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German History in Documents and Images
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Mass Graves and Cholera (1892)
Victims of the Hamburg cholera epidemic perished within days of infection. At the height of the epidemic, up to 400 people died per day. Hoping to stem the tide of the disease, municipal authorities ordered mass burials. Working day and night, 250 gravediggers like the ones shown below laid the dead to rest in hastily built wooden coffins. Of the 160,000 Hamburg residents infected with cholera, more than half died.