The Polish Institute of National Remembrance announced the burnt remains of approximately 8,000 victims of the Nazis were unearthed in a mass grave outside the town of Działdowo, a town in Northern Poland, located on the historical Prussian-Mazovian border, today belonging to the southern part of the Warmia-Masuria voivodeship.
The bodies are thought to have been dug up and burned in a Nazi operation to hide traces of their murders. The Nazis murdered Jews, political opponents and members of the Polish elite at Soldau.
The concentration camp was built in 1939 for transit, internment and extermination and used throughout the Nazi occupation.
Up to 30,000 people are thought to have been killed there and researchers hope to carry out DNA analysis of the remains to find out more about the victims. Among the Poles who were murdered were members of the clergy and intelligentsia. Mr Jankowski said two pits had been found near Soldau, now known as Dzialdowo, and further excavation would take place to search for more. The estimate of 8,000 victims is based on a person’s body weight estimated at 2kg.
Archaeologists have found hundreds of traces of clothing, buttons and other items, but nothing of value, indicating the bodies were robbed before being set alight.
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General view of the excavations on the site of the Warsaw Ghetto.
Photo: Warsaw Ghetto Museum
Jewish Heritage Europe reported on excavations at the site of the Warsaw Ghetto where a child’s shoe, Kitchen utensils, Crockery, Books, Ceramic tiles, Corroded tools, were found during archaeological excavations this summer. The dig is being lead by an archaeologist and historian at the Warsaw Ghetto Museum. together with a team of scientists from Christopher Newport University in the U.S. and the Aleksander Gieysztor Academy in Pułtusk, Poland. The dig has been extended to the end of July.
The Ghetto Museum, currently under development, is due to open in a complex of buildings that was a pre-WW2 children’s hospital in April 2023 — the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
The excavations are concentrated on the site where two pre-war apartment buildings stood; they were located between two streets, with entrances at Miła 18 and Muranowska 39 and at Miła 20 and Muranowska 41. During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which began on April 19, 1943, a bunker in the basement that had been used by smugglers housed the headquarters of the Jewish Combat Organization, led by Mordechaj Anielewicz. On May 8, 1943, as the Germans closed in, Anielewicz and scores of other Ghetto fighters committed mass suicide in the bunker. The bodies were never exhumed.