German Undertakers Offering Gay Coffins

Bob Johnson
BERLIN — Coffins adorned with pictures of naked men are being offered by two German undertakers in an effort to tap into their city’s gay market.

According to reports, the undertakers are displaying a coffin in their Cologne shop window that include images of naked, muscular, athletic “Renaissance-inspired” men.

"We believe you should be able to have a coffin that lets you embark on your last journey in a way that reflects how you lived your life," undertaker Thomas Brandl said.

The controversial coffins cost about $2,300 and have created quite a buzz among customers according to the shop’s proprietor.

"People are really interested because it's so unique. Reactions have been very positive so far," Brandl said.

Brandl and business and personal partner Michael Koenigsfield said their special coffins are a result of an increasing demand from the gay market.

"Even though the Lord Mayor of Berlin, the vice-chancellor and many others openly admit to being homosexual nowadays, marginal groups still face prejudices and bureaucratic hurdles," the pair stated.

The thirty-something partners added that they provide a unique and different service that offers "a warm and fantastical departure for same-sex couples."

The undertakers also sell coffins and urns in rainbow colors — the international symbol of the gay and lesbian movement. The pair also offer burials around a tree reserved exclusively for homosexuals.

According to the report, one in ten of Cologne's population is gay, placing Brandl and Koenigsfeld’s business in a key position.

But they aren't limiting their business to gays. Unconventional heterosexual coffins are also available.

"You can choose different colors and designs. You could go for Cologne's skyline or lots of women on your coffin. A grandmother might like images of her grandchildren on hers — there are loads of possibilities," Brandl said.