A peculiarity of life in Germany is that when you pass away, lack of burial space in the Fatherland means that--unless you are in a private church plot--your grave space is only guaranteed for a 25-year time frame. At 25 years, the number of remaining relatives who might be concerned about continued burial arrangements for the Deceased has generally dwindled considerably.|
So after the 25 years are up, a relative can either pay a very large fee to maintain possession (control) of the grave...or let things go. This translates essentially to: "remove the bones of the current tenant to make room for a new one."
Robert Lubstein's grandson noted offhand during my visit (he was a most gracious host)that if I had only arrived but half a month earlier, I'd have been in time to visit Robert's grave before it changed occupants. However, I was too late, the Lubstein bones had already been disinterred. Even his grandson had missed the timing of this event--when he went to visit the grave, he found another burial already taking place there, to his surprise. He asked one of the grieving guests if they might kindly disclose whose burial it was, explaining the grave had formerly been his grandfather's...The guest told him that the grave's new resident was German actor Horst Buchholz--who had starred in the famous 1960 American Western "The Magnificent Seven" as a newcomer (he played the role of young "Chico"), along with Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson and Robert Vaughn); he also played a part in "1,2,3" with James Cagney (this was Cagney's last film role), a 1963 comedy about an ambitious Coca-Cola executive assigned to backwater post-war Berlin. Quite a funny flick - Cagney is constantly telling his heel-clicking driver "you know, there's no need to do that anymore").
Oddly enough, Lubstein's grandson recalled having had dinner a year before in a local restaurant (Silesian cuisine) with his table located right next to one where sat the very man who would be resting in Grandfather Robert's grave a year later....one of life's odd coincidences.