Thirty-four Jews who died while being Nazis slaves were honored with the dedication of gravestone in a ceremony at the U.S. Army airfield where the slave grave was found recently, officials said.
More than 200 mourners were on hand for Sunday's ceremony to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, dedicating the gravestones to the anonymous victims of the Echterdingen concentration camp that were discovered in September 2005 during construction work at the airfield.
Benjamin Gelhorn, a survivor of the Nazi camp system who spent three months at Echterdingen, said the Kaddish prayer of mourning to close the ceremony, the U.S. European Command said in a statement.
"The Lord gave me the power to be here in 2007 and to make the Kaddish for these people," Gelhorn, 86, was quoted as saying. "I'm really happy I'm alive."
Located just inside the airfield entrance, the grave markers will serve as a reminder to U.S. troops "of our enduring mandate to protect freedom and democracy" and ensure that future generations will live in peace, said Army Brig. Gen. William C. Mayville, U.S. European Command's deputy director of operations.
The remains were found in September 2005 and re-interred in a formal ceremony with full religious rites that December.
They are believed to be the bodies of Jewish inmates from Echterdingen - a subcamp of the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp - who were used by the Nazis as slave laborers between November 1944 and February 1945.