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Remains of Prisoners of War Exhumed in Poland

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

STARGARD, POLAND—Science in Poland reports that researchers led by Andrzej Ossowski of the Pomeranian Medical University are examining the remains of 64 men unearthed at Stalag II-D, a German prisoner of war camp in northwestern Poland during World War II. Most of the men are thought to have been Russian Red Army soldiers, although fragments of Polish and Belgian army uniforms have also been recovered, Ossowski explained. These prisoners are thought to have died over a period of four days in December 1941, based upon Russian military data. “The scale is incredible—a dozen or so people per day died in the camp,” Ossowski said. “There are no traces that would point to a brutal death mechanism—shooting or torture, which we have seen during our work in Stutthof, Treblinka, or Sobibor,” he added. Exhaustion due to labor, malnutrition, and lack of medical care, however, may have made the prisoners vulnerable to infectious diseases. “We plan to carry out pioneering testing for the presence of pathogens in the preserved bone material,” Ossowski concluded. To read about identification of the remains of seven nuns who were murdered by the Soviet soldiers near the end of World War II, go to "Around the World: Poland."

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