Luis Bauer wears rubber gloves, two pairs on top of each other.
He rubs the woman's body with shower gel until it foams.
The scent of blueberries wafts through the white tiled room.
The elderly woman has closed her eyes.
Your stiff limbs rest on the metal bed.
When the relatives say goodbye to her, she should look well-groomed.
And smell good.
Luis, blue coat, white Crocs, is 16 years old.
Last summer he dropped out of high school to work as an undertaker.
Now he washes and combs the dead.
He wraps her in her favorite shirt.
He puts her in the coffin.
There is no more meaningful job for him.
Many people do not understand how to be an undertaker, and some are scared of the job.
Luis knows the prejudices: Undertakers are old, musty guys who always wear black and never laugh.
He thinks such ideas are nonsense, so he counteracts them.
Teens around the world are celebrating the whimsical video app.
A kitten with its head in a box got 33 million likes.
Luis talks about death in his videos, a topic that most people prefer to turn away from, and yet his clips reach up to five million people.
He shows them that they need not fear death.
Luis Bauer came into contact with death at an early age
Luis rubs the skin of the deceased dry with a towel.
“Dealing with the dead is just normal for me,” he says.
His father is an undertaker.
Johannes Bauer heads Bestattungen Burger, a company in the Franconian town of Fürth that his great-great-grandfather founded in 1925.
If Luis takes over, he would be the sixth generation.
As the son of an undertaker, he came into contact with death at an early age.
He couldn't help it.
Photos that he will later show on his smartphone tell of it: Luis as a four-year-old in the hearse.
Luis as a seven-year-old holding up an urn.
In the hearse he smiles, he looks at the urn curiously.
When he was 13, Luis first washed a deceased person.
Shortly afterwards, he applied to his father's company.
“Really with a letter of motivation,” he says.
It is important to him to show that he is doing the job of his own volition.
Luis says his father never pushed him.
In the mornings he groaned about sines and cosines at school, and in the afternoons he washed dead people.
It went on for more than two years.
In the 2020/21 school year, Luis was in grade 10, the question urged him: "What use is all this to me if I can really help people?"
On January 30, 2021, he uploaded the first video to TikTok.
When he woke up the morning after, he could hardly believe his eyes.
His smartphone reported 15,000 calls.
“I imagined that so many people would be sitting in front of a stage.
I just thought: Wow! ”The success encouraged him to leave school.
His father says he warned him: “Do you really want this madness?” Hardly predictable working hours, at times hardly any free time, standby at the weekend?
His father has been employing him full-time since September 2021.
This year he wants to train as a thanatologist, a kind of specialist in dying.
How does he manage to practice this difficult craft?
"Hey, Luis, are you all right?" Ulrich Mathias enters the supply room, a colleague, formerly a restaurant manager, now an undertaker.
Everyone calls him Uli.
He walks past Luis and the lounger, past shelves with disinfectant and a metal sink.
Uli has just picked up a deceased person in the hearse, and now he will support Luis.
The deceased, washed and combed, should slip into a blouse and skirt.
Dressing is easier with two people.
Luis turns the deceased aside.
Uli pulls the skirt over her legs and shakes the zipper.
“You had a good time, weren't you?” He says and laughs.
He looks at his own stomach, which is bulging under his work smock.
"But I don't need to say anything." Luis starts to laugh too.
Are jokes your way of taking the hard work lightly?
Luis says: "We laugh a lot, don't we, Uli?"Keywords: