Documentary questions number of killings recorded in Second World War Alderney
A DOCUMENTARY will air in the British Isles this evening claiming that the number of people killed by the Nazis in Alderney was much higher than official records show.
War crimes and deaths in the island during the Nazi occupation in the Second World War have been a controversial subject for years.
Now, a professor of conflict archaeology and genocide investigation at Staffordshire University, Caroline Sturdy Colls, believes she has found forensic evidence that shows the number of deaths during Alderney’s occupation was much higher than first thought.
There are 397 known graves from killings during Alderney’s occupation.
Her claims will be revealed in a new programme, called Adolf Island, which premieres at 9pm on the Smithsonian Channel.
In what the programme makers have said could turn out to be the largest murder case on British soil, the professor goes in search of a Nazi SS camp constructed in secrecy in Alderney during the war.
Years of research and forensic investigation led her and a team from the centre of archaeology to examine remnants of concentration and labour camps in the island, and to official SS archives in Germany, where clues emerge that led Ms Colls to suspect that Alderney was the scene of Nazi mass murders.
She said: ‘The story of what happened to the thousands of forced and slave labourers who were sent to Alderney during World War Two needs to be told.
‘For decades many have tried to downplay the crimes committed by the SS and other Nazi groups on the island.
‘Forensic investigation offers the possibility to uncover the truth about the fate of these victims, to tell their stories and finally offer a voice to those who suffered and died on Alderney so many years ago.’
The professor was unable to carry out forensic excavations in Alderney and had to use ‘non-invasive’ methods to investigate unmarked graves, namely airborne LiDAR’ – a remote sensing technology.
She has used the same techniques at numerous genocide sites across Europe, leading to the successful identification of graves.