Rabbi protests against removal of Jewish remains

22nd September 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 September 2005, STUTTGART, GERMANY - Construction work at an airport in Germany was halted Thursday after a rabbi protested against removal of what are believed to be the remains of Holocaust victims from a makeshift mass grave discovered at the site.

22 September 2005

STUTTGART, GERMANY - Construction work at an airport in Germany was halted Thursday after a rabbi protested against removal of what are believed to be the remains of Holocaust victims from a makeshift mass grave discovered at the site.

The skeletal remains of about 30 individuals were discovered earlier this week by workers during excavation work at Stuttgart airport.

The discovery was made at a section of the airport that had been used by the Gestapo when the site was a Luftwaffe air strip during World War II.

It is believed the bodies were those of Jewish inmates from the nearby Echterdingen detention camp who served as slave labourers at the site during the final months of the war. They possibly succumbed to the rigors of their internment and were buried in a makeshift grave.

Authorities launched an investigation as forensics experts began the process of searching for clues as to the identities and cause of death.

The protest came from Rabbi Elyakim Schlesinger, head of the Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe. In a letter to authorities in Stuttgart, the London-based rabbi said it was imperative that the remains not be removed.

"One of the pillars of the Jewish faith is the inviolability of the final resting place," Rabbi Schlesinger wrote.

Authorities said the rabbi's concerns would be taken into consideration once a final determination is made of the identities of the remains.

DPA

Subject: German news

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