The most important institutions and associations in the German cemetery sector have sent a clear signal for the preservation and further development of cemeteries by jointly signing the "Cemetery Culture Charter" in 2021. The manifesto formulates the value of cemetery culture for people and our society. At the same time, the charter defines a common conceptual understanding for the public discourse on the topic of cemetery culture and shows the great diversity of this cultural asset.
"Everyone has the right to a dignified burial in the cemetery and an appreciative commemoration," reads the first of the eleven guiding principles of the charter, which outlines all relevant aspects of cemetery culture in easy-to-understand sentences. It is not only about deeply human issues surrounding mourning and commemoration. The charter also emphasizes the cultural, social, historical or integrative aspects of cemetery culture. Among other things, it also underlines the green value of cemeteries and the reminder of peace and international understanding that emanates from gravesites and monuments to the victims of war.
In March 2020, Cemetery Culture in Germany was included in the Federal Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage. In the last sentence, the charter therefore emphasizes the social importance for this cultural asset: "To preserve cemetery culture in Germany as Intangible Cultural Heritage in the sense of UNESCO, to orient it to the needs of the people and to develop it further, is a responsibility of society as a whole."
A key objective of CHARTA Friedhofskultur is to collectively emphasize the value of cemeteries for people and our society. Therefore, all forces in the cemetery system and supporting institutions as well as all cities and municipalities as responsible bearers of this cultural asset are now called upon to join CHARTA Friedhofskultur. Further information, including how to join, can be found at www.charta-friedhofskultur.de.
Dirk Backen, Generalsekretär
Martin Struck, Vorstand
Uwe Brinkmann, Vorstand
Dr. Martin Venne, Vorstand
Uwe Stapelmann, Vorstand
Stephan Neuser, Geschäftsführer
Sybille Trawinski, Geschäftsführerin
Nicole Jahr, Geschäftsführerin
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Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.
Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur
Museum für Sepulkralkultur
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0