While visiting the church in Klaptow, I inquired with two of the locals about the cemetery. The older man thought I was a German and the boy tried to tell me he didn’t speak German, or “Niemicki.” I tried to tell him I was an American who was looking for “stare groby,” or the old graves. I was informed that the old gravestones from the surrounding area had been moved to Bartin, now modern-day Bardy. Previously, I was told there was a cemetery in Włościbórz, which used to be Lustebuhr, but that did not appear to be the case.

The lapidarium is composed of gravestones from the surrounding area. It does appear that its location is where a former cemetery was, but it should not be assumed that all stones on display are originally from the cemetery nor that their placement is where one was buried.

It was difficult to locate the lapidarium. Reaching it from the south, one must drive around a slight corner away from the village before noticing a small sign denoting its location. The lapidarium is on the right-hand side if coming from the south as we did. It is surrounded on all sides by beautiful farm fields.

As we arrived, a team of workers were clearing a path to the lapidarium. It appeared to be cared for and maintained, though inevitably ivy was growing everywhere. I took pictures of every angle and every stone I could to preserve the history of this place for future generations. There were a few surviving headstones that were too eroded to be legible. It might be possible to restore some of the text by digitally remastering the image. One in particular was photographed from several different angles to try to reveal some of the letters through various lighting but to no avail.

Quite a number of the surviving stones should have had iron crosses with information on them. It is clear that they are not present, and they were probably melted down in the post-war days or vandalized by the incoming Russian troops.

One of the surviving stones says, “Ruhe Sanft.” The stone for Willi Reichow is not as legible in the photo and states that he was born in October of 1906 and died March 23, 1926. His birthday could possibly have been the 4th of October, but the text was difficult to discern. Dates listed below are in European format (day, month, year).

The dedication to the cemetery states:
“Poklon złozyliśmy ludziom minionym i dom swój odtąd mieliśmy w historii.” Czesław Miłosz
“We paid respect to the past and we have had our home ever since.” Czesław Miłosz

Składamy hołd pamięci dawnym mieszkańcom tych zeim, którzy spoczywaja na cmentarzach Ewangelickich na terenie Gminy Dygowo. Dygowo, 30 Maja 2006 R
We pay tribute to the memory of former inhabitants of these lands who rest in the Evangelical cemeteries in the Community of Dygowo. Dygowo, 30 May 2006

Surviving stones:

  • der Eheleute Karl Biese
  • hier ruht in Gott Gertrud Klabunde * 31.3.1941 + 31.3.1941. Engel gen zu Engeln.
  • hier ruhet in Gott der Bauersohn Wilhelm Henke, geb. 29. Mai 1890, gest. 17 Januar 1920. So schlaf ich aber Sorgen es Und ruhe sanft in Jesu Schoß. (Headstone by Sasse & Co. Belgard)
  • hier ruht in Gott Franz Reimer, * 12. Juli 1878, + 5. Febr. 1920. Christus ist mein Leben, Sterben ist mein Gewinn!
  • Hier ruhen in Gott Franz Theil. geb. 17 Okt. 1862 gest. 23. Jan 1930. Siehe ich sterbe und Gott wird mit Euch sein.
  • hier ruhen in Gott Berta Henke ge. Braasch, * .11.1853, + 21.10.1927. Wilhelm Henke * 2.8.1854, + 24.2.1939. Hochbetagtan Lebensjahren bin in Frieden ich gefahren denn mein Glaube hat geschaut ihn auf den mein Heil gebaut.
  • hier ruhen in Gott Maria Peter geb. Griep, * 2. Mai 1840, + 21. Janr. 1923, Franz Peter, * 26. Dez. 1837, + 7. Juni 1923. Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal in das Reich Gottes eingehen. Apgesch. 14,22.
  • hier ruhen in Gott Franz Henke, * 11. Febr. 1868, + 28. Sept. 1921. Ach wie unendlich scher war für uns das Scheiden, doch wie süß wird sein das Wiederseh’n in Hinnelsfreuden. (Headstone by Sasse & Co. Belgard)
  • hier ruht in Gott Luise Baller geb. Schönerstädt * 1.8.1877, + 19.7.1943. Selig wer in Jesu leidet und in Jesu freudig scheidet.
  • Ruhe sanft
  • Hier ruht in Gott Ilse Schulz * 20.2.1920, + 6.6.1932. Du warst der Eltern sch… Doch ach’ zu kurz w…
  • Hier ruht in Gott Willi Reichow *4?.10.1906 + 23.3.1926
  • hier ruhet in Gott Ludwig Hermann Friedrich Teßmer aus Jaasde. geb. 21. Dezember 1839. gest. 17 Februar 1913.
  • Zum Andenken an unsere lieben Söhne Friedrich und Hugo. 1.
    • Friedrich 1. Komp. Inf. Rgt. 54 geb. 30 Novb. 1891 gef. 28. Aug. 1924 bei Tannenberg.
    • Hugo 1. Komp. Inf. Rgt. 149. geb. 14 Febr. 1894 gest. 14 April 1915 i. Laz. zu Zweikaiserstadt in den Korp.
  • Two crosses that are difficult to read.

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