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German History in Documents and Images
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A Crematorium (c. 1875)
Although religious conservatives opposed the novel practice of cremation, this depiction of a crematorium designed by the Siemens firm suggests that traditional religious ritual was not incompatible with the introduction of a new technology – particularly one endorsed by a professor. That the ultimate fate of the corpse is completely hidden from view was also a balm to bourgeois sensibilities. Entitled The Siemens Oven for Cremation, recommended by Prof. Reclam [Der Siemen’sche Ofen für Leichenverbrennung, empfohlen von Prof. Reclam], this woodcut is based on a drawing by W. Reiche.