Sunday, 20 Jan 2019 - 14 of Shevat, 5779

Six unidentified Holocaust victims to be given Jewish burial in London

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LONDON—The  remains of six unidentified Holocaust victims, including a child,  are to be given a Jewish burial in London, the British media reported.

The Imperial War Museum, which has stored the remains for more than 20 years, has handed them to the United Synagogue after consultation with the UK’s Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, and the Auschwitz museum near Krakow in Poland.

The burial service will take place on 20 January, a week before Holocaust Memorial Day, and is expected to be attended by Holocaust survivors.

The remains, which were discovered by a survivor at the Auschwitz death camp,  will be placed in shrouds in a single coffin and laid to rest at Bushey New Cemetery in Hertfordshire, which serves the orthodox Jewish community.

In a statement, the Chief Rabbi said: “These kedoshim [holy souls]will now be afforded the dignity of a Jewish funeral, within the loving embrace of our community – something which was denied to them and so many others during the course of the Shoah.’’

Michael Goldstein, president of the United Synagogue, said: “For everyone connected with the United Synagogue, and I’m quite sure the entire community, this can only be described as the ultimate act of kindness, chesed shel emet in Hebrew, because, as with all burials, nobody can be thanked for what you’ve done. We have the opportunity to do what was denied to our brothers and sisters during the Holocaust: to provide a dignified and appropriate Jewish burial.’’

He added : “We must remember that although we have only the remains of a number of victims of the Shoah, each was a person in their own right, with a family and a life and a Jewish identity, with hopes and dreams just like each of us. One of them was a child. I will hug my own children especially tightly next Sunday.’’

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