After Stunning Discovery, Remains of Holocaust Victims to be Buried in Monsey on Thursday

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MONSEY – Nearly 75 years after the destruction of the Chelmno death camp, the remains of an unknown number of Holocaust victims will be brought to kever yisroel at a Monsey cemetery.

The remains were part of a donation of Holocaust artifacts gifted to the Holocaust Muesum and Center for Tolerance and Education, located within Rockland Community College, several years ago.

According to curator Julie Golding, the museum has received many Holocaust related items over the years, some of which were dropped off anonymously. An effort to catalog and digitize the museum’s artifacts led to the discovery of a box of what was believed to be dirt this past January, but a forensic analysis revealed that human bone fragments were mixed in with ashes that had been collected at Chelmno by a Holocaust survivor.

“His mother and sisters were murdered in Chelmno in 1942 and he went back to Poland twice, bringing back the ashes on one of those trips,” explained Golding. “He felt like he was bringing his family home and he brought the ashes to us along with artifacts from Auschwitz, Warsaw and Lodz.”

Several of the donated items were placed on display, with the box of ashes stored away by the museum. After discovering that the box contained human remains, Golding reached out to the Polish government, the Chelmno memorial museum and several rabbonim, including Rav Reuven Feinstein and Rabbi Elchonon Zohn. A determination was made that the remains should be buried, with the chevra kadisha wrapping them in a tallis with a full set of tachrichim.

“They were placed in a full sized aron, something we were told to do by the rabbonim as a sign of kavod,” noted Golding. “We don’t know how many people are there – it could be five or it could be 50.”

A levaya will be held on Thursday at 4:30 PM at the Monsey Jewish Cemetery on Brick Church Road in New Hempstead. Congregation Sons of Israel donated a large area for the burial, with a memorial to be created for one of only a handful of locations in the United States that house the remains of Holocaust victims.

Members of the Jewish community are asked to attend the funeral to pay kavod acharon to the victims. Hespedim will be offered by Rabbi Nosson Scherman, general editor of Artscroll/Mesorah Publications, and Rabbi Yosef Chaim Golding, author of Faith Amid the Flames, among others. Chazan Asher Scharf will make the Kel Maley Rachamim, with Kadish to be said by long time Monsey resident, Rabbi Moshe Gross, a child survivor of Bergen Belsen and a great grandson of Reb Shayale Kerestir.

Scharf noted that while he has been involved in many funerals for people from all segments of the Jewish community, this levaya is truly unique.

“Usually the family of the meis is present, or in the case of a meis mitzvah, people know they are coming to pay their respects to someone who has no family,” said Scharf. “But in this case, we don’t even know who may be related to those whose remains are being buried. It is incredible to see how so many years later, so many people will be coming out to ensure that these kedoshim get a proper kevura.”

By: Sandy Eller

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15 COMMENTS

  1. According to the so-called ‘Torah Jews’ who comment on VIN, the Churban was caused by ‘non-Torah’ Jews, and not the nazis. So why bury the victims’ remains with such honor, in Monsey of all bizarre places? Going OTD makes more sense every day if this is what Toira yiddishkeit has come to. Feh.

    • First of all, no one here has claimed that the Nazis didn’t perpetrate the Holocaust; they just are arguing for a deeper root cause.

      Second, far from all “Torah Jews” think that way; a couple of commenters here in no way represent the Jews of Monsey, or of any other frum community, in general.

      If you’re looking to go OTD, then of course you’ll latch on to any such excuse to justify yourself, but at the end of the day you’re not fooling anyone other than yourself. Try a little more intellectual honesty.

  2. U make no sense at all, the churben was caused by the zionest yes u can say it again and again however the german amulikem did the actual killing and they are still kedoishem no matter if zionest have their hands full of blood yes full of blood till these days

    • What a sick, baseless and hateful claim you make against ‘zionists’. Between the 1890’s and 1933 when your heros the nazis started their atrocities against ALL Jews, the political zionists exerted virtual no power or influence anywhere. You have ZERO PROOF for your sick self-hating and insane charges against the zionists, who were vitually the only BRAVE JEWS who actually resisted the nazis. The orthodox Jews of all types were nearly annihilated without any active resistance. So the remaining orthodox had to find a scapegoat- the ‘zionists’, to explain their utter bereft failure. And theologically, if the ‘zionists’ are to blame then why did HaShem ingather the remnants after the war to them and create a Jewish State in Israel to reward them? The crime of the churban is small compared to your blaming other Jews for it. In fact maybe if you were alive then you’d help your fine friends in capturing and murdering Jews not like you.

      • You might want to look up Ben Hecht’s (no Orthodox Jew, he) book Perfidy, which documents in quite some detail the Zionist leadership’s abandonment, by and large, of European Jewry. For example, Yitzhak Gruenbaum: “I think it is necessary to state here – Zionism is above everything. I will not demand that the Jewish Agency allocate a sum of 300,000 or 100,000 pounds sterling to help European Jewry. And I think that whoever demands such things is performing an anti-Zionist act.”

        Then, for contrast, you might want to read about Orthodox Jews such as R’ Michoel Ber Weissmandl and Recha Sternbuch, who risked their lives to save their fellow Jews.

      • You are so uninformed of all facts read min hameitazar of Reb Michoel ber, he details all what the zionest did and with their slogan “Rak b’dam tihay huertz” Yes jewish blood are on the hands of all of the ziinest till this day. who sunk the boat of all jews who escaped germany the list is to long to list here

      • Dear GoldinMedina
        I have learnt long ago to stop bothering with these small minded people. Any logical coherent argument you make, they will look at you in a acknowledging and thinking way and then exactly 10 minutes later will reject all cogent reasoning and go back to their foolish Rebbes ranting.
        Simple – At the end of the war Satmer Rebbe had egg on his face, as he told everyone, everywhere, do not leave . From here we will be mikabel mosiach, think good and it will be good and other such catch all phrases. At the end, he was proven DEAD wrong and then he figured kill 2 birds at the same time – See I was not wrong, we would of lived here in peace. in tranquility, and Hitler Y’M would not have come but the Zionist brought this wrath on us.
        Ask the next question – how exactly did the Zionist bring Hitler? and as they try to concoct an answer you see the stupidity of the Rebbe’s argument. Satmar Rebbe took a page out of Gobbels Y’M book- say a lie one time nobody will believe you, then say it a hundred times and all the small minded people will start to believe it.
        Here is some advice – just like you wont have an argument with the local drunk on the corner, why argue with small minded Marmorosh people who are drunk on their Rebbes words and cannot think straight.
        The real truth is – we can lay the blame of hundreds of thousands of Yidden at the Rebbes feet. For his own personal benefit he told them not to run.

        • Thank you Charedi Yid for your clear illumination of the sad facts. The anti-zionists hide behind the skirts of their failed ‘gedolim’. They point fingers at the only Jews who fought back because their minds are trapped in the shetl ghetto that they dud not lift a finger to defend. Look at the photo at the head of this article. Look at the faces of victims to be brutally murdered by nazis (not ‘zionists’) yet their evil crimes are deflected onto other Jews. This is self-hating antisemitism at its worst.

    • The golus was caused by sinas chinam.
      We can blame the holocaust on (fill in the blank for the group of Jews you hate or disagree with).

      Especially at this time of year and especially with this event, we should spend less time blaming others.

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