German graveyards

Sarge Leo didn't know if I could use this, but I thought it would be helpful to post.


FYI - - Don't know if you knew or could use this data:-


In Germany, graves are NOT PERMANENT. You rent them. Never heard of such a thing.


Thinking about it though, and having been in Germany several times, I realized that land is at a premium, and cannot be wasted. We here in the USA, think in terms of 200 years of history at most, and with plenty of wide open spaces to start new cemeteries. In Europe, they have thousands of years of rather civilized history, but very limited land resources.


Thus, graves are rented. The length of time that a grave is rented varies from place to place in Germany. Two different German acquaintances have told me that in northern Germany, 40 years is customary. You can renew the rental, sometimes.


Today, I met another German gentleman. He is now a German-American, if you prefer, but in 1939, he was a Lieutenant in the German army of World War II. I brought up the subject of renting grave space. He confirmed what I had heard before. In fact, he said that the last time he was in Germany, he paid the rent for his father's grave. He was then told that there could be no more renewals, as they would need the space for new deceased citizens.


The remains are disposed of (he didn't say how), and the stones may or may not be stacked in a common area or preserved at all.


The bright side of the situation is that the records, mostly church records, will still be around forever, bar incidents like fires or bombings.


These records were well kept and even protected by the Third Reich government for nefarious reasons. According to this gentleman, who lived through this period, all persons had to prove their Aryan lines, back several hundred years, to prove that they were not Jews. Thus, these records were some of the most important in the country and were well preserved.


So, to anyone who thinks they have German ancestors, be aware that the gravestones may not be where you think they should be or even exist at all.


Contributed by Jim Robinson.


Sgtleo(Found this data while surfing)

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

Such is true with some cemeteries in France, specifically the famous Pere LeChaise Cemetery in Paris. Folks their are interred on the 30 year lease plan, with the option of renewal. A few years ago there were several complaints from family members who wanted the remains of Jim Morrison evicted when his lease period was up.


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