Jews, Nuns and Soldiers

Offenburg Alter Friedhof (30)

Green, peaceful and quiet, more like a park than a burial ground, the old graveyard in Offenburg is a beautiful place to spend time in, it gives you space to think and there is a lot to see and think about on the old Waldbach-Friedhof.

peaceful and quiet

Offenburg Alter Friedhof (29)

Graves and plants are well kept, everything is in good order, it feels rather German with the various sections allotted to certain groups. The dead have been interred here since 1870.


since 1870

women of strong faith

Nuns are buried on the Northern end of the spacious graveyard. The “Orden der Augustiner Chorfrauen” (Congregatio Beatae Mariae Virginis) was mainly concerned with the education of girls and originates in the nearby Vosges Mountains (France) in the 16th century.

Offenburg Alter Friedhof (5)

the Jewish community

Another section has been allotted to the members of the Jewish community from Offenburg and the surrounding  area (Durbach), some graves are very old and have been restored 2008, even though restoration is not typical within the Jewish tradition who tends to let the stones disintegrate. The aim was to make it possible for the German public to read the inscriptions in Hebrew and Latin, to give names to the graves, better to remember.

Offenburg is still home to a number of Jewish families. A memorial nearby commemorates those murdered during the Holocaust.

a name and two dates

Offenburg Alter Friedhof (9)Just a stone’s throw away there are the war graves of soldiers from France and Germany who died in World War I and II stretch along an accurate line.  Each life reduced to a name and two dates: birth and death.


It is a very peacefull place, a strange but important achievent for a graveyard that holds  not only the remains but also the memories of soldiers, persecuted Jews, nuns and sinners alike.

There certainly is a lot to see and think aout on the old graveyard in Offenburg.



sleeping beauty

Caroline Christine Walter

Moss creeps through the heavy tresses of her hair. A faint smile plays on Caroline’s lips and autumn has shed intensely coloured leaves on her cold stone.

Caroline Christine Walter is dead, she died of consumption 1867.

A painful death, especially for a young girl, Caroline was only 16 when she passed away, a sad loss for parents and family.

Caroline is gone, dead for nearly 150 years but the love for here remains alive. That is the secret and the mystery that is kept in the old graveyard in Freiburg im Breisgau.

A place, as peaceful and beautiful as a graveyard can be. The rich and the famous have been buried here between 1683 and 1872: countesses, priests, entrepreneurs. The stone masonry is eclectic and is worth a closer look.

Alter Friedhof FreiburgMore like a park it is enclosed by four whitewashed walls that hold the ancient gravestones.

Caroline Christine Walter lies on the eastern wall. A sleeping beauty. They put fresh flowers on her grave when she died in 1867.

Somebody still does.

sleeping beauty

Nobody knows why nearly 150 years after her death fresh flowers keep appearing on her grave. It has never been known not to have flowers.

Who brings them? Who mourns her still?

Nobody knows.

Caroline’s life was all but too short.

Her memory has lived for nearly 150 years.,thanks to the flowers somebody puts on her grave.

Is it a ghost, a family legacy or the magic of undying love? What do you think???

Liked the read? There are more graveyard inspired stories here …

Scotland is a country full of history, stories and secrets. Often, the three cannot be separated. That is what makes this country so wonderful and unique. The stories of this book have been discovered and gathered for Erkenbach’s blog, Graveyards of Scotland, over many years. 

Her main sources were historical travel guides from the 18th and 19th centuries, where the finds were scary, beautiful, funny, and sometimes, cruel.This unusual approach to a country’s history has produced amazing results. You don’t have to share the author’s passion for cemeteries to enjoy this book; only a small number of the stories in this collection take place in graveyards, though they do all end in them, so perhaps it helps.

The fairy hill in Inverness, a nitrate murder on Shetland, a family of left-handers, wolves, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace shown in a new light, the secret bay of the writer Gavin Maxwell, a murdering poet and so many things you didn’t know about Scotland, its clans and its history.

Scotland for Quiet Moments is available as ebook and paperback on Amazon.