WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Some 700 daily-use objects from a mass grave found at the World War II Gross-Rosen Nazi German death camp were symbolically handed Friday to the camp’s museum in Poland.
The objects were found buried together with the remains of 92 men in an anti-aircraft ditch used as a mass grave. Experts of the state Institute of National Remembrance exhumed the bodies in 2017-2018.
The items include metal plates and cutlery with the inmates’ names scratched on them, as well as guards’ tableware and items of office and laboratory use. Professionally cleaned and itemized, the objects will be on display at the site’s museum in Rogoznica, in southwestern Poland.
The museum director, Janusz Barszcz, said they will be added to the museum exhibition.
Head of the institute Karol Nawrocki told a news conference at the site that the victims are not forgotten, almost 80 years later.
“We can still still see their names awkwardly scratched, we can see their initials, as if they were crying out to posterity: Do not forget us,” Nawrocki said.
The victims in the grave were aged between 20 and 60, and many were buried alive in February 1945 because they were too weak to join the camp’s evacuation.
From 1940-45, some 40,000 people, mostly European Jews, died at Gross-Rosen and affiliated camps the Nazis operated in occupied Poland.