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The Source:

A. Kuhn & W. Schwarz:
"Sagen, Märchen und Gebräuche aus Mecklenburg, Pommern, der Mark, Sachsen, Thüringen, Braunschweig, Hannover, Oldenburg und Westfalen"
Brockhaus, Leipzig, 1848

The Case

"Der Nachzehrer"

"In der Gegend von Kerkow war einmal ein junger Bauersohn, der starb, und weiß der Himmel wie's kam, man vergaß, ihm der Zehrpfennig mit auf die Reise zu geben, und da währte es denn nicht lange, so starben seine Mutter und alle Geschwister nach, die holte er alle zu sich; nur sein Stiefvater blieb übrig, und das war natürlich, denn er war kein Blutsverwandter."

which more or less amount to the following:

"Somewhere near Kerkow the son of a farmer had died, and for some reason they had forgotten to give him his Zehrpfennig for his journey to the other world. It did not take long or his mothere and all of his sisters and brothers also died, as he was drawing them along. Only his step-father survived, because he of course was not of the same bloodline."

The Date:

Sadly no date is given so we will file this as "before 1848", the year when the book was published.

The Place:

Kerkow can be found NorthEast of Berlin, North of Angermünde, about halfway between Berlin and Szczecin.

Personal Comments:

What makes this story interesting is the fact that it gives us a nice example of someone becoming a Nachzehrer because the proper burial customs had not been used. In this case the dead man should have been given a coin - the so-called "Zehrpfennig", which - according to some - was meant to be spent in the "Nobiskrug".

Possible Follow-Up:

Go find the book and read what's there. Then try to find out more about the "Zehrpfennig" and the "Nobiskrug"...

© 2012 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed January 2012

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