A grave matter

Austere but elegant, and with fine views of an historic rococo church, this lovely building would make a fine weekend cottage. And you could be the lucky bidder when it comes under the hammer! There’s one thing you’ll want to have removed before settling in, though: the corpse of Franz Josef Strauss.

Since this legendary (and legendarily corrupt) Bavarian Ministerpr?sident joined the Blaskapelle invisible in 1988, his mortal remains have awaited the last trump next to those of his wife in a tomb in Rott am Inn. Unless the last trump blows quickly, though, he might need to shift his resting place.

The tomb is not in the churchyard but on a privately-owned plot just behind it. And there’s the problem, as the S?ddeutsche reports. The plot now belongs to Strauss’s son Max. And Max is not only insolvent but facing trial for tax evasion. The inland revenue has slapped liens on everything he owns, including the tomb. And, unless Max comes up with a wodge of money that he apparently does not have, the state will auction off his real property, tomb included.

Now, Strauss is revered to this day as something of a god by a substantial slice of Bavaria’s political establishment. Beery jowls grew an angry red at the news. ‘Impiety! Sacrilege!’, came the cries. Nobody at the inland revenue wanted to admit to having filed the lien. Current Ministerpr?sident and one-time prime ministerial candidate Edmund Stoiber is feeling the heat: how could he have failed to know about this, and if he did know about it, how could he have failed to stop it? Can’t have the pharaoh’s mummy on the auction block.

Ah, as I reach the end of the article, I read that Strauss’s daughter has been told the lien will be lifted. Pity, that; I might have put in a bid myself. Just think what Gunther von Hagens could have done with the corpse!

1 thought on “A grave matter

  1. Stoiber’s caught between a rock and hard place for he still believes he will get a second run for chancellorship. He needs to remain visible for the rest of the Republic, which is probably the main reason why there’s so much b.s. going on between CDU/CSU about a *possible* tax reform plan. So I suppose handling the Strauss issue Bavarian style would likely be revealed and would not go down well with the rest of the German electorate… And thanks, I just learned a new English word: “lien”.

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