A refugee shelter that will be built in a Berlin graveyard has caused a stir among some locals.

Footage filmed at the graveyard in the central Berlin neighbourhood of Kreuzberg on Thursday shows the site of the future refugee accommodation.

Concept manager Evi Gulzow explained that at a community meeting held with the residents, "many people were ready to oppose it due to the fact that we will have refugees on a graveyard. Some of them didn't dare to say that they oppose refugees in general I guess and said that they don't want it on the space of a graveyard."

Gulzow went on to say, however, that they were able to sell the idea by explaining that the planned accommodation was "a small concept rather than a huge refugee shelter with a space for 300 to 500 people, but rather a maximum of 150."

A chief concern was the possible unearthing of graves, but Gulzow pointed out that the shelter would be built on a largely empty plot of land within the graveyard grounds.

"Those graves that we cannot get rid of and that need to stay we leave them here and build around it. Otherwise the concept would be rejected. The church is very interested in keeping this place intact and that we don't disturb the dead," she said.

She also added that as cremations become more popular, many plots of land within graveyards remain empty and "need to be used."


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