Thursday, December 2, 2010

German Grave Sites are ONLY RENTED

One thing I learned at my Family History thing is not to expect to go to Germany and find the graves and headstones of our German ancestors.  Sites are rented for thirty years.  Presumably at the end of 30 years, the mourners have died.

If the family doesn't want to pay for an additional thirty years, the site is then available to be rented again  If the grave digger should find a few bones remaining of an earlier body he just buries them a little deeper in the
bottom of the grave. It makes sense really, otherwise the country would be overrun with cemeteries.

I wondered what happened to the headstones.  Were they piled up in the back of the church yard or did they get recycled?  I read on a genealogical web site that in Switzerland, they were crushed up and used for roads.  

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