Cemetery of the homeless, Sylt, Germany




A white wooden door gives access to the cemetery, in the welcome text can be read: Cemetery of the Forsaken. This door leads to the small enclosure surrounded by typical houses of the area and streets by cars circulating normally. From the street you can perfectly see inside because the walls are low and yet the typical peace of a cemetery breathe. On the right you can see the church, a modern construction.

Once inside, the first thing that attracts is its simplicity, 53 wooden crosses, all the same, without a name, only an inscription recording a date and a place: beach Rantum (Rantum Strand) or, Westerland beach ( Strand Westerland).

Then curiosity takes shape: why is there no name or date of birth, or the subsequent death inscribed on the crosses? How come there is only one name that corresponds to a place and a single date ? We look at raves of sailors, between 1855 and 1905, the North Sea led their dead corpses to the beaches of Sylt, supposedly from shipwrecks, storms or accidents. As it was impossible to identify the sailors, they were given burial by the generous and hospitable inhabitants of the island.

In the late 1800s, Queen of Romania spend the summer in Sylt, Elizabeth of Wied, a woman ahead of the time and a close friend of the famous Empress Sisi, who under the pseudonym of Carmen Sylva was the author of several poems, books and essays. Every morning towards the beach, walking past the cemetery and spending long periods on the island. She was very impressed by this cemetery and its history, so much that she decided to commission a plaque which reads as follows:

“We are people of the currents of time. Washed to  the island of land, full of setbacks and full of anguish, the Savior found  our home. Our home family is always searching, while fortune is always changing. It is the cross of Golgotha, home for the homeless “.

In the Frisian Islands, there are two more islands those also have two separate similar cemeteries. Cemetery Nebel Amrum, also called the graveyard of “talking stones” where the stones are real stones and can be as of 2 meters tall and weigh 800 kilos. And there is Drinkeldodenkarkhof in Spiekeroog, where the bodies of the 84 victims of the shipwreck Johanne lie, which had been wrecked in 1854. That lead to the creation of the Wreck Sea Rescue Society of Germany (GMRS).

Mireia Miracle











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