Burial of unknown Holocaust victims is a burial for us all

The Jewish Chronicle leader column, January 11 2019

January 10, 2019 14:46

It is impossible to read the story of the six unknown Shoah victims and not be deeply moved. From the thought of their remains lying for decades in the store room of a museum (which had not wanted them and looked after them well) to the astonishing science that allowed their broad identification even from the ashes,  every aspect of their journey to next week’s burial is a story which tells us something about humankind. Each individual murder was an unspeakable tragedy that affected their family, their community and the Jewish people as a whole. But the industrialised anonymity of the ovens in which they,  and millions of others, died meant that they were denied even the dignity of a burial. For soldiers, the concept of the Tomb of the Unknown Solider can serve as a proxy, the anonymity itself representing all those who died without a burial. Perhaps these six anonymous victims of the Shoah may take on a similar symbolism. May their memory be a blessing.

Malign Iran

The cancellation of an exhibition at a Golders Green mosque about Muslims who helped save Jews during the Holocaust is another depressing example of the malign influence of Iran. The mosque was rightly proud of its cooperation with local Jewish groups and Yad Vashem. But for Iran, and its propaganda agents in Britain, such good relations are inimical. It is understandable that the mosque was worried about how the regime would punish family members in Iran should the exhibition go ahead.  But this dispiriting tale should remind those who forget of the obstacles faced by mainstream Muslims.

January 10, 2019 14:46

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