Graves of honor are expressions of honor by the State of Berlin to deceased persons who accomplished outstanding things during their lives, or who made especially great contributions to the city.
The legal basis for them is § 12 Sect. 6 of the Law on State-Owned and Non-State-Owned Cemeteries in Berlin, of November 1, 1995 (Cemetery Law; in German).
The award of grave of honor status for personalities of particular merit is accomplished by a decision of the Berlin State Government, at the earliest five years after the death, and initially for a period of twenty years. The State Government can thereafter determine the continued certification as a grave of honor. Special regulations apply for honorary citizens.
The respective borough assumes the costs of care for the grave, the upkeep of the tombstone and the gravesite, and the extension of the use right, provided these costs are not assumed by next of kin or third parties.
The Senate Chancellery accepts proposals for certification of graves of honor.