Dignified service so long overdue

Bushey Cemetery, Herts, designed by Waugh Thistleton Architects, which has been shortlisted for the Riba Stirling Prize, 

Photo credit: Lewis Khan/RIBA/PA Wire
Bushey Cemetery, Herts, designed by Waugh Thistleton Architects, which has been shortlisted for the Riba Stirling Prize, Photo credit: Lewis Khan/RIBA/PA Wire

The Nazi regime deliberately made Jews appear as ‘the other’, encouraging stereotypical caricatures that demeaned and dehumanised them.

In death camps, Nazis stripped away everything physical – prisoners’ clothes, hair, even gold teeth – and tried to strip away their dignity and humanity, too.

We are now presented with a rare opportunity to ensure that the remains of five adults and one child, all murdered in the Holocaust, receive a dignified burial in accordance with Jewish laws.

The killing sites of the Holocaust are burial grounds for millions of Jews – but these
victims had no funerals.

It is not unknown for ash and other remains to have been removed from the Auschwitz site, but is very rare today for such remains to be identified and enabled to be given proper burial.

The date of the funeral – 20 January – chances to be the week before Holocaust Memorial Day. How very fitting.

At this time of year, hundreds of thousands of people are joining together across the length and breadth of this country, to commemorate the Holocaust and to take responsibility to create a better
future.

The remains of these six nameless individuals will on one level take on a symbolism for us, they represent all those whose individuality was stripped away and who
were murdered because of their identity.

But we must not forget that these remains are of six individuals, who lived distinct and unique lives.

We are able to honour these six individuals with the dignity and peace that was so brutally denied them in life

About the Author
Olivia is the Chief executive, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust
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