tv Faith Matters Deutsche Welle November 2, 2019 11:02pm-11:30pm CET
the stone mason and his assistants are delivering a gravestone to a cemetery in the western german city of essen. the stone was designed in their workshop and cut and inscribed there. that took nearly 3 months in all. for the stone masons their work at the cemetery is routine but always a solemn moment. they would have or wanted a heart to commemorate his late wife a symbol that will remain here for the next 25 or 30 years.
of german cemeteries are changing visibly the way people are laid to rest is more varied so too is the design of the graves urn graves like this are becoming more common as 2 thirds of burials in germany are now cremations. this is think of the form and for us all from the goddess dana law and one of the design of this grave is somewhat more elaborate than most and even that reflects a common trend to make a grave so to speak easier to maintain that is the stuff he had. tried. the small space occupied by an urn grave is much simpler to care for than a large family grave but for
a long time the christian churches disapproved of cremation. yeah. going out and by coming in from this time fault i'm forever man. cremation appeared to deny the doctrine of the resurrection in a time honored practice christians were carried to their graves and buried in a coffin but since the 1970 s. the protestant churches in germany have relaxed their attitude towards cremation after all flames can't destroy a person's soul. gradually german catholics have followed suit and burials have become simpler. i think the significance of cemeteries seems to be changing from a solemn resting place for one's ancestors to
a site where the dead can be shown respect but with a minimum of maintenance. the fact remains burial is a tradition that makes the passing of our loved ones more bearable. still a storm when somebody dies they suddenly seem terribly far away we miss them here and the feeling of loss is painful visiting the grave is an attempt to be close to the person who's left us in this way a grave can be a very intimate place where i have the feeling that i'm once again very close to the person who's died because ok i'm visiting them. today for instance when i walk past some graves i recall that i fished at the funeral of the person buried that that's almost like saying hello to them. and then the person always seems very close to me. on gordon or on the bereaved have the same experience not knowing
where their loved one is buried in. the league. but maintaining a grave can be hard work for more americans is 85 years old at least once a week he visits the small graveyard belonging to his parish church. parish cemeteries are quite common in germany they augment the large municipal cemeteries . americans believes it's important that the grave of his wife who died 9 years ago is well maintained. the retired mining engineer wanted a particular norwegian court site for the headstone. he's very. my name will also be written one day so it's important to me to know what kind of stone it is and where it comes from. or my lovers on
polish and that's why i chose it for my wife's grave. model folk. me. chin's pays a cemetery gardener to do the heavy work clipping hedges in reading but he takes care of the finer points himself placing flowers and candles on the graves. smoke this nicht does this is not decoration. it's more like greeting the dad or. i live in not everyone remembers the whole family remembers oh mercy or not i'd like to draw your attention to these 3 stones because they have
a special significance to me i know the drawing of a door took illegal my 3 grandchildren placed them there where my wife was buried for mine and. they brought the stones from the baltic coast to stones varian size because of the grandchildren of various ages of course. and stones are still lying here nobody has taken them away. or they are a sign of remembrance from the next generation going to show. the fallen off for all 3 of when my wife was alive we often walked here in the cemetery of all of you get such a beautiful view from here it was strange of course but when she talked about the lovely view she said she wanted to be buried here and still it's a memory from the past when i stand here and see the beautiful view i remember what's. fluke americans doesn't speak in terms of eternity resurrection or
paradise he views himself his family and his wife as members of a community that defies death. he's lived this life has not simply disappeared it's not simply extinguished so it hasn't dissolved into nothing it's good that people say will be united again will meet again in the presence of god. we remain united by sharing in a living connectedness with what made us what we are. divided in for what. traditionally the individual grave has been a symbol of the connection between the living in the dead the cemetery has been a place of remembrance and of reflection. but some 20 years ago anonymous burials became more fashionable here the individual
grave remains unmarked those who died didn't want to leave any trace of themselves quite literally at least in the cemetery. here from people that they don't want to be a burden on their relatives was. the trend towards anonymous burial andro form which was popular for a long time has ended because the cemetery is now off a burial sites where the whole property is kathleen maintained as one unit. this area of the park cemetery in essence is one such example the memorial garden is intended to be more than just a cemetery. it's just going to be a place of reflection. a boat in which the visitor can rest is a symbol of the journey from this world to the next a spring and
a brook representing the eternal flow of life create a soothing f a sphere. 6 gardening firms that are actually competitors in the market are cooperating here to offer a come for hints of service. i think people want to visit the grave and remember but i don't want to be bothered with anything else at that moment i just want a clean break and know that it's being taken care of because they did this in. the cemetery gardeners designed this memorial garden together and manage the project jointly. clients make a single payment and the firms guarantee they'll maintain the site for 25 years. they're in is that the bereaved should enjoy coming here in spite of their grief. and me and i don't have to do anything here when i go to
a store or walk down the street i have to greet people i have to be communicative but when i'm here in the cemetery i can be sad i can feel the loss. and that's what's important right now it's here i meet other people who've had a similar experience who are in the same situation and that's what's important and . i think it's good that people know there is a place for this. but for. every visit to the cemetery is agonizing. he or she stops at her son's grave and relives an unbearable tragedy. he took his own life at the age of 13. it's awful to stand at your own child's grave. you
can't describe the feeling. it's nationally different. each time she comes here her anguish is intense she still doesn't know why her son took his life but she did manage to keep some connection to life by donating his organs. and that's negative i didn't dwell on the negative aspects. like try to think about positive funds and taught that something good could be derived from his meaningless death. the people who received his organs were held. in conditions.
that offered me some comfort in the midst of all the senselessness tones and at a pathetic. usually grave stones only hint at the tragedy behind an inscription. that's also true of the oldest headstones we can decipher here for instance at the church of st peter indorsement a city in north rhine-westphalia as the name suggests this was originally a catholic church since the reformation in the 16th century it's been lutheran. nobody today knows on a 15 story but her grave stone has survived. they did used to be buried around the parish church but as land became more valuable in towns and villages cemeteries were moved outside the city limits. in these new
cemeteries monumental buildings were sometimes erected or parks laid out. similar to reason graves had to make an impression. in the past in google in germany during the 19th century in what has been called the borzois era a tradition of splendid was cultivated in which the middle class individual was honored in the cemetery a list of his achievements and possibly a statue on which incredible sums of money were spent thus is is to launch the so-called monument culture that we had my own older than cemeteries when your facts were admiring i achieve months of the urban borsch waze one that.
knocked him 5 and a click after the 2nd world war the splendor of the memorial culture associated with abortion era disappeared from german cemeteries records with the experience of war and the holocaust hanging over them germans no longer wanted to celebrate death but important. had seen too much horror joining the 2nd walk and leapt in jewish cemeteries all over germany you'll usually find a memorial to the people from that region who were murdered in the nazi concentration camps the number of very old stones is conspicuous here. in the jewish tradition burial plots are never reused. the graves have to be left untouched until the end of days and there's been
a jewish community in germany for centuries. jews believe in a resurrection after death just like christians. but unlike christianity judaism imposes a particular obligation towards the body in this process. in these important jewish cemeteries and jewish graves should remain forever in the grave the. only thing you know in somebody is buried their soul is not under the earth man this cell is with god and waiting for the moment in which the coming of world my psionic will dawn given. a moment and which all people will come alive again when i learn mentioned on the there that means that the soul is
supposed to return to the body for crop are calm so the body must be there for the soul to find its place again how. we defend it. but the millions of jews murdered in the holocaust didn't find a grave and this presents jewish communities with an unresolved theological problem . besides the venerable old headstones in jewish cemeteries you'll find many new graves. most of the people buried here are jews from the former soviet union who came to germany between 19052004. of the quarter of a 1000000 jews many are now very elderly. the traditional ritual in jewish cemeteries is to place stones on graves often gravel. as a rule jews don't bring flowers to
a cemetery instead they place these stones as a greeting and they don't necessarily make regular visits the dead should be left in peace. that. the rabbis recommend not visiting the cemetery too often. as it's important and this was always the case in judaism that our faith focuses on life and. on top life is the most important thing that this period of mourning should serve to bring people who have lost loved ones back to their normal daily rhythm. and normal daily life as quickly as possible. laban for common. stone masons have been making headstones and monuments in this workshop for 80 years it's
a family business next to the park cemetery and as. it's a trade that requires real skill in craftsmanship business is good. they've never experienced a slump even when anonymous burials became popular. the grave may be silent but headstones speak. you know he thought generally people want the stone to say something about the person who is buried. that name date of birth date of death but also how the person lived what hobbies they had all their professional. grave to express something important about the past and 50 by this. very few order a large aston tissues monument any more a stone like this
a bit larger perhaps is the emotional limit. the firm delivers stone rochlitz porfiry cut to size from its own quarry. sometimes the design is quite elaborate. the trend these days is toward park cemeteries where the graves are not anonymous each grave is marked with one or 2 urns per plot instead of the family tomb a square meter for a married couple. the flu since the advent of low maintenance graves for instance in part cemeteries each grave is generally marked by a stone slab with the name and with details or even with symbols of. the equations and. the lawn is mowed regularly by the cemetery gardener the system is cheap and the cemetery always looks good.
under this cross the graves are spread out in a particular pattern you'll find this phenomenon in all the larger german cemeteries their graves that pay testimony to the horror of war. when i visited we've conducted studies on war graves that anniversary and establish that people believe it's very important to know where their soldier relative is buried who want to have a photo of the burial site a photo of the cross on the grave or of the hysterical and i also believe it's important to visit the place as does and ought to brazil can. be an example from history the former colony german south west africa present a name india. between 100-004-1008 keyser vilhelm the 2nd unleashed a shocking war of annihilation on the indigenous herero people. an
estimated 80000 herero died as well as several 100 german troops. the germans were buried with military honors and more than 100 years later the graves are still maintained by the german war graves commission. but these crosses don't mark only soldiers' graves the dead include civilian victims of allied bombing raids in the 2nd world war some of them children women and old people. these graves are not a glorification of war but a memorial to the suffering it causes a cemetery is intended to give consolation. abd then obviously it consoles me when somebody embraces me and says the grind it does when that happens here the 2 of you know lit up and sit on
a bench together and ask each other how they're doing at the nationalist and then you can say i had a bad night i didn't sleep well i miss him so much toast people comfort each other like you listen when they know when i come here this time of day i'll meet hama dozens people know about each other i said why and that. caused. one point i was a poor little also consoling simply to enter silence. perhaps in conversation with the last one in this great storm and least perhaps simply to think about the relationship i've connected and not saying no. them also gave us vavasor i think this place allows full of that and it off is going to play sions awed us all to us just told us that. germany's
muslim population increased significantly in the last century now muslims have their own burial sites oriented towards mecca. the migrant workers who came to this country in the 1960 s. and seventy's often wanted to be buried in their country of origin. but islam requires that the dead be buried before sunset on the day they die whenever possible. this dilemma has largely disappeared now the 2nd and 3rd generation of descendants view germany as their home. with a muslim population of some 3 and a half 1000000 the demand for burial sites has also increased. here a new section for muslim graves is being cleared they will of course face mecca. only half the plots in german cemeteries are now used for traditional burial gaps
are emerging between the old family tombs. former varial sites are being turned into parking lots crim a sion has become significantly more popular. the most unhealthy in that we want to get out into the country and indulge our love of nature that has been part of our culture since the romantic era and found expression in park and forest cemeteries quite early on the difference now is that unsupported nature is the criterion one for a lot of the cemeteries try to imitate natural areas of extensive woodland for example but i think you're. a final resting place beneath trees instead of a traditional cemetery a simple internet search throws up more than 60 examples in germany from the black forest to the eiffel region and a group of old forest in berlin. the graves are usually anonymous only a number on the tree indicates that an urn is buried here containing
a person's actions. the harm natalee he often fido says low maintenance burial it's no longer common for relatives to be living in the same place as the person who has died sometimes they live hundreds of kilometers away and so i did a very grave means low maintenance for decades but it can still be visited like a traditional grave. only the initiated know where a particular person has been laid to rest to be buried among the roots of an oak or beech tree seems to be a typically german wish whether religious or not people like the idea of participating in the eternal cycle of life. was.
exploring this the range and. jellies most long distance hiking trail. it's going to be exhausting it made me my shoes it will look like this. this in style 1170 kilometer trail unspoiled nature. in 60 minutes long d.w. . come to. discover the concept discovered with the. school oh just off to 100 years has the. ideals of the bombs are more relevant today than they were. the shearers