The special atmosphere of being buried under mighty oaks, accompanied by the rustling of the treetops, the chirping of the birds, the changing of the seasons, the seclusion and the morning sun from the east was evoked by hermann freiherr von rotenhan several times. Together with other members of a citizens’ initiative, he had invited people to take a tour of his forest near fierst, which he wanted to offer as a burial forest. That this will be a rocky road became clear at the information session on friday afternoon.
Not only that the walk through the forest was difficult and uninviting because of the weather. Other problems also emerged. This was the protest of some people who feared for the peace and quiet of the village of 60 souls. "That builds up over the years, believes one of the fierster "up to thousands of visitors" his daughter. The access road was considered inadequate by another, because it was not possible to meet traffic, and the parking lot was much too small. "An unding."
For more than 100 years, wood has been made in the adjacent private forests. Because of this, no one wanted to accept restrictions because of the burials, it was made clear. So a spokesman for the fierster wondered why von rotenhan did not move to his forest area in the direction of kurzewind?
That also makes. At least in thought and in rudiments, as became clear during the subsequent and objective discussion in the frauengrundhalle. The complainants were no longer there, but instead around 50 interested parties, also from reckendorf, rentweinsdorf and further afield, as well as a critic: count achim von beust, who as operator had been reporting similar discussions in the municipality of theres for ten years, but from his point of view also found the need for forest cemeteries covered with obertheres and tambach.
Herrmann von rotenhan showed little understanding for the graphic concerns: "what is the problem if bamberger would rather be buried in ebern??"
It became clear that such a funeral forest would be designed not only, but also, for the people of ebern. There are 70 burials on average in ebern in a year, said mayor jurgen hennemann (SPD), ten percent of which could choose the alternative outside cemetery walls and closed towns, according to von rotenhan and his advisor, lawyer abrecht wrede, who has been overseeing several such facilities throughout the country for the past ten years. "The people come from a radius of 100 kilometers. Most of them are people who have been influenced by life in the city and are looking for peace and quiet in the countryside."
Wrede’s experience: "in such forests in the rural area there are between 50 and 150 burials a year." In the vicinity of conurbations, such as hanover or the ruhrpott, the figures were higher.
Hermann von rotenhan defended himself against the argument from the city administration that the funeral forest should be used as 16. Cemetery in the urban area must be considered. "Due to the legal situation, the city has to act as a sponsor, but it does not incur any costs or care expenses, because I took over this task. But the city would have a share in the revenues."
The problems of the city with the existing cemeteries, which date back to the times before the territorial reform, were addressed by mayor hennemann. "We want to offer alternative forms of burial with maintenance-free graves in the existing cemeteries."
The question of mayoral colleague christine bardin from ummerstadt, who works as a planner for herrmann von rotenhan, whether the ebern city administration was not thinking of reducing the maintenance costs by permanently abandoning cemeteries in the villages, was answered honestly and politically by mayor hennemann: "from an economic point of view, it would of course make sense to close 14 cemeteries and to allow all burials only in ebern and, if necessary, in a peace forest. But then i won’t run for the next election."
The final word was spoken by a rentweinsdorfer: "who seeks his eternal rest in the forest, goes there. And if there is no such offer in ebern, he will just go somewhere else. But that doesn’t make it a mass event."
The decision rests with the city council, which must decide in its entirety whether it will allow burial in the forest: be it at fierst, at kurzewind, or nevertheless – then under the city’s own direction – at kappele.
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