From 1945 until around 1960, similar ceremonies took place throughout Europe to commemorate the deportation of Jews and the Holocaust: ashes would be taken from the site of a concentration camp, an extermination camp, or the site of a massacre and sent back to the deporteesâ€™ country of origin (or to Israel). In these countries, commemorative ceremonies were then organised and these ashes (sometimes containing other human remains) placed within a memorial or reburied in a cemetery. These transfers of ashes have received little attention from historical researchers. This article sets out to describe a certain number of them, all differing considerably from one another, before drawing up a typology of this phenomenon and attempting to analyse it. It analyses the symbolic function of ashes in the aftermath of the Second World War and argues that these transfers â€“ as well as having a mimetic relationship to transfers of relics â€“ were also instruments of political legitimisation.