Some people inherit a cottage, an apartment, or a coin collection. Other nothing but debt. Marlis Bexten has inherited a cemetery.
She only found out about this by accident and now has a lot of work with the dead and undead in a small community in the far north-east of Germany.
10 235 square meters of land in Hintersee
It was December 2020 when the former optician received mail from the municipality of Hintersee (Mecklenburg-West Pomerania). When the land register was cleaned up, the responsible office found that Bexten had already inherited land in Hintersee in 2018 after the death of her mother.
►Curious: in 835 square meters of this land there is a fifth of the local cemetery. And that since 1960. And also without permission! The pensioner, who lives in Rietberg (NRW), says to BILD am SONNTAG: “The plots of land already belonged to my grandfather. I spent my holidays with him as a child.”
After his death in 1971, Marlis Bexten’s mother inherited the land but never applied for a certificate of inheritance. Possession was forgotten. And now it belongs to Marlis Bexten and has been used unfairly by the community for more than 60 years.
Bexten sought contact with Hintersee’s mayor, Wolfgang Urbanek. But he apparently wanted to hush up the matter with the cemetery – at least he didn’t react to Bexten’s messages at first.
So the pensioner drove north with her husband Heinz and granddaughter Kim and put up signs: “Private property. Enter at your own risk.” Bexten to BILD am SONNTAG: “We did that for insurance reasons. Of course, all graves remain accessible.” However, she prohibited all burials on her piece of land.
Of course there was a lot of excitement in town. The residents asked themselves: Do the dead have to be reburied now? Can nobody be buried in Hintersee anymore? But! However, burials are currently only taking place in the part of the cemetery that does not belong to Marlis Bexten.
“Collected fees for decades”
And what is the community doing? Mayor Urbanek made Bexten an offer to buy the entire property: 10 euros per square meter of cemetery space and 60 cents for the rest, a total of around 14,000 euros.
He oriented himself to the low standard land values in the region. After all, this is undeveloped land in a location that is not desirable for real estate buyers.
That’s not enough for Marlis Bexten. She has hired a lawyer and wants to sell at the currently applicable building land standard in Hintersee, i.e. 24 euros per square meter. Then she would get a good 245,000 euros in total. “There should be an agreement, but I won’t be put off. After all, high fees have been collected for decades in an illegally created cemetery.”