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Corona: Dresden's urban crematorium cannot cope with the many dead


Scary conditions in Dresden: You can create up to 90 coffins at the city crematorium a day, but up to 120 new ones arrive. How do the employees deal with it?

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Turra employee with coffins in the Tolkewitz crematorium

Photo: Sebastian Kahnert / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa

Only on days with strong winds would a vague smell coming from the east remind them that they were living in a new order and that the flames of the plague consumed their toll every evening.

Albert Camus, "The Plague"

In Dresden they know their way around death, mountains of corpses and horror.

After the bombing of February 1945, contemporary witnesses reported hundreds of deaths in the old market, piled up on a grate made of railway sleepers.

The fire burned for days in the middle of the city, otherwise there was no other way to cope with the large number.

In the end, a three-ton truck shuttled to the Heidefriedhof eight kilometers away to remove the ashes.

The Dresden-Tolkewitz municipal crematorium already existed back then.

A dark, high domed building.

The city's dead have been cremated here since 1911.

Currently, more than 100 coffins arrive in Tolkewitz on some days.

There is a state of emergency.

The Dresdeners cannot keep up with burning their dead.

The city has just requisitioned a hall of the road and civil engineering department.

Gray, with nine large roller doors.

In normal times, mobile flood barriers are stored there.

Now they are collecting the bodies there.

The health department approved this by mid-February, when it could be too warm for the dead.

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Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-01-24

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