Korifaeus Magazine

••• The Big Brother's, oops, i mean Apple's Gazette ••• A Sophisticated Periodical with Panache and a Sense of Humor

Germany’s Bureaucratism Versus Pragmatism

By Korifaeus


The word bureaucracy could have easily been invented by Germans, though actually ” Prussians. Germans are a tribe, as are Prussians, two of many tribes/nations inhabiting the country of Germany; like Bavarians, Saxons, Friesians, etc. A country benefits from different tribes contributing their special abilities/traits. The Germans contributed with their sense of efficiency and craftsmanship. The Schwabes contributed with their industriousness. The Prussians contributed ” Bureaucracy”, benefitting Germany becoming very organized.

But while the Prussians made this wonderful contribution once upon a time, from which Germany benefitted enormously, other folks are now running the country and take
“bureaucracy” to a whole different level – the level of non-pragmatism.

A friend of mine’s father passed away last year, and the father wished to be cremated with his ashes poured over the back of the garden of his house. He created that garden and had a great passion for it, thus wanted his ashes to become part of the soil of his garden. His sons honored the wish of their father and had him cremated, but…. they were not allowed to pour the ashes in their father’s garden.

Now, one might ask why not, especially when an American since we can do with the ashes of our loved ones whatever they wished for; pour them into the wind, the ocean, in the rose garden, or keep it them at home. Every human being should have the right to choose where one’s ashes should be going. Not in Germany, though.

My friend and his brother had to buy, or rather lease, a partial in the cemetery where the urn with the ashes of their father HAD to be “buried”. The cost was about 5000 Euro. They were NOT permitted, by law, to take the urn with the ashes home with them. It’s a national German law prohibiting the burial of dead bodies in any place other than cemeteries, which includes “cremated” bodies = the ashes of one’s loved ones. Huh ? What negative effect could “ashes” possibly have on the environment if they’d be poured over the rose garden of his father ?

To imagine that one is FORCED to have ones ashes spent the rest of eternity inside an urn, set inside a grave, while one actually wished to be finally free, is in my view beyond inconsiderate. What’s the big deal to allow someone to take the ashes of a loved one home, or pour them into the rose garden, or the ocean ? Is it the loss of “money”, of the city not being able to sell or lease a partial in the cemetery ?

What “common” sense is behind this law ? Laws should make common sense – they should be logical and exist for one reason only – to assure the safety and well-being of the community as a whole, as well as to protect people and species; nothing else. That’s all laws are supposed to be about.

Then there’s the German court case of a homeowner forced to demolish her house, because of a missing permit. Mrs Christa Liedke of Kürten moved into the house 8 years ago and planned to live in it for the rest of her life. Somehow it was discovered that the house was originally built without a “permit” by a Jewish woman who was trying to escape the Nazis. That’s how the story goes. The Jewish woman tried to escape the Nazis and built a house in ” Germany” in 1939, and due to her trying to escape the Nazis, she didn’t get a building permit.

Now the court ordered the new owner, Mrs. Liedke, age 75, whose daughter purchased the house only 8 years ago for her, to rip down the house because it was originally built without a building permit. ( knock, knock who’s there ?)

Aside from the story making zero sense = a Jewish woman trying to “escape” the Nazis, built a house in GERMANY n ” 1939″, the city or building department is unable to grant a post-building permit, if that’s so essential for the house to stay put ? The house is said to be up to building code and in good condition.

How was Mrs. Liedke able to buy the house, or how was the former owner able to sell the house to Mrs. Liedke ? How was Mrs. Liedke able to pay property taxes for a house that apparently didn’t exist in the city’s listing, since there was, according to the court, never a building permit. How did the house get an “address”, or electricity and water from the city ?

After 75 years the city suddenly discovers there’s a house that never had a building permit ? But during these 75 years they had no problem accepting the property taxes, and selling electricity and water ?

Dear Germany, specifically the Landesbauministerium of the Rheinisch-Bergischen Kreises and City of Kürten. If i was you i would protect the house and turn it into a historic landmark; a house built by a Jewish woman in 1939 in your city, and no neighbors squealed on her giving her away to the Nazis, able to built the house with, apparently, help from the people in the city. Such a step would be exemplary, with Mrs. Liedke continuing to live in her house, as well, with which you’ll harvest nothing but respect, because it’s the “noble” thing to do in this case.

As far as the case with the “ashes” law is concerned. A Christian country, such as Germany, should allow “Ashes to Ashes”, instead of enforcing the “incarceration” of ashes for approx. 30 years, inside an urn that is buried, which could be considered “sacrilege”, uh oh 😮



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