As Soviet Jews returned to their hometowns after the Holocaust, they encountered a catastrophic landscape of mass graves that defied Jewish traditions of dignified, secure burial. Throughout the postwar decades, survivors strove to bring their relatives “to a Jewish grave”—in other words, to provide them a burial consistent with Jewish burial norms. These norms included the desire to bury children beside their parents, concern for the physical security and legal status of grave plots, a reluctance to disturb the dead, and a fear of exposing human remains to public view. Given the chaotic circumstances under which these graves had been created, it was impossible to uphold all four principles. Thus, some survivors chose to transfer mass graves to the local Jewish cemetery immediately after the war. Other communities chose to mark and preserve the graves at their original locations, only opting for exhumation in the face of a direct threat such as erosion. Although grave exhumation is generally prohibited in Jewish tradition, Soviet Jews did not embrace exhumation out of religious ignorance, but instead performed them out of a desire to approximate traditional Jewish burial norms under novel, catastrophic circumstances. Thus, these exhumations illustrate how traditional values and practices can continue to linger and evolve, even in the absence of religious texts, institutions, and clergy.