The Cemetery of the Nameless on Neuwerk is an impressive memorial to the many unknown victims of shipwrecks and strandings in the North Sea. Founded in 1319, this cemetery is one of the oldest of its kind and was even consecrated by a bishop.
Due to the dangerous conditions in the Elbe estuary, especially near the Scharhörn Reef, shipwrecks and driven deaths have occurred frequently throughout history. A regulation stated that a carpentered coffin always had to be ready to bury the casualties. Nowadays the dead are transferred to the mainland, but in the past this was often difficult, especially in winter.
Most of the crosses in the cemetery do not bear names, but there is one exception: the grave of an 18-year-old sailor from Bremen who drowned in 1928. His tombstone has a touching poem commemorating the homeless. The real number of burials is unknown, and the number of crosses is only symbolic.
The Cemetery of the Nameless is a place of remembrance and reflection, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of Neuwerk Island and the fates of those whose lives ended at sea.