No Shoah victims’ remains found during initial sonar scan of Danube
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

No Shoah victims’ remains found during initial sonar scan of Danube

The team operating the search will be back next month for another scan, after first operation reveals no remains of those murdered

Zaka volunteers during the first phase of the search along the Danube river floor. Photos credit ZAKA
Zaka volunteers during the first phase of the search along the Danube river floor. Photos credit ZAKA

A sonar scan of the bottom of the Danube River in Budapest revealed no human remains, a local rabbi who initiated the search for the bodies of Holocaust victims said.

Volunteers for ZAKA, an Orthodox Jewish group that is based in Israel and provides emergency services as well as collection of human remains for burial, operated the sonar from the river banks on Tuesday, Slomo Koves, the head of the Chabad-affiliated EMIH Jewish federation of Hungary, told JTA.

The team operating the sonar will be back next month for another scan, he said.

In 2011, human remains were discovered during construction work on a bridge overlooking the Danube. DNA tests run on the bones in August 2015 found that at least nine of the 15 samples were Ashkenazi Jews from Europe and that six others could also be.

In 1944-1945, Hungarian Nazi-collaborators from the Arrow Cross shot thousands of Jews on the banks of the Danube.

These murders are at the heart of an ongoing and polarising debate in Hungary about how government-led and other commemoration efforts should address the issue of complicity. The Mazsihisz Jewish federation has accused the government of whitewashing this complicity, though EMIH has disputed this.

“Whether this is controversial or not is really not an issue,” Koves said of his group’s efforts to bring to burial Arrow Cross victims. “The only thing that matters is the major mitzvah of bringing the victims to burial.” He said the government was helpful in obtaining permits for the searches.

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

read more:
comments