Israeli police seek relatives of WW2 camp victims

28th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

28 November 2005, JERUSALEM - Israeli police were searching intensively Monday for relatives of 34 Holocaust victims, most likely Jewish, whose bodies were found in a mass grave near Stuttgart, Germany, two months ago.

28 November 2005

JERUSALEM - Israeli police were searching intensively Monday for relatives of 34 Holocaust victims, most likely Jewish, whose bodies were found in a mass grave near Stuttgart, Germany, two months ago.

German authorities believe the 34 skeletons are the remains of victims of the Echterdingen labour camp which operated there toward the end of World War II.

According to the Israeli Ha'aretz daily, Israeli police estimate the families of 20 of the victims now live in Israel and officers are approaching possible relatives, seeking DNA samples to compare with those from the remains.

Asher Ben-Artz, Israel's liaison with Interpol who is heading the investigation, was able, with the help of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Centre, to locate one of the camp's sole survivors, an 85- year-old man now living in the Netherlands.

The survivor said he was unable to help.

"I did not know the inmates of the camp by name. We were just numbers. At most I knew a few first names," he was quoted as telling investigators.

The mass grave was uncovered in September during construction work at the U.S. military base located at the airport which serves Stuttgart.

German police estimated the victims in the mass grave died of either starvation or of typhus.

Authorities in Germany have handed over a document containing a handwritten list of 619 Jewish names who were forced labourers at the camp. This list shows the full name of the prisoners, along with their dates of birth and their fate. A swastika appears next to some of the names, signifying a "dead prisoner".

On the left-hand side of the document is a column of numbers, while the place of origin of each victim appears on the right.

Echterdingen labour camp operated under the large Natzweiler camp, for a short period from 1944 to 1945. Most of the surviving inmates were transferred to the Buchenwald concentration camp.

DPA

Subject: German news

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