Bonn and the region, which makes no claim to be complete nor objective. The running order is not a ranking of any kind. The order is random. If you think there is a grave missing that should be in there, please get in touch via

Original text: Tabea Richter, Translation: Mareike Graepel

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