Remains of concentration camp victims interred

15th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

15 November 2004 , WEIMAR - Remains of Nazi concentration-camp victims that had been kept for decades in a German museum have been interred close to the Buchenwald camp memorial in eastern Germany. Jewish, Catholic and Lutheran clergy recited funeral prayers. A Russian Orthodox priest led the Lord's Prayer after the cremation urns were lowered into the soil at a bleak cemetery where at least 400 former inmates lie. Mourners laid flowers for the unknown dead. The German History Museum in Berlin made a shock

15 November 2004

WEIMAR - Remains of Nazi concentration-camp victims that had been kept for decades in a German museum have been interred close to the Buchenwald camp memorial in eastern Germany.

Jewish, Catholic and Lutheran clergy recited funeral prayers. A Russian Orthodox priest led the Lord's Prayer after the cremation urns were lowered into the soil at a bleak cemetery where at least 400 former inmates lie. Mourners laid flowers for the unknown dead.

The German History Museum in Berlin made a shocking discovery several months ago during an inventory: urns of ashes and fragmented bones from several Nazi concentration camps. The names or number of the dead was unknown.

Files show that the urns were donated to a communist party research department in the late 1940s and that they were moved to the communist history museum in East Berlin in 1962. That institution was taken over by the German History Museum after communism collapsed.

The museum chose Ettersberg Cemetery, near Weimar, as a suitable final resting place.

The US military created the cemetery at the end of April 1945 for the burial of 400 inmates who survived the liberation of Buchenwald but then died of their privations and disease. It also contains 1,286 urns with cremated remains from Buchenwald.

The cemetery became overgrown and neglected after 1946, but was restored in the 1990s after the restoration of democracy.

In 1997, the Buchenwald memorial discovered 700 urns of ashes in the attic of the camp crematorium and buried these at Ettersberg too.

The Nazis interned political opponents in Buchenwald, where many were worked to death or died of disease, starvation and hanging. Main buildings of the camp have been restored as a reminder to future generations of the evil of dictatorship and the Holocaust. 

DPA

Subject: German news 

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