The Study Group for Cemeteries and Memorials is committed to cultivating traditional cemetery culture, especially where it is locally accepted and integrated into social life. In particular, the Study Group seeks to promote regional characteristics in this field, for they are an expression of the cultural diversity in our country.
At the same time, the Study Group sees the need to make room for new and innovative forms of burial and cemetery. It therefore sees itself as a forum for the presentation and discussion of new ideas. Over and above this, it wants to recognize and promote acceptable efforts which encourage and maintain citizens’ interest in burial and cemetery culture. People should be given the opportunity to implement their own wishes and ideas. New ideas are to be sought, collected and made public, and, if necessary, legal requirements created so that they can be put into practice.
As a cultural institution for the promotion of values in burial and cemetery culture, the Study Group for Cemeteries and Memorials gains its identity and criteria for its activities by placing people at the centre of all considerations. The mourners and the bereaved, as well as those who take care of funerals and burial places in their lifetime, are those who are actually responsible for burial and cemetery culture, so that their needs have priority. The measure of all incentives and guidelines on cemetery culture is whether they serve human beings.
On the one hand, the Study Group for Cemeteries and Memorials sees itself is an institution for ensuring the research of burial and cemetery culture, in order to allow the findings acquired to be made known appropriately, to let them form the basis of consultancy and, finally, to arouse and maintain interest in these questions, not least thanks to the important contribution made by the Museum of Sepulchral Culture. On the other hand, it understands itself as a network of experts and lay people who are able to work on the relevant issues and to implement their conclusions.
In this context, the office of the Study Group, the Central Institute and the Museum of Sepulchral Culture regard themselves as service providers. With the expertise of the staff, with the library and archives and the existing connections with other professional and scientific institutions, they are able to do research into the enquiries and problems raised by their members in a neutral and scientifically sound manner. For its part, the ARGE runs the Museum for Sepulchral Culture as a service for the general public. In this way It fulfils its duty to provide information and education.
(The Guidelines were adopted by the board of the Study Group for Cemeteries and Memorials in Kassel on 8 December 1998.)