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Remains of six holocaust victims are given burial in Britain after 20 years in museum archives

A coffin with the remains of six unknown Jews murdered at Auschwitz is lowered into earth from Israel. Credit: PA

The remains of six unknown Jews murdered in Auschwitz were buried at a Jewish cemetery on Sunday morning after spending decades in a museum archive.

Around 50 Holocaust survivors joined hundreds of other members of the Jewish community at the United Synagogue New Cemetery in Bushey, Hertfordshire, for the funeral service.

London's Imperial War Museum (IWM) made the decision to return them to the Jewish community after a stocktake of its Holocaust material last year.

The ashes and bones of the six unknown victims were sent from Auschwitz to the Imperial War Museum in London in 1997.

Scientific tests later discovered they were five adults and one child, but nothing else is known about them.

The funeral service was the first for Holocaust victims to be held in the UK.

After a 40-minute service a small coffin, which held the remains of all six victims, was carried to its plot where it was buried with earth from Israel. The survivors and other mourners lined up to throw earth on to the coffin.

Around 50 Holocaust survivors joined hundreds of other members of the Jewish community. Credit: PA

During an address, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis warned that anti-Semitism is on the rise and unchecked hate speech “can easily be translated into hate crime”.

Rabbi Mirvis said the funeral was a reminder “to confront all forms of racism and discrimination”.

He added: “The message that you convey through the presence of your remains before us today is that if anti-Semitism exists, and it goes by unchecked, then hate speech can easily be translated into hate crime.

“And when anti-Semitism is allowed to thrive, some people can do anything and some people can reach the lowest end of human conduct.”