Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve
Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors
DEATH & FUNERALS OF OUR ANCESTORS
My great grandfather (Franz Strk) funeral procession, 1953, Outside their house — at Kovin, Banat. My great grandmother is at back all in black to the left. ~ Elizabeth Renate Jenkin
Rosemary & Burials
The rosemary plant also had a role as a sign
of mourning. That is why the mourners and many members of
the village community paid their last respects to the
departed by dipping the rosemary branch available on site
into holy water, and then sprinkle the body of the dead
person in a cross-shaped motion. Sometimes a rosemary bush
was planted on the grave, as a symbol of eternal life.
in the Life of
The Bell and the Tower Clockby Dr. Viktor Pratscher
(For funerals the bells rang together for an hour and for half an hour beforehand the large bell rang first. During the funeral procession to the cemetery the bells rang together and likewise from the cemetery to the church for the eulogy.)
My grandfather Peter Ochs and his wife, Katarina Stumpf, 3 months after arriving at Ellis Island on July 3, 1914 from Hrastovac and settling in Pennsylvania. Grandmother holds her eldest son, Peter. Her sister Anna, later Anna Naas, holds the younger boy John (Ivan). Their eldest daughter, Katarina, had just succumbed to measles. As was the custom, a funeral portrait was taken. An unhappy moment but iconic, I believe. Clearing out my mother's photos (she passed away in 2009) I find that her family continued the tradition of a funeral photo, although not a family portrait. Seems they always had to take a snap of the deceased in their coffin.
I have several photos of dead family members. This tradition of photographing the dead even extends into modern times -- I had a
Donauschwaben-born cousin in Chicago whose funeral I could not attend in the 90s, so the family sent me a thank you card for my sympathy card and included a picture of him lying in his casket as if it were no big deal. Was this tradition widespread in Europe or was it special to the Germans? Why did they do it? Anything you can share would be appreciated!