WW2 concentration camp on Alderney

I saw a documentary within the last 12 months on this, where a female archaeologist was having a very hard time with the locals in trying to 'dig up the past' while looking for the camp site and evidence of mass graves. It seems that her persistence has borne fruit.

'For the first time since 1945, researchers have investigated the horrors that occurred at the site of the only Nazi concentration camp on British soil.

'The Channel Islands, an archipelago off the northern coast of France, were the only British land that was successfully occupied by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. It’s little known that one of these quiet islands, Alderney, became home to several labor camps and two concentration camps, one of which was called Sylt or Lager Sylt. Although the UK government carried out an official post-war investigation into the horrors that occurred here, many suspected the contents were watered down in a report released to the public in an attempt to quash hearsay about a “concentration camp on British soil.”

'To unearth the truth, archaeologists from Staffordshire University in the UK have recently used an arsenal of non-invasive methods to study the site and experiences of the people imprisoned here. Reporting in the journal Antiquity, the team used geophysical surveys and LiDAR, as well as declassified aerial reconnaissance photos and written historic accounts, to create a detailed map of Sylt over the course of the Second World War.

'Official documentation by the Nazi's Schutzstaffel (SS) suggests 103 people died during the Nazi-occupation of Alderney. However, an assessment of other sources suggests at least 700 people perished here, with many more dying while traveling to or from the islands. '


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3D reconstructions of Sylt for: A) 1942; B) 1943; C) 1944; D) 2017. J. Kerti via C Sturdy Colls et al./Staffordshire University/Antiquity

Full article - Horrors Of Nazi Concentration Camp On British Soil Revealed By Archaeologists
 
I saw a documentary within the last 12 months on this, where a female archaeologist was having a very hard time with the locals in trying to 'dig up the past'. It looks like her persistence has borne fruit.

'For the first time since 1945, researchers have investigated the horrors that occurred at the site of the only Nazi concentration camp on British soil.

'The Channel Islands, an archipelago off the northern coast of France, were the only British land that was successfully occupied by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. It’s little known that one of these quiet islands, Alderney, became home to several labor camps and two concentration camps, one of which was called Sylt or Lager Sylt. Although the UK government carried out an official post-war investigation into the horrors that occurred here, many suspected the contents were watered down in a report released to the public in an attempt to quash hearsay about a “concentration camp on British soil.”

'To unearth the truth, archaeologists from Staffordshire University in the UK have recently used an arsenal of non-invasive methods to study the site and experiences of the people imprisoned here. Reporting in the journal Antiquity, the team used geophysical surveys and LiDAR, as well as declassified aerial reconnaissance photos and written historic accounts, to create a detailed map of Sylt over the course of the Second World War.

'Official documentation by the Nazi's Schutzstaffel (SS) suggests 103 people died during the Nazi-occupation of Alderney. However, an assessment of other sources suggests at least 700 people perished here, with many more dying while traveling to or from the islands. '


View attachment 461365
3D reconstructions of Sylt for: A) 1942; B) 1943; C) 1944; D) 2017. J. Kerti via C Sturdy Colls et al./Staffordshire University/Antiquity

Full article - Horrors Of Nazi Concentration Camp On British Soil Revealed By Archaeologists
Why was she facing a hard time?

The article doesn't seem to reveal very much.

However, an assessment of other sources suggests

The new research suggests

are thought to have

which may have

It's unclear what purpose the tunnel served, although it's suspected


I quite like WW2 history but this (the article) looks like a sixth former history assignment by someone who knows how to use a computer.
 

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
Why was she facing a hard time?

The article doesn't seem to reveal very much.

However, an assessment of other sources suggests

The new research suggests

are thought to have

which may have

It's unclear what purpose the tunnel served, although it's suspected


I quite like WW2 history but this (the article) looks like a sixth former history assignment by someone who knows how to use a computer.
There is still within the Channel Islands a lot of dark history to come out about the Occupation. The British government have sealed any records for at least 100 years. There are references in some books about collaborators and sneaks giving information to the Gestapo,plus those women accused of being 'jerrybags' of which they left the islands at the wars end.

Alderney is a small place and maybe they don't literally want skeletons rattling around the cupboard.

1585657449639.png


The author postulates obliquely that the underground hospital wards on Jersey and Guernsey where actually the same dimensions ans the gas chambers in Birkenau. Imagine if, the UK had fallen, it would have been an excellent place for mass murder after the population had been deported. Having been in the Jersey 'hospita;' I can see why he came to these conclusions, considering the wounded from normandy who were evacuated there were treated at the local hospital as per this book.

1585657800258.png
 
considering the wounded from normandy who were evacuated there were treated at the local hospital as per this book.
The Germans moved wounded off-shore to the Channel Islands after June 1944?
 
Why was she facing a hard time?

The article doesn't seem to reveal very much.

However, an assessment of other sources suggests

The new research suggests

are thought to have

which may have

It's unclear what purpose the tunnel served, although it's suspected


I quite like WW2 history but this (the article) looks like a sixth former history assignment by someone who knows how to use a computer.
If only all research provided definitive, black/white conclusions that may not be later found incorrect, and thereby damaging to academic reputations. I'm not sure if you can find the documentary itself on-line, but this is what you're looking for.

"I think sometimes people think talking about this history somehow brings shame on the islands but I think it's so important to tell the stories of the people who were sent there. This is about what's happened in the past not shaming people in the present." – Professor Caroline Sturdy Colls, Staffordshire University

 
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Not sure if you can find the documentary itself on-line, but this is what you're looking for.

"I think sometimes people think talking about this history somehow brings shame on the islands but I think it's so important to tell the stories of the people who were sent there. This is about what's happened in the past not shaming people in the present." – Professor Caroline Sturdy Colls, Staffordshire University

Just about everyone on the island who had something to do (as an adult) with WW2 will be dead now, maybe a few people in their 90s but that's it. Wiki tells me that the wartime population was 66000 now its 168000 so it a fair bet a considerable number of them have no link (Family)to the islands in the war. I doubt anyone really give a toss, what difference does it make to the islander today what may or may not have happened 75 plus years ago.
I live in Norway, plenty of bunkers near me and a few soviet POW huts, no one is really bothered one way or the other.
Sound like the author is making something out of nothing, or maybe they told her to get off their land (as in their private property) and she took it as them being ashamed.
 
Mainly because by the later part of 1944 they had no way of breaking through the Allied lines to Germany.
And the Allies crossed the Rhine and entered Germany in March 1945. Sorry, that doesn't much make sense, particularly as they'd been deprived of the totality of the French Atlantic seaboard facnig the Channel Islands by August '44.

breakout-map-Allied-Operation-Cobra-Normandy-France-August-1944.jpg
 
I'm not really seeing what the good Professor brings to the table that's new.

Given the teaser contained in the link, that's probably not saying much - then again, there's a raft of previous research about this era for anyone that wishes to look:


The cynic in me says that she's probably buffing up her reason for existing.
 
Just about everyone on the island who had something to do (as an adult) with WW2 will be dead now, maybe a few people in their 90s but that's it. Wiki tells me that the wartime population was 66000 now its 168000 so it a fair bet a considerable number of them have no link (Family)to the islands in the war. I doubt anyone really give a toss, what difference does it make to the islander today what may or may not have happened 75 plus years ago.
I live in Norway, plenty of bunkers near me and a few soviet POW huts, no one is really bothered one way or the other.
Sound like the author is making something out of nothing, or maybe they told her to get off their land (as in their private property) and she took it as them being ashamed.

I watched the programme and IIRC permission to investigate was granted, then suddenly reduced, the drone was OK to use with the remaining permissions but GPR wasn't.
Th
 
I watched the programme and IIRC permission to investigate was granted, then suddenly reduced, the drone was OK to use with the remaining permissions but GPR wasn't.
That wouldn't have led me to believe anyone was ashamed of anything, just that they didn't want people walking all over the land.
 
That wouldn't have led me to believe anyone was ashamed of anything, just that they didn't want people walking all over the land.
I'm not defending her and I'm trying to remember the details of the programme but I was only half watching while I did other things, of course she and the programme makers got to decide what was going in the show.
IIRC it wasn't landowners but the local government (such that it is)
They did a fair bit with the drone and the scanning from that, matching up some photos to the ground and identifying potential mass grave sites, and so on.
Its a pity they didn't get to do more
 

Chef

LE
The author postulates obliquely that the underground hospital wards on Jersey and Guernsey where actually the same dimensions ans the gas chambers in Birkenau. Imagine if, the UK had fallen, it would have been an excellent place for mass murder after the population had been deported. Having been in the Jersey 'hospita;' I can see why he came to these conclusions, considering the wounded from normandy who were evacuated there were treated at the local hospital as per this book.
Having visited the hospital in Jersey I would suggest that it would have made a crappy extermination site due to it being underground and rather harder to ventilate than even the semi dug in chambers at Auschwitz. Among other issues.

There are plenty of books on the occupation and collaboration was in evidence. That was bound to happen and any nation that says they'd be different is fooling themselves.

Bearing in mind that the ratio of Germans to civpop was about 1:7 on islands, the biggest of which is 10 miles by five it is a rather different scenario to France with neutral borders and a vast area to disappear into. Plus a lot less Germans keeping an eye on you.

Imagine pissing off your Tp Cpl and then trying to avoid him round camp.

As for the dark secrets, I would imagine that those who know do so already and as Stacker says those left will be in their late 70s upwards. Also I think Alderney was evacuated during the war so it's hard to imagine many secrets, dark or otherwise amongst the Adernoise relating to the German occupation.
 

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
Having visited the hospital in Jersey I would suggest that it would have made a crappy extermination site due to it being underground and rather harder to ventilate than even the semi dug in chambers at Auschwitz. Among other issues.

There are plenty of books on the occupation and collaboration was in evidence. That was bound to happen and any nation that says they'd be different is fooling themselves.

Bearing in mind that the ratio of Germans to civpop was about 1:7 on islands, the biggest of which is 10 miles by five it is a rather different scenario to France with neutral borders and a vast area to disappear into. Plus a lot less Germans keeping an eye on you.

Imagine pissing off your Tp Cpl and then trying to avoid him round camp.

As for the dark secrets, I would imagine that those who know do so already and as Stacker says those left will be in their late 70s upwards. Also I think Alderney was evacuated during the war so it's hard to imagine many secrets, dark or otherwise amongst the Adernoise relating to the German occupation.
I too have been in that hospital and can see where the author of the book is coming from. The original gas chamber was in the main camp under one of the blocks and the camp expanded to create Auschwitz II beforer the termination of the Aktion Rheinhardt camps following the Sobibor breakout in October 1943. The author stated the wards were the same size as the chambers in Birkenau and in effect the same design, door at each end which were gas tight, which was the original design of the 'little red house and blue house' as the original Birkenau extermintion facilities.
 
I'm not defending her and I'm trying to remember the details of the programme but I was only half watching while I did other things, of course she and the programme makers got to decide what was going in the show.
IIRC it wasn't landowners but the local government (such that it is)
They did a fair bit with the drone and the scanning from that, matching up some photos to the ground and identifying potential mass grave sites, and so on.
Its a pity they didn't get to do more
Its just got the feel of a time team program where they spend a week finding the remains of a wall but puff it up to make it sound more interesting, the very first sentence in the article is

For the first time since 1945, researchers have investigated the horrors that occurred at the site of the only Nazi concentration camp on British soil.

Which must be news to these people


 

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