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Massacre Sites in Central Germany Investigated

Monday, March 11, 2019

Germany mass graveWESTPHALIA-LIPPE, GERMANY—DW.com reports that three rural sites in central Germany where 208 Polish and Russian forced laborers were murdered and buried by Nazi troops in 1945 are under investigation. Shoes, colored buttons, pearls, a Polish language prayer book and lexicon, cutlery, and textile fragments are among the 400 artifacts recovered. Historian Marcus Weidner said many of objects came from a forest site in the Langenback Valley, where the remains of 60 women, 10 men, and a child were also unearthed. The placement of the artifacts at this site suggests the victims were told to leave their possessions at the edge of the road. Metal detectorists found bullets throughout the forest, indicating that the victims tried to escape before they were shot. Spades were also found at this site. American troops ordered the exhumation and reburial in a cemetery of the remains of 57 people killed at the second site. At the third site, a harmonica, a glasses case, a comb, a spoon, and Soviet coins were unearthed. After the 80 victims had been killed at this site, their bodies were buried in a cavity created by Nazi troops with detonated mortars. Their remains were exhumed in 1947 for reburial. To date, researchers have identified 14 of the 208 victims from the three sites. For more, go to “Off the Grid: Krakow, Poland.”

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