Holocaust Victims Buried United Synagogue's New Cemetery
WWII

Remains Of Six Holocaust Victims Laid To Rest After Decades In Museum Archive

The ashes and bones of the six unknown victims were sent from Auschwitz to the Imperial War Museum in London in 1997.

Holocaust Victims Buried United Synagogue's New Cemetery

A coffin with the remains of six unknown Jews buried at the United Synagogue's New Cemetery in Bushey, Hertfordshire (Picture: PA).

The remains of six Holocaust victims murdered at Auschwitz have been buried as the Chief Rabbi urged an end to an "increase in anti-Semitism".

Around 50 Holocaust survivors joined hundreds of other members of the Jewish community at the United Synagogue New Cemetery in Bushey, Hertfordshire, for the funeral service.

The ashes and bones of the six unknown victims were sent from Auschwitz to the Imperial War Museum in London in 1997.

Scientific tests later discovered they were five adults and one child, but nothing else is known about them.

The funeral service was the first for Holocaust victims to be held in the UK.

After a 40-minute service a small coffin, which held the remains of all six victims, was carried to its plot where it was buried with earth from Israel.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said the funeral was a reminder "to confront all forms of racism and discrimination".

He added: "The message that you convey through the presence of your remains before us today is that if anti-Semitism exists, and it goes by unchecked, then hate speech can easily be translated into hate crime.

"And when anti-Semitism is allowed to thrive, some people can do anything and some people can reach the lowest end of human conduct."

One of the survivors, Agnes Grunwald-Spier, an author and historian born in Budapest in 1944, said she believes her grandfather was murdered at Auschwitz but her family has never been able to find the truth.

She said:

"In a way these people represent all those millions who have no grave and whose families can't mourn them properly because they don't know what happened to them."

The remains were returned by the IWM to the Jewish community after a stocktake of its Holocaust material last year.