(JTA) — Human remains from the Holocaust that were found in the Danube River five years ago were buried in a Jewish cemetery in Budapest.
The bones, which were discovered five years ago during construction work on the Margaret Bridge, were buried Friday in two wooden caskets, The Associated Press reported.
They belong to several people who were murdered either by being shot on the banks of the river and dumped into it, or thrown into the river alive in 1944 or 1945 by troops loyal to the Hungarian government of pro-Nazi collaborationists. Some 550,000 Hungarian Jews were killed during the Holocaust.
Andras Heisler, president of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, told the AP that the burial was the only case of bones believed to be of Hungarian Holocaust victims being found and buried.
The burial took place two days before Hungary’s Holocaust Memorial Day.
The Hungarian government had intended to bury the bones in a municipal burial site, but following the Jewish community’s objections subjected the find to DNA testing that proved the bones were likely of Ashkenazi Jews, Tamas Desi, a spokesman for the Mazsihisz umbrella group of Hungarian Jewish communities, told JTA in February.