Oklahoma City Jews bury Holocaust victim’s remains

Daughter of former investigator of Nazi crimes delivers skull of unidentified woman for religious interment

Illustration. Jewish cemetery in the United States. (Andrew Ratto/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)
Illustration. Jewish cemetery in the United States. (Andrew Ratto/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Members of the Oklahoma City Jewish community buried the remains of a Jewish Holocaust victim at a local cemetery.

The traditional Jewish funeral was held Sunday at the Fairlawn Cemetery in the Oklahoma capital, The Oklahoman reported.

A local minister had received the remains of the woman, a skull, from the daughter-in-law of a Jewish man who had investigated Nazi war crimes as a member of the US Office of Strategic Services, a wartime intelligence agency. The Rev. Charles McDade said the woman asked him to reach out to the local Jewish community to see if they could take care of the remains, according to the newspaper.

In 2014, McDade contacted Rabbi Abby Jacobson of Emanuel Synagogue in Oklahoma City. Jacobson told The Oklahoman that she contacted several Holocaust memorial and education groups, including the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, which as a federal agency is not authorized to deal with such matters.

The remains were buried in a hand-carved wooden coffin with a Star of David carved on top made by Fred Poplin, a member of the community. Many of the worshippers who came to the funeral lost grandparents in the Holocaust, and at least one had parents who survived the horrors in Europe.

The burial took place on Tisha B’Av, a Jewish day of mourning.

“We are able to right a wrong to a person and give dignity to the deceased,” Jacobson said. “We are honored to bring some final dignity to this nameless woman.”

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