700 urns of ashes found at Buchenwald — and buried

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FRANKFURT — Hundreds of unknown victims of the Buchenwald concentration camp have finally found a resting place.

More than 700 urns containing human ashes were found in May by carpenters working on the roof of the crematorium at the camp, located on a mountain near Weimar, about 125 miles southwest of Berlin.

Officials at the Buchenwald memorial site said the urns had likely been stored above the crematorium and then forgotten.

None of the urns had markings identifying the dead, reflecting the Nazi practice of keeping their victims nameless, they said.

The ashes were buried late last month in a cemetery for victims of Buchenwald during an ecumenical ceremony led by Frankfurt Rabbi Menachem Klein.

During the ceremony, the director of the memorial site, Volkhard Knigge, said it was not possible to date the ashes.

After 1943, the Nazis stopped using urns to store ashes, tossing them instead into a giant pit or nearby rivers.

The Nazis interned approximately 238,000 people at Buchenwald, where more than 56,000 prisoners died, including at least 11,000 Jews.

Notes made by a Polish prisoner recently discovered at a Warsaw archive have made it possible to identify some of the victims whose remains were buried in mass graves around the camp site.