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Attitudes to ashes are changing in Germany

Germany, traditionally, has always been one of the strictest countries in Europe in relation to cremated remains. In most German states it is illegal to keep, bury or scatter ashes anywhere outside of cemetery, but attitudes are changing according to a recent survey.

The survey of over 1000 people revealed that the vast majority of Germans (83 percent) “would not feel uneasy if their neighbour has an urn,” at home or buried in the garden

This long-held taboo seems to be be eroding quickly, 15 years ago 57 percent of respondents said they were fine with ashes nearby, while only three years ago 65 percent reported the same. Which is a massive shift in public opinion.

When it comes to barring citizens from keeping ash remains at home “the judiciary uses outdated values which cannot withstand a critical review,” said  Torsten Schmitt lawyer for Aeternitas’ – the company that carried out the research.

Germany’s restrictive burial regulations have started to relax in recent years. As we have previously reported the city-state of Bremen allows citizens to keep ashes in the home – ashes in Breman.

However, people seem a little less relaxed when it comes to allowing people to share a grave with their pet: with 49 percent in favor of this possibility and 48 percent were against. Interestingly it was younger people who were most in favor of the shared plots, while those over 60 strongly disagreed.

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