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The Source:

Ewald Müller:
"Das Wendentum in der Niederlausitz" [1893]
H. Differts Buchhandlung, Carl Koske, Cottbus, 1921

The Case

It is not an awful lot that Müller has to tell us, so I will give you the whole piece:

"In Skadow waren der Familie S. schnell hintereinander zwei erwachsene Töchter gestorben. Da errinerten sich die Eltern, daß sie der zuerst Gestorbenen aus Versehen das Tuch, welches das Gesicht bedeckte, im Sarge belassen hatten. Damit nicht noch mehr Angehörige stürben, öffneten sie heimlich Grab und Sarg und nahmen das Tuch heraus."

This more or less translates into the following:

"In Skadow, within the S. family, two adult daughters died soon after each other. Then the parents remembered that they had forgotten to take the cloth covering the face of the first deceased out of the coffin. To make sure that no further relatives would die, they secretely opened the grave and the coffin and removed the cloth."

The Date:

Müller's book was first published in 1893, so the events must have happened before then. Having said that, I took the story from the 2nd edition that was published in 1921. So it could be a later addition. Therefore, and until we have had the chance to check the first edition, we will file the case as "before 1921".

The Place:

Nowadays Skadow is part of Cottbus, and Cottbus is situated somewhere to the SouthEast of Berlin, and not too far from the Polish border.

Possible Follow-Up:

Find yourself a copy of Edward Müller's "Das Wendentum in der Niederlausitz", preferably the first edition. Try to find out more about the people who lived in the Lausitz. Plenty of books have been written about them, about their superstitions and about their customs.

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

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