Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis directly addressed the departed in a moving speech, stating that “we remember you every day of our lives”. He said: “We don’t know who you are… We don’t know your names. We don’t know if you were male or female. We don’t know which countries you came from. We don’t know what you did for a living. We don’t have details of your families. But there is one thing that we do know; you were Jewish. And it is for that single reason that you were brutally murdered”.
The mourners included 50 Holocaust survivors, many of whom escorted the coffin to its final resting place.
Attendees included Communities Secretary Rt. Hon. James Brokenshire MP, Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev, CFI Parliamentary Chairman (Lords) Rt. Hon. Lord Pickles, CFI Officer Matthew Offord MP and Conservative candidate for Mayor of London, Shaun Bailey AM.
The Communities Secretary said: “We must continue to challenge racism, antisemitism and bigotry and where hatred can lead”. “That’s why this has been such a unique occasion to be able to give some dignity, some respect, some acknowledgement to those six souls who lost their lives in the Holocaust”, he added.
Lord Pickles reflected: “It’s profoundly moving to witness these five adults and child being laid to rest, here in the English countryside. It brings the horrors of what they must have endured so much closer to home. Today is a very important day”.
After the funeral, Shaun Bailey said he was “touched by today’s moving and solemn ceremony to lay to rest six souls lost to the Holocaust. May their memory be a blessing, and a reminder that old hatreds must never be given a fresh voice”.
The remains of the victims, including five adults and one child, were anonymously donated to the Imperial War Museum in 1997 after being removed from Auschwitz, likely by a Holocaust survivor.
After recent testing confirmed they were adult and child remains, the museum contacted the Chief Rabbi who recommended they were buried promptly.