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17th January, 2019

Israelis conduct trial search in Danube

The Israeli rescue team ZAKA on Tuesday conducted a trial search by sonar in the Danube near Margit híd and will return there in February to search for the remains of Jewish people who were shot and thrown into the Danube in World War II.

The idea of the search arose three years ago, and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Israeli chief rabbi David Lau discussed the matter last summer.

A three-person research team that arrived in Budapest on Sunday conducted preparatory probes to gauge the depth of the water and riverbed sludge, and the strength of the currents, said Ilan Berkovich, head of the diving team.

It is estimated that thousands of Hungarian Jews were shot dead in the autumn and winter of 1944 and thrown into the Danube in Budapest.

ZAKA aims to take their bodies to Israel for burial according to formal Jewish rites.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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