RE-LIVING THE HORROR: Hundreds of Skeletons of Brisker Yidden HY”D Shot in the Head During Holocaust Unearthed


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A delegation of ZAKA volunteers from Tel Aviv traveled to the city of Brest (Brisk), Belarus, to bury the remains of the bodies of murdered Yidden H”YD found in a mass grave from the Holocaust. ZAKA reports finding hundreds of skeletons of men, women and children who were shot in the head.

In the piles of earth exhumed from the grave by the authorities, the volunteers found bones, clothing, shoes, and other personal belongings taken with the Kedoshim as they were led to their deaths.

ZAKA says this is one of the most horrifying things ever found from the Holocaust, a testimony to the execution of the Jews of Brisk who remained in the ghetto under Nazi control. While sifting through piles of dirt from the ground, ZAKA came across items such as body parts, hair, wallets, and the clothing of the victims HY”D.

Despite the experience of the volunteers in viewing difficult sights, they were horrified by the findings and worked around the clock to bring whatever possible for kvura. reports that the levayos for the kedoshim will take place on Wednesday and will be officiated by shliach Rabbi Chaim Rabinovitz, Chief Rabbi of Brisk. Zaka sent 6 volunteers to bury the remains in 12 caskets that were prepared by the Brest city council; some sixty talleisim were donated by benevolent Jews in Eretz Yisroel. Local as well as international dignitaries, including the mayor and military brass, will attend the funerals.

Over 1400 bones are being brought to proper kevurah and will join the 300 that are already buried in the Brisk cemetery.

ZAKA Director Yehuda Meshi Zahav said in a statement. “the sights unearthed by the delegation are heartbreaking to every Jew and pressure the authorities. Yesterday the volunteers entered the site where the graves are located, to continue collecting the skeletons of the murdered Jews.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Hashem should bless the ZAKA members for the holy work they are doing. I cannot even fathom the emotions that they must have gone through. Hashem should avenge the kedoshim that were found.

  2. Kol hakovod to the Chabad Shliach who is there all year, even when they are not in the news, who will be making sure that the livaya works out כדת וכדין

  3. The Heavenly reward earned by these ZAKA members and all those who assist in this huge mitzva is incalculable. Seems to me that they’d unfortunately have quite a few additional opportunities for such mitzvos throughout Eastern Europe. Hashem yerachem ve’yinkom damam shel ha’kedoshim.

  4. I applaud Yochi’s comment.
    The group picture is unnecessary. This holy work is not about “look everyone, I’m in the picture”.

  5. Don’t understand why the bones are not being transported to EY. Probably local politics with the Poles.
    More important, they should take DNA samples from the remains before reburial. They might be able to match it with survivors of the Brisk community, or their families, who might have heard that their families in Brisk were killed in the town.