Europe's First Lesbian Cemetery Opens in Berlin
By Sunnivie Brydum
Sunday marked the opening of a cemetery in Berlin that's been billed as the world's first resting ground exclusively for lesbians. Nestled in a forested Lutheran graveyard inside the German capital city, the site looks to provide a peaceful final resting place where lesbian women can spend the afterlife surrounded by other gay women.
The 4,300-square-foot burial ground is a scenic section inside the 200-year-old Georgen Parochial cemetery in Prenzlauer Berg, with winding sand pathways and space for 80 bodies or urns with cremated ashes. The space won't be demarcated, and the organizers stress that anyone who wants to come and respectfully honor the dead is welcome.
"The idea emerged four years ago in the lesbian group Safia, whose members, advancing in age, asked themselves where they want to be buried," Astrid Osterland, 69, a member of that group for elderly lesbians, told AFP. "We wanted to stay together, to be close to those with whom we lived, we loved, we worked, we fought." Osterland noted that she's already reserved a burial plot for herself.
"Now there's another reason for a journey to Berlin, even if it may be your last," Safia noted in a press release announcing the "her-storic" occasion.