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Namibia


John Ludwig's Grave

Windhoek | Namibia

John Ludwig is considered the founder of Klein Windhoek (now a suburb of Windhoek). He was born in Mergenscheid in the district of Simmern near the Hunsback, Germany, on 3 April 1857. At an early age he followed one of his elder brothers to London, where he trained as a baker. Further travels took him to America and the south Pacific Ocean before landing in South Africa. He bought a farm in Griqualand West after he served in the Cape Police.

Whilst on his travels into German South West Africa, his farm was sold by auction in his absence. Feeling disgruntled and angry he decided to leave South Africa and emigrated to Namibia in 1887. Comfortable in the employ of the colonialists, he worked as a driver for the German Schutztruppe. He moved to Windhoek in 1892 and settled in Klein Windhoek.

He returned to his roots and opened a restaurant called 'Ludwigslust', set amongst vineyards and orchards to supply wine and fresh produce for his customers. He also initiated tobacco farming. It was obvious to many settlers that there was potential in moving with him. Bricks were laid, cattle were reared and gardens grown. The seeds of Klein Windhoek were planted by John Ludwig.

So Klein Windhoek thrived under John Ludwig's role in public life. His cultural views and business acumen became very popular amongst the German colonists. He died in Windhoek on 27th February 1913 after a stomach operation. On the 1st March he became the first person to be buried in the Klein Windhoek cemetery. His wife Lida, who died in December 1954, is buried beside him.

The cemetery contains graves of the Ludwig and Höpfner families, as well as those of ten other adults and six children. John and Lida Ludwig’s children, Angela and John, are also buried here.

John Ludwig’s grave was proclaimed a national monument on 1st May 1967 not only for its historical significance, but for the architectural quality of its mausoleum. The mausoleum and the small cemetery can be found in Willemien Street, Ludwigsdorf, Windhoek

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