The Swiss Jewish community is honoring the victims of the Holocaust with a memorial at the Jewish cemetery in Davos.
The unveiling will take place on May 8, 2022 – 77 years after the end of World War Two, the Swiss Federation of Jewish communities (SIG/FCSI) announced.
The memorial commemorates the Jewish refugees expelled from Switzerland during the Holocaust, many of whom perished in death camps.
Most of the victims have never had their own graves. The memorial stones will be dedicated to all the nameless who died without a burial.
The stone is located in the Jewish part of the Davos forest cemetery, which opened in 1931. It will be situated next to a memorial that was built soon after the end of World War Two, where a SIG/FCSI initiative led to the burial there of Buchenwald victims.
The new memorial will be one of around sixty Holocaust memorials in Switzerland.
In March, the Swiss government approved the creation of a national memorial for victims of the Nazis. According to SIG/FCSI, the Swiss Jewish community has supported the project since it was announced.
While Switzerland has 60 private memorial sites commemorating the Holocaust and Nazi crimes, there is not a national memorial.
The motion by National Councillor Alfred Heer was unanimously adopted in the Council of States on 1 March 2022, with the adoption of National Councillor Daniel Jositsch’s motion in the National Council on March 10.
The memorial will in part honor “courageous Swiss people” – such as Paul Grüninger and Carl and Gertrud Lutz-Fankhauser – who helped Jewish refugees at a time when thousands of Jews fleeing persecution were refused entry into Switzerland, with many deported.
Speaking in Davos at the unveiling of the new monument will be Swiss Jewish leaders, the mayor of Davos and a representative of Holocaust survivors.