Nothing works in Germany without permission. This also applies to funerals. Anyone who has lost a loved one and has to bury them first needs a burial permit from the registry office.
Normally, this approval is only a formality and is therefore issued quickly. It's different in Berlin: Because the office in the Marzahn-Hellersdorf district is chronically understaffed (only one officer is still on duty), relatives there sometimes have to wait months for the funeral of their relatives.
The consequences: the corpses are kept in the cold store until they are buried or cremated – and not free of charge. The "storage" costs the relatives around ten euros per day, so the already high costs of a funeral increase by a further several hundred euros.
In addition: In addition to the funeral, there are also the same problems with the death certificate. And this is necessary in order to terminate apartments, insurance policies and contracts or to have the previous widow's pension paid out. For relatives, the lousy occupation of the Marzahn-Hellersdorf district office is even more expensive.
An emotional farewell is hardly possible for many relatives anyway. At "rbb24" one of those affected reports, who had to wait six weeks herself: "There's not much grief anymore, there's just kind of anger because you kind of don't know how things will go on."
There is also criticism from the ranks of undertakers. Carsten Witt explains to "rbb24": "It threatens existence", his colleague Silvana Lundi warns: "The deceased have a right to find their peace. That is not possible."