The remains of a child and five adults murdered by the Nazis have been laid to rest together in one coffin at a Jewish cemetery.
As the ashes and bone fragments from Auschwitz were interred 74 years after the camp was liberated, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said it was a reminder of the “lowest ebb of human conduct”.
And he warned: “We must confront a rising tide of xenophobia, racism and discrimination in the world today.”
The remains were given to the Imperial War Museum more than 20 years ago.
After stocktaking its Holocaust material last year, the museum decided that they should be returned to the Jewish community.
The burial in the United Synagogue’s New Cemetery in Bushey, Herts, was watched by British survivors of the Holocaust.
Zigi Shipper, 89, said: “I’ve been crying for the last three days. 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.”
Another survivor Manfred Goldberg said: “This child who died, for 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 how he remembers his younger brother.
The chief rabbi said analysis of the remains being buried did not reveal whether they were male or female, only that one was a child.
Addressing that child, Mr Mirvis said: “If the Jewish State had existed 10 or 15 years earlier, your fate could have been different.”
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