Vienna (A): Babygruppe

Recent graves

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It makes quite an impression those rows of rather recent graves, child-size graves. The central cemetery of Vienna has a special baby lot: the city authorities take care of the interment of deceased infants (when the parents don’t make alternative arrangements). This Lot 35B at Wien Zentralfriedhof  is called Babygruppe. Although the idea was to create identical graves, you see here also the need of the bereaved to personalise the grave of their loved one. Like it is a  way to acknowledge these ‘lost’ children.

Miscarried children are cremated and the ashes are gathered in a collective urn that is then being buried on the lot. Every 3 months – in March, June, September & December- the ashes are collected and the urn is on display for the bereaved to say goodbye. Stillborn children and children who passed away right after birth are buried in simple graves.  The graves are provided and kept by the city – free of charge – for a period of 10 years. The graves can’t be prolonged but the remains can be reburied at a family grave. All graves initially carry the same wooden name plates stating boy or girl + the family name. Many graves have been personalised by at least putting the given name of the child on the grave. Some graves carry ample signs of frequent visits.

All pictures taken by Claudia venhorst, October 2016 at Zentralfriedhof Wien

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