ZAKA recently received inquiries from tour guides and visitors to the extermination camps in Poland about the phenomenon of thousands of human bones floating above ground after the rain.

In coordination with government officials in Poland, a ZAKA delegation and representatives of the Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe (CPJCE) recently visited the camps in order to assess the phenomenon. Engineers from the Polish government also participated in the delegation.

The delegation discovered many examples of human bone emerging from the ground. This phenomenon was witnessed over a wide area in Auschwitz-Birkenau, where over one million people, 90% of them Jews, were murdered. Many bone fragments were found, mainly in the ponds surrounding the crematoria, where some of the ash had been thrown.

According to Jewish law, all bone fragments larger than a grain of barley should be buried and ash should be treated in the same manner as bones.

Following the visit, the delegation prepared a report which contains ideas for dealing with this phenomenon.

ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi Zahav noted that “this is a complex engineering and logistics project that requires the guidance and advice of engineers and hydrologists. We call upon the heads of states participating in the World Holocaust Conference – before dealing with the commemoration of the victims, it is more important to deal with their dignity. We appeal to you with a humanitarian request, to help carry the burden of this complex project, so that, after 75 years, the bones of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust who were murdered in the sanctification of the Divine name will be brought to rest.”