BUSHEY, NEAR LONDON – Ashes and some small bone fragments of a child and five adults murdered by the Nazis were finally laid to rest in a Jewish cemetery near London today. The Imperial War Museum handed the human remains to Britain’s Chief Rabbi on Wednesday, after finding them among a collection of items from the Holocaust.
In an emotional ceremony today in bright winter sunshine, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said the burial was a stark reminder of the “lowest ebb of human conduct”.
And he warned: “We must learn to cherish every single person on the globe, to preach love not hate. We must fight to stem a rising tide of xenophobia, racism and discrimination in the world today.”
The first clods of earth were placed on the wooden coffin by tear-filled British survivors of the Holocaust. Over six million Jews were murdered – more than half the Jewish population of Europe.
“I’ve been crying for the last three days,” survivor Ziggi Shipper, 89, told MediaZones. “Ever since Prince William and Kate joined me and another survivor in 2017 at a concentration camp in Poland, I’ve been determined we must not allow this horror to be forgotten.
“We must protect people who we see are starving around the world. We are all human beings.”
The other survivor who went with William and Kate was Manfred Goldberg.
“I’ve never been able to say a prayer for my murdered family members – until now. This child who died, fort all we know, may have been my nine-year-old brother Herman. He simply disappeared off the face of the earth. I’ve found no trace of him in any records.”
All he has is a painting of what eh remembers his younger brother look like.
The printed programme for the event asked: “How could they have been destroyed and the nations of the world remained silent?”
The chief rabbi said analysis of the burnt remains did not reveal whether they were male or female, only that one of the six was a child. Addressing that child, he said: “The State of Israel was founded three years after your concentration camp was liberated. If the Jewish State had existed ten or fifteen yeasts earlier, perhaps you and many others would have been saved.”
The ceremony was attended by James Brokenshaw for the UK government and by Vincent Nichols, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, head of the Catholic Church in Britain.
The Queen was officially represented by an officer who told the Mirror his own grandparents had been murdered by the Nazis in a concentration camp.
The ash and bone fragments were part of a collection that had been handed over to the Imperial War Museum more than twenty years ago.