BREST, Belarus – Human remains believed to have belonged to 1,214 Jewish victims of the Holocaust were reburied in a cemetery in southwestern Belarus on Wednesday.
The remains were discovered earlier in the year in a mass grave at a construction site in the city of Brest, near the border with Poland, according to local media reports.
The remains, which were buried along with personal belongings, are believed to be those of Jewish people who lived in the city and were killed by the Nazis in World War II after Adolf Hitler’s forces advanced into territories making up the Soviet Union.
The victims were laid to rest in 120 blue coffins decorated with the Star of David, set into the ground and covered over with earth by representatives of Jewish organizations, officials and local citizens as part of a mass reburial, an epa-efe photojournalist reported.
Those gathered held a minute of silence and Belarusian soldiers performed a gun-salute as part of Wednesday’s memorial service.
Belarus fell into the hands of Nazi Germany in 1941.
Around six million Jews across the whole of Europe, 1.5 million of them children, were killed between Kristallnacht and the end of World War II in 1945, in one of the largest state-sponsored genocide in history.