Become a Guardian of the Memory

By Laurie Rosenberg

LAST September I was at the stone-setting for my brother. As well as giving us a sense of closure, it also provided an indelible link in the chain of tradition that spans over 3,000 years. 

We are taught that the soul is brought into Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden) at a stone-setting. It’s a metaphor for permanence.

A stone is immovable, enduring, and constant – traditionally we don’t often see flowers on Jewish graves since they will simply fade away and disappear, and so that’s why we have a tradition of placing stones on the grave.

The Holocaust took away lives – six million Jewish individuals, of which one and a half million were children.

At Auschwitz-Birkenau and the other murder centres, the Nazis turned us into ash.

There are no markers, no gravestones, nowhere for us to place a stone – to preserve a memory – to continue to tell the story.

Yad Vashem UK’s Guardian of the Memory project aims to reverse this. It seeks to ensure that the victims’ life stories are never forgotten.

Just as I light a yahrzeit candle every year for my brother, so each victim can become part of our own treasured family histories by us lighting a memorial candle in their honour on every Holocaust Memorial Day and Yom HaShoah.

Millions of Jewish people were murdered without a trace during the Shoah. It is incumbent upon us to remember them. If we do not take action, their legacies will be lost to us forever.

To find out more about becoming a Guardian of the Memory, please visit



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