Israel to scour Danube in search for Holocaust remains

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image source, AFP
image captionBudapest's murdered Jews are commemorated with The Shoes on the Danube Promenade

Israeli divers are to search the Danube in Budapest with Hungarian help to recover remains of Jews murdered during the Holocaust.

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, visiting Budapest, said remains would be sent to Israel for a Jewish burial.

In late 1944 pro-Nazi Arrow Cross fascists murdered thousands of Jews in Budapest, shooting many on the banks of the Danube.

They were among some 565,000 Hungarian Jews who died in the Holocaust.

Zaka, an Israeli victim identification group, is set to begin the search later this week. It says its divers will use a sonar device that can reach a depth of 150m (500ft) and scan within 130m to identify objects.

Mr Deri, who is also an ultra-Orthodox rabbi, discussed the plan with Hungarian Interior Minister Sandor Pinter.

In 2005 Hungary unveiled a memorial by the river, called The Shoes on the Danube Promenade. Sixty pairs of old-fashioned shoes made of cast iron line the Pest embankment, in memory of the murdered Jews.

Israel's Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem describes how the Nazi-backed Hungarian fascists slaughtered Jewish men, women and children, often tying victims' hands with shoelaces. They shot them and dumped the bodies in the river.

Most of the Holocaust victims from Hungary died in Nazi Germany's Auschwitz death camp in southern Poland.