Chief Rabbi's emotional tribute at Holocaust memorial unveiling at Bushey New Cemetery

Six unknown survivors were buried at the cemetery at a ceremony in 2019


Unveiling a Holocaust memorial and garden at Bushey New Cemetery, Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis asked: “What makes this matzeiva [tombstone] different to all other matzeivas?

“On all others matzeivas, the key feature is a name, the person who passed away. But on this matzeiva, there are no names. On all other matzeivas, there are names of relatives who mourn the loss of a loved one. But on this matzeiva, the entire Jewish people mourns the loss of the people buried here.”

He was referring to the six unknown Shoah victims buried at the cemetery four years ago, “some three generations after they were brutally murdered. It could have been any of our relatives.”

More than a dozen survivors were among the 160 people at the consecration service and they were thanked by the Chief Rabbi for “the ongoing inspiration they provide to us all and of British society”.

The space is named in memory of survivor Sam Freiman and his wife Sonja. In an impromptu address, survivor Harry Olmer told the gathering how much the memorial had meant to Sam Freiman, who had been a dear friend.

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