The cemetery of World War I soldiers in Tomashovka village
Sculpture, monuments, memorials
The cherished memory of the heroes is alive not only at history books pages and in military songs. On the territory of Belarus there is a truly unique monument of international importance to the soldiers, who died during the First World War, which you can see by visiting Tomashovka village in Brest region.
Tomashovka village is located 60 km away fr om the regional centre, and the presence of the railroad simplifies greatly the access to it. The station is called Wlodawa, beginning on the Polish city of Wlodawa, located more than 3 km away.
It is possible to get to the village by car, following the road P-94, which is parallel to the aforementioned railway lines.
Wlodawa is located between the territories of Poland and Ukraine (it’s about 1, 5 km to the border of the last one), which led to its significant geopolitical position in the country's history. It also had an impact on the strategically important and justified location of the mixed burial site.
The cemetery of World War I soldiers was founded immediately after the fighting ending and dedicated to the officers and soldiers of the Russian Empire killed in the war against united Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kaiser's Reich at that time.
In total there are 1262 graves, about 20 of which are beds of honor. As for the quantity of fighters, the total number of soldiers buried in the cemetery is 1346 people.
The cemetery entrance is quite remarkable and represents an iron gate, interstratified with pillars of red brick. It is interesting that you can see the cemetery appurtenance reference to Orkhowo village on the front plate, although the graves are located literally in the middle of Tomashovka and Orkhowo is 1.5 km to the south.
A very interesting memorial is situated in the centre of the First World War soldiers’ cemetery. This is a typical obelisk with a figure of a lion installed on the top of it, and decorated with a bas-relief, which depicts a German cross made of iron.
The graves themselves are plates with the names and dates of death. Officers’ graves are additionally equipped with monuments, as it is traditionally made at this kind of burials.
In 1919 the cemetery was equipped at the Polish state expense, and then came under the International Red Cross protection. Now it is the only monument of this kind in Belarus, wh ere the entrance awares each visitor of the object’s state protection.
It is worth mentioning that the renovation took place in the early 2000s. Until now it has been possible to notice a certain neglect due to a long history and an annual impact of adverse weather conditions.
The cemetery of World War I soldiers in Tomashovka has an international protection status today. Numerous military excursions lead here, enjoying the same interest among foreign guests and Belarusians themselves. Anyone willing can walk between the plates of famous characters and feel the importance of this memorial.