ALDERNEY is to ask the UK, Germany and other authorities to release outstanding material relating to the Second World War occupation of the island to quash accusations in two controversial Daily Mail articles.
The decision follows the publication of stories in the newspaper by Colonel Richard Kemp and military author John Weigold.
The stories, which described Alderney as ‘Hitler’s Island of Death’, suggested that between 40,000 and 70,000 forced labourers died in Alderney between January 1942 and October 1943 and that their bodies were cremated and buried in mass graves or thrown into the sea.
The authors also claimed that a V-1 rocket launch site was being constructed in top secret to attack the south coast of England with chemical weapons.
James Dent, chairman of Alderney’s Policy and Finance Committee, said they hoped the request would help bring speculation to a close. It is understood that MI6 is one of the organisations which could be contacted.
The committee will now examine how best to approach the matter.
The newspaper articles centred in the work of Captain TXH ‘Bunny’ Pantcheff, who was sent by Military Intelligence to interrogate the occupiers about what had happened in Alderney during the war. He was able to identify 400 prisoner graves.
But Col Kemp and Mr Weigold said the truth about what happened in Alderney had been suppressed to support reconstruction of the island – and prevent embarrassment to the British government that the slaughter had taken place so close to home.
‘As the years went by, what amounted to a cover-up continued. Pantcheff himself settled on Alderney and wrote a book that perpetuated the myth of a relatively benign occupation there, along the same lines as Guernsey and Jersey, where islanders and occupiers managed to live side by side in reasonable harmony,’ they said.
They claimed Captain Pantcheff had been ‘hoodwinked’ by the Germans he had interrogated and his figures were ‘pure hokum’.Subscribe to our Newsletter