The headstones have apparently been turning up in the city, close to the Polish border, for the past six years. Hundreds were uncovered by excavators in May during the construction of a supermarket in the city, the Daily Mail reported Friday.
Debra Brunner, the director of The Together Plan charity, told the Mail that the stones came from a massive Jewish cemetery dating back to 1832, although it was difficult to very actual dates as the records had been destroyed in the Holocaust.
"Every Jew in Brest - bar 19 – was killed by the Nazis," Brunner told the Mail. "That’s 30,000 Jews killed. The whole community was annihilated."
The report said that the residents of Brest had had no idea what the headstones were, until some began to suspect they had religious significance and took them to a local priest. The priest reportedly immediately saw that they were "sacred objects" and told the people of Brest to preserve them.
The Together Plan, which works to help "socially and economically disadvantaged communities, primarily but not exclusively,
in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe," now aims to create a memorial at the site of the cemetery. For now, the stones have been collected at Brest Fortress, a 19th-century castle in the city.
"We're trying to garner support for this project," Debra Brunner told Ynet on Friday, "It's really important."
For more information, visit The Together Plan website .