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Mass Grave found: Malbork, Poland

Article about: Thought this may be of interest. WW2 mass grave found Don

  1. #1

    Default Mass Grave found: Malbork, Poland

    Thought this may be of interest.

    WW2 mass grave found


  2. #2

    Default Re: Mass Grave found: Malbork, Poland

    Interesting article Don B. It seems as though it's par for the course. Shades of Katyn Forest. One can only wonder how many more such graves exist from the 'march' westward.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mass Grave found: Malbork, Poland

    Hi Don

    Interessting read, thank you for sharing. It seems that all of these people were buried naked and with bullet holes in the back of their heads. It isn't hard to imagine what happend there...


    Nick VR

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mass Grave found: Malbork, Poland

    Wow...that went over my head except for the photo. (translation?)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mass Grave found: Malbork, Poland

    The Public Prosecutor's Office investigates the mysterious grave in Malbork, in which people found out in 1850. Most likely, the collective tomb dates back to the end of the Second World War. If it is found that among them are Polish victims of war crimes, the case over the IPN.
    IPN Gdańsk see the full set of materials collected by the Public Prosecutor's Office in Malbork. After this consultation, the two units together prosecutors decide who will continue the case. - We want to finish some more steps are involved in this case and - most likely next week - provide prosecutors with full IPN files. If you consider they want to take over the case, pass it - informed the head of the District Prosecutor's Office in Malbork Waldemar Zduniak.
    IPN does not know yet whether to take a case

    The IPN will matter, if - as the Advocate Institute Andrzej Arseniuk - in explaining the absence of a suspicion that the victim's in grave crimes committed in the "persons of Polish nationality or Polish citizens of other nationalities."

    On the remains buried in one of the parcels in the center of Malbork found in the works prior to construction of a hotel in October. Work is still going at the exhumation. So far, extracted from the land of the remains of more than 1,850 people, both women, men and children. A small part skeletons bear traces of crutches.

    The tomb at the end of the war?

    When szczątkach not found anything personal, or even parts of documents. According to an employee in the Malbork Castle Museum and at the same time experts in the history of the city Jesionowskiego Bernard grave could hide the remains of German civilian population Malbork who died or were killed at the beginning of 1945, including During the fighting between Russian and German armies.

    - It is true that at the end of year 1944 the German command rozkazało Malbork civilians to leave, she was quite a group of people who do not order this posłuchały - Jesionowski explained. - The part of them - according to various sources from several hundred to 1.5 per thousand people - was unknown until now - he added.

    According to him, some of them could die of diseases as a result, some may have been killed. According to him, the harsh winter at the 1944 and 1945 years to make the residents, despite going to walk the streets, went out of hiding places to get fuel and food and died of accidental bullets.

    Documents burned in fear of an epidemic?

    This view of the circumstances the creation of mass grave is the head of the IPN Gdańsk vertical investigating prosecutor Maciej Schulz, who kept the tracks. - Body can be zwiezione from all over the city and placed in a natural depression, for example leju after bombie - said.

    According to Schulz for tezą that the grave was at the time of ordering the city, by the fact that the tomb was also found remains of animals. Schulz also believes that the pochówkiem human body can be cut and burned their clothes "in fear of an epidemic."

    I used the Google translation tool, I believe it's more or less a true translation,
    hope it helps!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mass Grave found: Malbork, Poland

    Thank you! It appears you did a good job!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Mass Grave found: Malbork, Poland

    Sad story but what is written here sounds different what i have read in german news ... anyway a sad story ... that where the times

  9. #9

    Default Re: Mass Grave found: Malbork, Poland

    You possibly did hear different on the German news,
    This story smacks of political correctness and non-committal of the officials who are not quite sure of the full facts and don’t wish to speculate or commit themselves.
    Who can blame them, if they shout massacred civilians only then to find out it was a flu epidemic or vice versa.
    I like the bit about accidental bullets, is that the same as friendly fire?
    Yes a very sad story that will be repeated no doubt all across Europe as the demand for buildings encroaches on untouched land.
    Belgium’s a prime example of new developments finding large unmarked graves, those graves we have a very good idea about what happened, unlike this story.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mass Grave found: Malbork, Poland

    Facing German Suffering, and Not Looking Away

    MALBORK, Poland — The damp mud falls away easily from the long thighbone jutting out of the dirt wall of the trench at the gentle prod of the shovel’s tip. Beyond the mass grave filled with the skeletal remains of some 2,000 people, presumed to be Germans who died in the closing months of World War II, stands the red-brick fortress of the Teutonic Knights that was once one of Germany’s greatest landmarks until it was forced to cede the territory to Poland after the war.

    Refugees passed through Malbork while fleeing the Soviets.
    Until then, Malbork was the German town of Marienburg, and the authorities believe the dead men, women and children buried together here were inhabitants of the city, along with refugees from places farther east, such as Königsberg, now Kaliningrad, fleeing the devastating Soviet counterattack that would eventually capture Berlin. Several dozen of the skulls have bullet holes, which prompted speculation of a massacre when the first bodies were found last October, whereas now the talk centers on cold, hunger and most of all typhus, which was rampant at the time.

    Europe has more than its share of mass graves, a reflection of the extraordinary scale of violence of the previous century. But throughout the Continent the public is far more used to Germans as perpetrators rather than victims, and perhaps nowhere is that more true than in Germany itself.

    Yet there are signs in the former German territories such as Malbork that an understanding of the human suffering, in particular of civilians, is beginning to gain traction, balancing slightly the long-held grudge of collective guilt toward the German aggressors who began the war.

    “We cannot be indifferent to what has happened here,” said Radoslaw Gajc, 30, a native of Malbork and a city worker who right now is assigned to removing the bodies. “It’s clearly very important, and we approach it with great seriousness and respect,” he said, adding that he had lately been studying up on the end stages of the war.

    “It’s something that has really led to a lot of interest in the Polish public, and even a lot of compassion for the people who died,” said Fritz Kirchmeier, spokesman for the German War Graves Commission, who traveled with a colleague to Malbork to discuss with city officials on Thursday plans either to move the bodies to an existing graveyard or to build a resting place in town. The German war graves authority in November began to bury German soldiers killed in World War II in a graveyard in the town of Cheb in the Czech Republic.

    Mr. Kirchmeier, who has spent 16 years with the group, which tends to the final resting places of some two million war dead in more than 800 cemeteries, calls the local sympathy a new phenomenon. “For us, that’s a development that we greet positively, and one that still would not have been possible even 10 years ago,” he said.

    That is not to say that the question of German suffering does not remain a politically delicate one. The German and Polish governments are once again engaged in a high-profile dispute over plans for a permanent exhibition on the fate of the Germans who were expelled from their homes. The row is deemed important enough that a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said the German leader would probably discuss the matter with Prime Minister Donald Tusk of Poland when they meet in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday.

    After World War II more than 12 million ethnic Germans, and by some estimates up to 16.5 million, were uprooted across central and Eastern Europe, and more than 2 million are believed to have died or been killed in the often violent process. The mass grave here was dutifully reported in the German news media, but in the usual muted fashion, because discussions of German suffering provoke strong responses among the victims of Hitler’s aggression and smack of revanchism to a public sensitive to the complex web of memory and guilt.

    “It all hangs on this notion of universal guilt, that Hitler’s atrocities were so great that nothing could be said in defense of the Germans,” said Giles MacDonogh, a British historian and author of the 2007 book “After the Reich,” which detailed the suffering of the German population during the postwar occupation by the allies. “There is still this definite feeling that it is not intellectually respectable, not socially respectable to dwell on these matters.”

    The mass grave in Malbork came to light purely by accident, as construction crews were preparing the site for a planned luxury hotel. The construction is part of a larger plan to redevelop the area, including building a new modern fountain, complete with music and lights, that has workers tearing up the streets downtown just a stone’s throw from the grave.

    Indeed, the bodies were not hidden in a forest or farmer’s field far outside of town, but right there in the historic center, directly in front of one of the largest tourist attractions in Poland. At first, workers found only about 70 skeletons, which were then interred in a local cemetery. Then a rainstorm washed away more of the soil, revealing several additional bones, including another skull. A systematic search for remains began, and as of this week just over 1,900 had been found.

    Because the dead were buried naked — with two small pairs of eyeglasses the only personal effects found among all the bodies in the grave — it is unlikely that the exact identities of the victims will ever be known. But the local archaeologist in charge of the site, Zbigniew Sawicki, said in an interview that they were all but certain that the bodies were those of Germans.

    Most of the victims appear to be civilians, not soldiers, he said, and there were very few Poles living in the area during the war; they came after, mostly looking for new homes because they had been forced out of territories in what was eastern Poland before the war and is now western Ukraine. “The people here have the same history, the same experience of displacement, being forced from their homeland,” said Piotr Szwedowski, a town official.

    Sitting in a car, windshield wipers clearing the mix of snow and rain pelting the grave site, Mr. Szwedowski, 43, who has a German grandmother, said there was one thing he always tried to remind himself.

    “We forget that behind every one of them stood a person,” he said, “a person with a body and soul.”
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Mass Grave found: Malbork, Poland  

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