There can be few more phenomenal stories in recent years than that revealed today – a piece of earth, taken from Auschwitz by a Holocaust survivor years ago, found to contain the remains of Jews, who will now be buried at Bushey Cemetery.
You can look at this molecularly, but not a single Jew will do so. In terms of symbolism and emotion, it doesn’t come much bigger than this. That one was a child only adds weight to an already-overbearing strain.
The service on Sunday will be too much for some, but a duty for all, to remember – in this clod of earth – the people killed, whose earthly fragments for years made up the very subsoil of this site of shame.
There will be words, of course, but it is a day for action, for burying those who never had that dignity, for reaffirming our Jewish heritage and the direct line to those who died for their own. It will be a day for silence and reflection.
Jews know that the horrors of Auschwitz can in part be laid to rest by educating a world that will always be susceptible to its oldest hatreds. Few of us ever imagined that we could lay to rest those who died in the very horrors we teach. On Sunday we can, and we will. See you there.