Grave of the Commandant

At the end of The Penal Colony (Kafka) it’s found that the Commandant’s grave is beneath a table in a tea house (trans. Donna Freed):

They pushed one of the tables aside, and under it there actually was a gravestone. It was a simple stone, low enough to be hidden beneath a table. It bore an inscription in very small lettering: the traveler had to kneel down in order to read it. It read: ‘Here lies the old commandant. His followers, who must now remain nameless, have dug this grave and set this stone. It has been prophesied that after a certain number of years he will rise again and lead his followers out of this house to reclaim the colony. Have faith and wait!”

The reason the commandant has been buried in a tea house is that the priest wouldn’t allow his corpse in the cemetery –“no one knew where to bury him,” the soldier explains, “and they ended up burying him here.”

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