GBI Großhamburger Funeral Home

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GBI Großhamburger Funeral Home

GBI logo.gif

legal form legal association rV
founding 1920
Seat Hamburg , Germany
management Volker Wittenburg (managing director), business economist
Number of employees 100 (2016)
Branch Undertaker
Website GBI website

Administrative headquarters of the GBI in Hamburg at the Ohlsdorfer Friedhof
Founder of the GBI Großhamburger Funeral Home around 1925. First on the far left: Julius Müller (1887 -), cooperative merchant, on the pro board since 1918 and later until 1957 managing director of the GBI. Second from the right is Heinrich Lorenz , GEG's managing director since 1903 . Member of the Volksfürsorge , member of the Hamburg Senate in 1919 .

The GBI Großhamburger Bestattungsinstitut rV is a funeral home in Hamburg with 14 offices and is managed in the legal form of an association with legal capacity . Business operations include funeral and funeral provisions .


Even before the First World War, 1914, there were considerations to organize the funeral service on a cooperative basis. The background was that under the mask of piety, a fierce, profit-oriented competition for funerals was waged in Hamburg. Leading cooperative members of the city such as Adolf von Elm and Helma Steinbach had held talks about this, but postponed them due to the war. The GBI was founded on November 2nd, 1920 - in the times of crisis in the Weimar Republic - by the trade unions , the AOK and a consumer association as a representative u. a. Founded by Max Mendel (the "PRO", consumer, building and savings association "Production" ) in Hamburg to enable its members and broad sections of the population to have a dignified and affordable burial. The naming was intended to express that many parts of the city that were not part of Hamburg at the time, such as Harburg , Altona , Wandsbek , etc., should also be included in the sphere of activity. The name is not in the Third Reich after the law Greater Hamburg emerged, but 1920. The played cremation a special role. Both the labor movement and the free-spirited associations supported the cheaper cremation. which was largely rejected by the Christian churches at the time. Initially, only union members could join the funeral fund. Soon after the Second World War , the GBI recognized that the approach of making socially adequate burials possible should also be viewed positively for all Hamburgers and thus opened up the customer base.

The GBI has anchored this social tradition in its statutes , because in its legal form as an association it does not have to generate any returns for investors.

Every year the GBI donates to a non-profit organization in Hamburg. In 2018, the funeral home decided on the wish-wagon of the ASB Landesverband Hamburg and made 4,000 euros available.

Business activity

The GBI Großhamburger funeral parlor has its own funeral service room, associated florists for flower arrangements and stone masons. It promotes the Quo Vadis Association for Tomb and Mourning Culture. The GBI organizes tours of the cemetery.

To funeral care GBI funeral-care contracts offers.

Volker Wittenburg, the managing director of the GBI, is an assessor of the undertakers' guild in Hamburg.


  • Norbert Fischer: Technology, death and the culture of mourning. On the introduction of cremation in Hamburg 1892, in: Zeitschrift des Verein für Hamburgische Geschichte, Volume 79, Hamburg 1993, pp. 111-132

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. 40 years of the GBI - Report of the GBI management on the anniversary in November 1960
  2. ^ Norbert Fischer on the history of secular burial culture , accessed on June 27, 2017.
  3. "GBI donates for wish-wagons" in Hamburger Wochenblatt - Wandsbek edition of February 20, 2019, p. 11