Mass Grave of 1,000 Jews from World War II Found in Belarus

Mass Grave of 1,000 Jews from World War II Found in Belarus

Specialist soldiers unearthing the remains of a Second World War mass grave in Belarus have discovered a female skeleton cradling the remains of a baby.

 

Footage shows the excavation of more than 1,000 Jews from the construction site in the city of Brest which was occupied by Nazi Germany in the 1940s.

The site of the Nazi massacre – discovered on an old ghetto area earlier this year – was found after building work began on an elite apartment block.

‘There are clear bullet holes in the skulls,’ Dmitry Kaminsky, the military team leader, told the BBC.

Almost half the 50,000 people in the Eastern European city were Jews before the start of the Second World War, but shortly after the German invasion in June 1941, the instruction came to wipe them out.

Following the order, thousands were dragged onto trains and taken to a forest to be gunned down.

On October 1942 the city register kept by the Nazis states that 17,893 Jews live in Brest – the day after, the figure is ruled out.

 

Mikhail Kaplan, who lost aunts, uncles and cousins in the massacre, said his mother and father only managed to avoid being killed as they were away when the Nazis invaded Brest.

‘When my parents returned, the city was half empty,’ he told the publication.

The Jewish community in Brest is now pushing for the grave site to be made into an official Holocaust memorial – with the city only home to one currently.

However, the planting of trees next to the upcoming luxury flats is the only proposal being considered so far.

Alla Kondak, of the city’s culture department said: ‘Some people say they’re building on bones, but that isn’t true. We will only stop [excavation] work once all the remains have been recovered.’

Previous mass graves have been located in Brest in 1950 – when some 600 victims were re-buried at Trishinskoe cemetery, and in 1970 when 300 victims were re-interred at Proska cemetery.

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