'Adolf Island': The Nazi occupation of Alderney 9781526149077

Drawing on more than a decade’s worth of historical, forensic and archaeological research, this book presents the first

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'Adolf Island': The Nazi occupation of Alderney
 9781526149077

Table of contents :
Front Matter
Contents
List of figures
List of tables
Acknowledgements
Archival abbreviations
Map
Introduction
Part I: work
The labourers
Products of forced and slave labour
Part II: Life
Wire and cement
Architecture and experience in Sylt concentration camp
Norderney: into the ‘tunnel of death’
A landscape of internment
Part III: Death
The deceased
Marked and clandestine burials
The missing
Part IV: Aftermath
The final phases of occupation
Legacies
Concluding remarks
Appendix
Index

Citation preview

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‘Adolf Island’

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‘Adolf Island’ Downloaded from manchesterhive © Copyright protected It is illegal to copy or distribute this document

The Nazi occupation of Alderney Caroline Sturdy Colls and Kevin Simon Colls

manchester university press

Copyright © Caroline Sturdy Colls and Kevin Simon Colls 2022

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The right of Caroline Sturdy Colls and Kevin Simon Colls to be identified as the authors of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Published by Manchester University Press Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 978 1 5261 4906 0 hardback First published 2022 The publisher has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for any external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate. Cover image: Crosses marking seven of the rows of graves in Longy Common Cemetery in 1952. Image © The National Archives. Cover design: riverdesign.co.uk

Typeset by Cheshire Typesetting Ltd, Cuddington, Cheshire

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Contents

List of figures page vii List of tables  xvi Acknowledgementsxvii Archival abbreviations xx Mapxxii Introduction1 Part I:  Work 1 The labourers 2 Products of forced and slave labour

19 61

Part II:  Life 3 Wire and cement 4 Architecture and experience in Sylt concentration camp 5 Norderney: into the ‘tunnel of death’ 6 A landscape of internment

101 132 171 208

Part III:  Death 7 The deceased 8 Marked and clandestine burials 9 The missing

235 266 313

vi

Contents

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Part IV:  Aftermath 10 The final phases of occupation 11 Legacies

351 385

Concluding remarks

420

Appendix426 Index455

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Figures

0.1 Map showing Alderney in relation to the other Channel Islands, mainland Britain and France (Copyright: authors’ own image) page 3 1.1 Some of the immense fortifications constructed (mostly by forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers) on Alderney during the German occupation (Copyright: authors’ own images) 20 1.2 Forced labourers (Spanish Republicans) who were sent to Alderney to undertake construction works, photographed in Norderney (Copyright: TNA, WO311/12) 24 1.3 Eminent lawyers including Theodore Valensi (second left), photographed in Drancy shortly after their arrival in September 1942 (Copyright: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S69244/ photographer: unknown/Licence CC-BY-SA 3.0) 34 1.4 View of the prisoners’ barracks in Sachsenhausen ­concentration camp in Germany (Copyright: USHMM, Photograph Number: 45460) 36 1.5 Prisoners at Neuengamme concentration camp in Germany, the parent camp of Sylt concentration camp on Alderney (Copyright: USHMM, Photograph Number: 06031) 36 1.6 Camps and prisons that SS Baubrigade 1 prisoners experienced prior to their arrival to Alderney (Copyright: authors’ own image)40 1.7 Photograph of Konstantin Zhurbin on his registration card from Oflag 57 where he was housed prior to his arrival to Alderney (Copyright: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation)41 2.1 Examples of some of the fortifications that survive on Alderney built by forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers (Copyright: authors’ own image) 63

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viii

List of figures

2.2 A camouflaged bunker on Bibette Head where local stone was used to mask its existence from the air and sea (Copyright: authors’ own image) 64 2.3 Fort Clonque, one of the pre-existing forts on Alderney, which was added to by the Germans when they fortified the island (Copyright: authors’ own photograph) 64 2.4 The complex fortifications and defensive positions at Bibette Head, adjacent to Norderney camp (Copyright: Google Earth Image)66 2.5 Photographs of Victor Tiurin taken during his time as an OT forced labourer (Copyright: Victor Tiurin’s Family Collection) 71 2.6 Westbatterie, one of the most dangerous places to work on Alderney according to OT workers (Copyright: Google Earth Image)72 2.7 Fortifications at Longy Bay and bullet holes present in a section of the wall (Copyright: authors’ own image) 73 2.8 An old postcard of Rose Farm before the occupation (Copyright: John Elsbury) 75 2.9 Dates inscribed into the concrete of the anti-tank wall on Longy Common (Copyright: authors’ own image) 80 2.10 Examples of foot and hand prints in concrete (Copyright: authors’ own image) 81 2.11 Names of SS BB1 workers which were discovered inscribed into concrete at Fort Grosnez (Copyright: authors’ own image)82 2.12 A selection of marks likely made by German military personnel stationed on Alderney (Copyright: authors’ own images)84 2.13 Murals within Fort Tourgis most likely created by German military personnel (Copyright: authors’ own images) 85 2.14 A pocket watch belonging to Wasil Dseruk, an SS BB1 ­prisoner on Alderney (Copyright: Effekten von Wasil Dseruk 1921–10–07, 1.2.9/108005084/ITS Digital Archive, Arolsen Archives)87 2.15 Some of the occupation-era objects displayed in the Alderney Museum (Copyright: authors’ own image) 87 2.16 Objects relating to the occupation period which are housed in the Alderney Museum archive (Copyright: authors’ own image) 88 3.1 A map showing the main camps on Alderney during the German occupation (Copyright: authors’ own image) 102

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List of figures ix

3.2 The development of Helgoland labour camp during the German occupation (based on NCAP ACIU MF: C0890, 14 May 1942 and C1479, 12 August 1943) (Copyright: authors’ own image)  106 3.3 An aerial photograph of Helgoland camp on 23 January 1943 (Copyright: TNA, DEFE2/1374) 108 3.4 The surviving gateposts of Helgoland labour camp in 2010 (Copyright: authors’ own image) 109 3.5 The registration photograph of Alexandr Rodin, a labourer housed in Helgoland (Copyright: IWM) 110 3.6 Photographs of Anton Yezel (Copyright: IWM) 111 3.7 The site of Borkum labour camp in 2014 (Copyright: authors’ own images) 115 3.8 Plans derived from aerial photographs showing the ­development of Borkum labour camp (based on NCAP ACIU MF: C0979, 20 July 1942 and C1479, 12 August 1943) (Copyright: authors’ own image) 116 3.9 An aerial photograph of Borkum camp on 23 January 1943 (Copyright: TNA, DEFE2/1374) 118 3.10 Plans of Sylt labour camp derived from aerial photographs showing how it developed from July 1942 until January 1943 (based on NCAP ACIU MF C0979, 20 July 1942 and C1479, 12 August 1943) (Copyright: authors’ own images)121 3.11 3D reconstructions of Sylt in 1942, 1943 and 1944 (Copyright: Janos Kerti) 122 3.12 LiDAR survey data showing the surviving traces of Sylt camp that existed beneath the vegetation in 2017 (Copyright: FlyThru and authors own image) 123 3.13 Photograph of Ivan Kalganov in 1983 at a reunion with fellow Alderney labourers Georgi Kondakov, Nikolai Agoshkov and Kirill Nevrov (Copyright: IWM) 125 4.1 Testimony of the captain of the ship ‘Robert Müller 8’, Karl Hinrichson, concerning the transportation of SS Baubrigade 1 prisoners to Alderney (Copyright: TNA, WO311/13) 134 4.2 SS Untersturmführer Maximillian List, the first Camp Commandant of Sylt and head of SS Baubrigade 1 (Copyright: Bundesarchiv Berlin, BArch, R 9361 III/120344) 138 4.3 SS Untersturmführer Kurt Klebeck, the first Deputy Camp Commandant of Sylt (Copyright: TNA, WO309/402) 139

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x

List of figures

4.4 2D plans showing the development of Sylt, based on aerial photographs (based on NCAP ACIU MF: C0979, 20 July 1942; C1183, 23 January 1943 and C2775, 6 July 1944) (Copyright: authors’ own image) 140 4.5 2D plans of Sylt concentration camp (based on NCAP ACIU MF: C2775, 6 July 1944) (Copyright: authors’ own image) 142 4.6 Photograph showing (A) the stones added to the interior boundary at Sylt, (B) one of the sentry posts, (C) the ­interior camp gateposts (D) stone steps leading to the external fence, possible second entrance/exit (Copyright: authors’ own images)147 4.7 Structural remnants within the prisoner compound at Sylt (Copyright: authors’ own images) 149 4.8 A photograph of Sylt concentration camp taken in 1945 (Copyright: Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum) 150 4.9 The toilet block uncovered at Sylt concentration camp in 2013 during an archaeological survey and a surviving example of a toilet block that retains its original seating at AuschwitzBirkenau (Copyright; authors own images) 151 4.10 Surviving evidence in the SS area of Sylt (Copyright: author’s own images) 156 4.11 Photogrammetry of the tunnel and subterranean room which connected the Commandant’s house to the camp (Copyright; authors’ own image) 158 4.12 The plaque located on one of surviving gateposts at Sylt (Copyright: authors’ own image) 161 5.1 The location of Norderney (Copyright: authors’ own image) 172 5.2 The former location of Norderney labour and ­concentration camp and now the current holiday campsite (Copyright: authors’ own image) 173 5.3 Portrait of Haim Parsimento, an inmate of Norderney, taken with his wife Sarah and daughter Violette in Paris, France in 1942 (Copyright: Mémorial de la Shoah) 177 5.4 Dr Ernest Morand with other inmates of Drancy camp in 1942 (Copyright: Mémorial de la Shoah) 178 5.5 Portrait of Théodore Haenel (Copyright: Mémorial de la Shoah)178 5.6 The former guards’ area in Norderney camp (Copyright: authors’ own image) 181 5.7 The evolution of Norderney labour and concentration camp (Copyright: authors’ own image)  182

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List of figures xi

5.8 A plan of Norderney labour and concentration camp showing the functions of the buildings (where known) (Copyright: author’s own image)  184 5.9 Reconstructions of Norderney labour and concentration camp showing its relationship to the landscape (Copyright: authors’ own image) 186 5.10 Topographic model and reconstruction of Norderney labour and concentration camp (Copyright: authors’ own image) 187 5.11 An aerial image of Norderney labour camp showing the ­different areas of the camp and pathways which illustrate common walking routes taken by inmates and staff (Copyright: NCAP ACIU MF 1563, 3 October 1943) 188 5.12 Illustration of the interior of a barrack used to house forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers in Norderney camp (Copyright: based on an illustration by Ted Misiewicz in Bunting, The Model Occupation, 1995, p. 178) 191 5.13 Surviving traces of the probable toilet block at Norderney camp (Copyright: authors’ own images) 192 5.14 Photograph of Norderney camp taken in 1944 (Copyright: TNA, WO311/12) 196 5.15 The ‘tunnel of death’ at Norderney camp (Copyright: authors’ own image) 198 6.1 A map showing the camps and internment sites on Alderney during the German occupation (Copyright: authors’ own image)210 6.2 An aerial image of the political prisoner camp off Clos de Mer (Copyright: NCAP, ACIU MF C1978, 20 March 1944) 211 6.3 Gateposts which marked the entrance to the sawmill and ­associated camp complex in Newtown and the modern houses now constructed in this area (Copyright: authors’ own image)213 6.4 Aerial photograph of land off Le Corvée taken on 12 August 1943 revealing the presence of structures (Copyright: NCAP ACIU MF C1479, 12 August 1943) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey results overlaid onto this image and a contemporary Google Earth image (Copyright: Google Earth (base map), NCAP ACIU MF C1479, 12 August 1943 (aerial photograph) and authors’ own image (GPR results)) 214 6.5 An aerial image showing the OT camp on Longy Road and the adjacent Borkum OT labour camp on 12 June 1944 (Copyright: NCAP ACIU MF C0704, 12 June 1944) 215

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xii

List of figures

6.6 The evolution of building works around Val House off Le Val Street in St Anne, showing at least one camp (based on NCAP ACIU MF: C0813, 23 March 1942; C0979, 20 July 1942; C1090, 30 September 1942 and C1479, 12 August 1943) (Copyright: author’s own image) 218 6.7 The site of a purpose-built camp in Le Vallée which is now a holiday camp site (Copyright: authors’ own image) 220 6.8 Alderney prison after liberation showing the uninhabitable nature of the cells (Copyright: Private Collection of Barney Winder from Illustrated Magazine, 1947) and (insert): Alderney prison which was used to inter German political prisoners and other purported criminals during the occupation (Copyright: authors’ own image) 224 7.1 The dates of death of OT labourers during Alderney’s ­occupation according to burial registries and death certificates (Copyright: authors’ own image, based on TNA, WO311/11 and IA, FK31–11) 243 7.2 The dates of death of SS BB1 labourers during Alderney’s occupation according to burial registries and death ­certificates (Copyright: authors’ own image, based on AGNG, Totenbuch, Reviertotenbuch and Standesamtsregister) 252 7.3 Religious denominations of SS BB1 labourers according to burial registries and death certificates (Copyright: authors’ own image) 254 7.4 The dates of death of men buried in the German ­military ­cemetery during Alderney’s occupation according to burial ­registries and death certificates (Copyright: authors’ own image, based on TNA, WO311/11 and JA, L/D/25/D1/11)256 8.1 Map showing the locations of the two labourer cemeteries and the German cemetery on Alderney in relation to the four main camps (Copyright: authors’ own image) 267 8.2 Forced and slave labourer graves on the northern side of St Anne’s parish church in 1945 (Copyright: Private Collection of Barney Winder)  268 8.3 The crosses marking seven of the rows of graves in Longy Common Cemetery in 1952 (Copyright: TNA, FO371_ 100916)269 8.4 The German military cemetery off Longy Road in 1945 (Copyright: TNA, FO371/100916) 269 8.5 Digitised version of a plan of St Anne’s cemetery drawn by a representative from the British Imperial War Graves



8.6

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8.7

8.8 8.9

8.10

8.11

8.12

8.13

8.14

8.15

8.16

List of figures xiii Commission (Redrawn from image in TNA, FO371/100916; Copyright: authors’ own image) 271 Plan of the occupation-era burials in Plot III St Anne’s ­cemetery (Copyright: authors’ own image, based on WO311/11)273 A photograph of St Anne’s cemetery (Plot III in figure 8.5) taken in 1952 showing that all of the grave markers erected by the Germans had been removed (Copyright: TNA, FO371/100916)274 One of eight Jewish graves located on the south side of Longy Common cemetery (Copyright: TNA FO371/100916) 276 Plan of the occupation-era burials in Longy Common Cemetery (Copyright: authors’ own image, based on WO311/11)278 A comparison of aerial photographs taken on 23 January 1943 and 3 October 1943 showing the evolution of Longy Common cemetery (Copyright: NCAP, ACIU MF C1183, 23 January 1943, NCAP, ACIU MF C1563, 3 October 1943 and authors’ own image) 280 A comparison of aerial photographs taken on 20 March 1944 and 12 June 1944 showing the evolution of Longy Common cemetery (Copyright: NCAP, ACIU MF C1978, 20 March 1944; NCAP, ACIU MF C0704, 12 June 1944 and authors’ own image) 281 The false-bottomed coffin found after the war, which was used to tip the corpses into the graves on Longy Common (Copyright: Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum) 283 A reproduction of the sketch plan of Longy Common ­cemetery created by Watson in 1952 during survey work for the Imperial War Graves Commission (Redrawn from image in TNA, FO371/100916; Copyright: authors’ own image)285 A photograph taken in 1952 of the wooden cross which reportedly marked a communal grave containing forty-three unknown ‘Russians’ at Longy Common cemetery (Copyright: TNA, FO371/100916) 286 A photograph of Longy Common cemetery taken in 1952 showing the general state of disrepair of the grave markers and boundary (Copyright: TNA, FO371/100916) 287 GPR survey results from the area that housed Longy Common cemetery showing: a time slice at a depth of 0.81 m with an annotation of the cemetery boundary, annotated GPR results

xiv

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8.17

8.18 8.19

8.20

8.21

8.22 8.23

8.24

List of figures and overlays and accompanying annotations of the data on historic aerial imagery (Copyright: authors’ own image and NCAP, ACIU MF C1563, 3 October 1943 for the aerial image)288 GPR survey results from the area that housed Longy Common cemetery showing: a time slice at a depth of 0.81 m and the location of subsequent profile lines, an aerial image taken on 3 October 1943 showing the location of the GPR survey grid and GPR profile line A and GPR profile line A with ­annotations (Copyright: authors’ own images and NCAP, ACIU MF C1563, 3 October 1943 for the aerial image) 289 Resistance survey results from the area that housed Longy Common cemetery (Copyright: authors’ own image) 290 Aerial image of Longy Common taken on 3 October 1943 showing two areas of disturbance immediately outside the cemetery boundary (Copyright: NCAP ACIU MF C1563, 3 October 1943) 293 GPR survey results from the area that housed Longy Common cemetery showing: a time slice at a depth of 0.81 m and ­annotations of these results as well as an aerial image taken on 3 October 1943 showing the location of the GPR survey grid and features present within the GPR data (Copyright: authors’ own images and NCAP, ACIU MF C1563, 3 October 1943 for the aerial image) 294 GPR survey results from the area that housed Longy Common cemetery showing: a time slice at a depth of 0.81 m and the location of profile line B, an aerial image taken on 3 October 1943 showing the location of the GPR survey grid and profile line B and GPR profile line B with annotations (Copyright: authors’ own images and NCAP, ACIU MF C1563, 3 October 1943 for the aerial image) 295 UAV photogrammetry of the area that housed Longy Common cemetery (Copyright: FlyThru and authors’ own image) 297 Wartime Home Forces map annotated by the British War Office depicting a possible cemetery at Simon’s Place Hill (Copyright: TNA, WO311/106) 299 Linear features identified on aerial imagery taken on 12 June 1944, close to the OT camp on Longy Road, which were not present on an aerial image taken on 20 March 1944 (Copyright: NCAP ACIU MF C1978, 20 March 1944, NCAP ACIU MF C0704, 12 June 1944 and authors’ own image)301

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List of figures xv

10.1 The journeys of three forced, slave and less-than-slave ­labourers after they left Alderney illustrated on a modern map of Europe (Copyright: authors’ own image) 353 10.2 Damaged buildings in Braye Harbour in 1945 (Copyright: TNA, DEFE2/1296) 355 10.3 Examples of some of the Martian traces created by SHAEF and contained within the files of the British Combined Operations Headquarters and the Ministry of Defence (Copyright: TNA, DEFE2/1374) 357 10.4 Artwork called The Surrender: the British landing party approaching the jetty at Alderney in May 1945 created in 1945 by war artist Harold William Hailstone (Copyright: IWM)359 11.1 Existing buildings on Alderney which were taken over by the German occupiers (Copyright: Dr Bessenrodt, Der Insel Alderney, 1944) 388 11.2 Alderney’s residents return home on 10 December 1945 (Copyright: Private Collection of Barney Winder) 389 11.3 German POWs carrying furniture to the houses of ­islanders after they returned home in December 1945 (Copyright: Private Collection of Barney Winder) 389 11.4 A German POW levelling ground to make a new football pitch for returning islanders (Copyright: Private Collection of Barney Winder)390 11.5 A man walks a cow close to one of the many fortifications that remained on Alderney after the occupation (Copyright: Private Collection of Barney Winder)  391 11.6 A team searches for land boundaries after liberation (Copyright: Private Collection of Barney Winder) 392 11.7 Occupation heritage in 2015: a bunker with a greenhouse extension, one of many bunkers used for bunker parties, a Nazi eagle repainted by the owner of the bunker to preserve it and one of several recently spray-painted swastikas (Copyright: authors’ own image) 394 11.8 Memorials honouring the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers sent to Alderney (Copyright: authors’ own images) 397

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Tables

1.1 Construction firms operating on Alderney who employed labourers and who worked in collaboration with OT page 23 1.2 Minimum numbers of forced, slave and less-than-slave ­labourers sent to Alderney throughout the German occupation, based on available documents 44 7.1 Causes of death for 144 OT labourers for whom death ­certificates survive 241 7.2 Companies for whom 144 deceased OT labourers worked according to their death certificates 246 7.3 Causes of death for SS BB1 labourers according to official Neuengamme concentration camp records 248 9.1 Organisation Todt (OT) workers who died on Alderney, as ­evidenced by their death certificates, but who have no known graves316 9.2 SS BB1 prisoners who died on Alderney, as evidenced by their death certificates, but who have no known graves 320 9.3 Named individuals thought to have died on Alderney according to witnesses 327 9.4 Men who ‘died on Alderney’ according to Georgi Kondakov, but who have no known graves 329 9.5 Men who for whom ‘there is no evidence of leaving Alderney’ according to Georgi Kondakov, but who have no known graves 332 9.6 Potential numbers of missing persons on Alderney summarised from descriptions in Chapter 9 340

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Acknowledgements

As this has been a decade-long project, there are many people we wish to thank and the authors apologise if, owing to the confines of space, it has not always been possible to name everyone individually. First, thanks are due to Staffordshire University (SU) and the University of Birmingham (UoB), who supported us in undertaking this long-running research project, via research time and funding. Thanks also to our colleagues who have worked with us during fieldwork on Alderney or assisted from campus, particularly: (from SU) William Mitchell, Tim Harris, Dr Dante Abate, associate professor Rachel Bolton-King, Rich Harper and Professor Ruth Swetnam; (from UoB) Professor John Hunter, the late Barrie Simpson, Dr John Carman and Patricia Carman. Specific thanks also go to our postgraduate researchers who have contributed to this book or the fieldwork, particularly Dr Janos Kerti, Dr Daria Cherkaska, Czelsie Weston, Alex Haycock, Aida Haughton and Harriette Copley, and to the numerous undergraduate students who partook in field schools on Alderney under our supervision. The authors would like to thank the States of Alderney for granting access to sites under their jurisdiction on Alderney and for their support of the university’s educational research programme during the surveys from 2010 to 2015. Numerous Alderney residents allowed us access to their property and personal archives to support the wider research initiative, for which we are very grateful. In particular, thanks are due to the Alderney Wildlife Trust for providing digital data, accommodation and access to areas under their care; and to the Kay-Mouat family and Les Pourciaux Cottage for granting access to their land. For their assistance during the later stages of the project, thanks are due in particular to Aaron Bray, Martin Lunt and Alex Snowden from the States of Alderney for on-site support, and Alderney Airport staff for assisting with the UAV surveys. We will always be grateful to Barney Winder for his support and friendship throughout this project, and the late Peter Arnold, founder of the Alderney Museum and Society, for his assistance back in 2010 and for granting us access to the Alderney Museum Archives. Various members of the Alderney

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xviii

Acknowledgements

Society also assisted us with obtaining fieldwork permissions and arranging public lectures between 2010 and 2015. We are also grateful to local historians Trevor Davenport and Brian Bonnard, and Marcus Roberts for sharing their knowledge early on in our research programme. Over the years, we have worked with many colleagues around the world who have helped forge our ideas, identify new avenues of research, and develop new working relationships. Particular thanks go to Dr Gilly Carr (University of Cambridge) for discussing her work in the Channel Islands, Dr Marc Buggeln (Universität Augsburg) for his input regarding slave labour in Nazi concentration camps, Professor Nikolaus Wachsmann (Birkbeck College, University of London) for commenting on parts of our manuscript relating to Nazi concentration camps and Dr Benoit Luc for his insights into the deportation of French Jews to Alderney and the Norderney camp. Dr Robert Ehrenreich from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) has also been a constant source of support and friendship, for which we are extremely grateful. Dr Chris Going has provided invaluable insights into the aerial photographs of Longy Common, providing interpretations that supplemented and validated our own. We are particularly grateful to Dr Paul Sanders and a further anonymous reviewer for their detailed reviews this book, which undoubtedly improved its quality and focus. We would also like to thanks the staff at archives around the world for their helpful advice, including the Jersey Archives, Island Archives Guernsey (in particular Nathan Coyde), Priaulx Library, National Archives, USHMM (especially Ron Coleman, Vincent Slatt, Megan Lewis and Elliott Wrenn), Archiv Gedenkstätte Neuengamme (particularly Dr Reimer Möller), State Archive of the Ukrainian Security Service, Central State Archives of Public Organizations of Ukraine, Central State Archive of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Yad Vashem, Imperial War Museum, NARA, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, National Collection of Aerial Photography and Historic England. Thanks are due in particular to Steven Vitto and William Connelly at the USHMM’s Holocaust Survivor and Victims Resource Center for their assistance in researching individual names discovered during the archaeological fieldwork, leading to the identification of a number of slave labourers sent to Alderney. During the course of this project, we have had technical expertise from numerous individuals and organisations. Particular thanks are due to FlyThru for the LiDAR and UAV surveys in 2017, and Allied Associates for geophysical support. We are grateful for the professionalism and assistance of Snap-TV, particularly David Edgar, Cherry Dorrett, Alex Nikolić-Dunlop and Caroline Harvey, during fieldwork in 2016 and 2017

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Acknowledgements xix

and during the making of the documentary Adolf Island more broadly. We are also indebted to the Smithsonian Channel (in particular Chris Hoetzl, John Cavanagh, Susie Eckl and Isabelle Mills) for their encouragement and promotion of our work in this programme and for their financial support for the 2017 fieldwork. We are extremely grateful to survivors and the families of former Alderney internees who have allowed us the honour of hearing and sharing their experiences, in particular Marian and Elizabeth Hawling, and the family of Victor Tiurin. Many residents on Alderney and members of the general public have also contacted us with invaluable information about the occupation. There have at times been too many letters and emails for us to reply to individually so we would like to express our gratitude here to all those who have written to us with information and words of encouragement. Special thanks are due to Meredith Carroll and Manchester University Press for their assistance with this publication. Finally, we would like to thank our families for always supporting our endeavours, encouraging our passion for learning about the past and for providing much-needed childminding support. We would like to dedicate this book to three people who are no longer with us who have impacted upon our lives in so many ways: the late Barrie Simpson (forensic archaeologist and former police detective), the late Patrick Donnellan (Caroline’s former history teacher and family friend) and the late Rodney William Sturdy (Caroline’s grandad and former RAF Chief Technician). Per ardua ad astra (Through adversity to the stars)

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Archival abbreviations

AG-D AG-F AGK

AG-NG AMA AZ BA-B BA-L CDJC CWGC FSB GARF GASBU GMA IA ITS IWM JA

Archiv Gedenkstätte Dachau (Archive of the Dachau Memorial) Archiv Gedenkstätte Flossenbürg (Archive of the Flossenbürg Memorial) Archiwum Głownej Komisji Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce (Main Commission for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes in Poland Archives) Archiv Gedenkstätte Neuengamme (Archive of the Neuengamme Memorial) Alderney Museum Archive Archiv ‘Zwangsarbeit 1939–1945. Erinnerungen und Geschichte’ Bundesarchiv Berlin (German Federal Archives in Berlin, includes former BDC) Bundesarchiv Aussenstelle Ludwigsburg (German Federal Archives, External Branch Ludwigsburg) Centre de documentation juive contemporaine (Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation), Paris Commonwealth War Graves Commission (formerly the Imperial War Graves Commission, IWGC) Central Archive of the Federal Security Service (Tsentralnyi arkhiv Federalnoy Sluzhby Bezopasnosti State Archives of the Russian Federation, Moscow Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Sluzhby Bezopasnosti Ukrainy, Kyiv (State Archive of the Ukrainian Security Service, Kiev) Gedenkstatte und Museum Sachsenhausen (Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum) Island Archives Guernsey International Tracing Service Digital Archive, Bad Arolsen Imperial War Museum Archive Jersey Archives

MDLS NARA NCAP OBD

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PL StA-HH StLH ThDAGO TNA TsAMO

USHMM USHMM   HVSD

Archival abbreviations xxi Mémorial de la Shoah US National Archives National Collection of Aerial Photography (UK) Digital Database ‘Memorial’ of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation Priaulx Library, Guernsey Staatsarchiv der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg (State Archives of the Free and Hanseatic City Hamburg) Staatsanwaltschaft Landgericht Hamburg Central State Archives of Public Organizations of Ukraine The National Archives (UK) Tsentral’nyi gosudarstvennyi arkhiv ministerstsva oborony rossiiskoi federatsii (Central State Archive of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation), Podolsk United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archive United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Holocaust Survivors and Victims Database

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  1 = Two blank cone buoys   2 = Beacons   3 = Trench: width 4 ft, depth 8 ft to 10 ft   4 = Anti-tank obstacles   5 = Site of O.T. timber dumps   6 = Minefield   7 = Track through minefield   8 = Cart ramp   9 = Derelict oar dump 10 = Pill-box 11 = Sentry posted with tommy gun 12 = Barbed wire at Arsenal wall 13 = Sporadic barbed wire 14 = Two German built concrete blockhouses 15 = A British built pill-box, not used by the Germans. 16 = Fort Albert 17 = Beacon 18 = Searchlight 19 = Barbed wire, possibly mines 20 = Camp, not visible from seaward 21 = Fort with sentry gun 22 = Barbed wire and mines 23 = Fort Corblets 24 = Anti-aircraft (A.A) and C.D. defences 25 = Quenard Lighthouse 26 = Fort 27 = Cottages and villas occupied by Germans 28 = Two forts 29 = Anti-tank obstacles at Raz Island Causeway 30 = Raz Island Causeway 31 = Raz Island Fort 32 = Anti-tank obstacles 33 = The Nunnery is occupied, and fortified 34 = Massive bunker 35 = Anti-tank gun? 36 = Beach exit and pill box 37 = Concrete shed, possible gun emplacement 38 = Graveyard 39 = No beach access

40 = German tunnel, munitions dump 41 = N.S.K.K camp 42 = Fort Essex, occupied 43 = Coastguard cottages, occupied 44 = Whitegates, occupied 45 = A.A guns 46 = Ammunition dumps 47 = New, German-built, concrete road 48 = O.T. Lazarett huts 49 = Borkum Camp 50 = A.A. guns in earth walled pits 51 = Two wooden huts/A.R.F shelter 52 = Defence position, guns and bunkers 53 = Barbed wire 54 = Quarry 55 = German graveyard 56 = This house is occupied by Germans. 57 = 30–35 telephone lines 58 = telephone lines 59 = Underground telephone lines 60 = Beaverboard huts (camp) 61 = A.A. battery 62 = O.T. saw mill 63 = This hut houses a contingent of political prisoners. Barbed wire all round 64 = Cottages on Longy Road. Occupied 65 = Balmoral. Occupied by German officers with watch tower in the garden. 66 = 30 political prisoners in these two houses. 67 = Farm buildings occupied by Germans. Six horses in stables 68 = A.A. guns in this area 69 = Radar installation and several bunkers 70 = Two barrack huts lived in by Germans 71 = Barb wire and mines 72 = Power station 73 = Well dressed lines of low corrugated iron, semi-circular huts 74 = Farm house, occupied 75 = Row of houses, now used for German stores

  76 = One light Flak gun   77 = German office and watch tower   78 = Cinema   79 = Occupied farmhouse   80 = Two huts. Stores of German bedding, tables and other barrack room furniture   81 = German Carpenter’s shop   82 = Coal dump. About 20 tons at 8 April 1944   83 = Germans in this house   84 = Greenshouse adjoining the old ­slaughter house   85 = Open ended barn full of German straw   86 = Two German buildings   87 = House taken over by the German ­officers with underground shelter   88 = Embankment   89 = Informant says this is the New German power house which is nearing completion   90 = Hillside tunnels. Informants guess that this is the main ammunition dump of the island   91 = Anti-tank gun   92 = In this hut is the main P.O.L. dump. About 200–300 drums of fuel   93 = Houses of the Anti-tank gun crews   94 = Houses (Naval)   95 = Newtown. The gas works are ­abandoned. Only one or two cottages occupied.   96 = House occupied by Klt. Gassmann, the Hafenkommandant   97 = At least 4 A.A. guns on this hill   98 = Two possible flame throwers   99 = Camouflaged A.R.P. bunker built close by a disussed sand pit. 100 = St Annes Church. Food store 101 = Prison and Court House. 102 = Schools. Empty but being repaired and equipped possibly as a kitchen

103 = Convent, now Soldatenheim 104 = 35 ft high observation tower 105 = Stables 106 = Lived in by lorry drivers 107 = Garages and M/T painting shops 108 = Houses, Moroccan prisoners of war 109 = Marais Hall. Occupied 110 = The two buildings marked in red here each contain two small tanks. 111 = Feldkommandant in Lloyds Bank. 112 = W.H. repair garage 113 = Row of houses occupied by Germans 114 = New German building at corner 115 = German telephone exchanges. Nearby is another watch tower 116 = Sheep and cattle sheds 117 = Bungalow 118 = A.A. and/or C.D. guns 119 = Occupied house 120 = House occupied 121 = Large firing bunker being built here by political prisoners 122 = Hignot Farm, now the O.T. Farm 123 = Rose Farm, occupied 124 = Three corrugated iron ammunition sheds 125 = German tank sheds 126 = Two tanks hidden inside an excavated mound 127 = Germans keep their sheep-dogs here 128 = This is the main camp on the island for the Political Prisoners 129 = Well built new bungalow for chief warder 130 = Minefields and barbed wire 131 = West Batterie 132 = Large, earth covered, personnel shelter 133 = Workers’ canteen. 134 = Area of another defence position. Plenty of A.A 135 = Villa with searchlight and radar

136 = Causeway - reconditioned 137 = Fort 138 = Mines 139 = Fort Tourgis, occupied. A.A. guns and searchlight 140 = A strong firing bunker 141 = Farmhouse 142 = Helgoland CAMP 143 = Fort Platte Saline - not used 144 = Concrete sea wall 145 = Demolished houses 146 = A.A. guns 147 = German pig farm 148 = Hidden machine gun position 149 = R.C. Church. Now a flour store. 150 = O.T. shed, full of metal sheeting. 151 = Demolished houses 152 = This camp is now empty. Was formerly an O.T. camp and housed the “DEEBAU” canteen. 153 = New German bakery. German bakers 154 = Tennis courts of the Grand Hotel. 155 = Grand Hotel. Now occupied by Flak troops and officers. 156 = Shed for German cars with three sides open 157 = 30–35 ft high concrete watch tower 158 = Large searchlight with shed nearby for 3 man crew. 159 = Two derelict houses 160 = Crabby BAY 161 = Scrap iron dump 162 = At this end of Crabby Bay is a line of disused Alderney Railway wagons 163 = Mines outside the walls of Fort Grosnez 164 = Firing bunker 165 = German Feldpostamt 166 = Fort Doyle, occupied. A bunker is being built on the west side

A map produced by British intelligence division MI19 showing sites on Alderney which were built and modified by the Germans as of 1943 (Redrawn from TNA, HO 144/22834) (Copyright: authors’ own image)

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Introduction

Volodymyr Zaiats – a Ukrainian citizen born in Boromlia – was one of millions of victims of Nazi persecution during World War 2 (WW2). An electrician by training, Zaiats was first sent to Dachau concentration camp in Germany as a ‘protective custody prisoner’ on 18 July 1942.1 After a short period of release, he was transferred to Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg on 14 December 1942.2 But Zaiats was not murdered in either of these now-notorious SS-run concentration camps. Instead, on 5 April 1943, he was shot by his SS overseers just one month after arriving at Sylt, a Nazi concentration camp on the island of Alderney – a small island and British Crown Dependency in the English Channel which was occupied by the Germans from 2 July 1940 until 16 May 1945.3 He has no known grave. Burial in an unmarked grave on Alderney was a fate shared with 18-yearold Archip Alexeianko.4 Having been ‘recruited’ in his hometown of Piaski, Alexeianko was sent to Alderney to undertake heavy construction work under the control of the Todt Organisation (Organisation Todt; OT), a civil and military engineering unit tasked with supporting the Nazi forced labour programme.5 On 8 November 1942, following just three months of incarceration – this time in a labour camp called Norderney – he died of cachexia, a condition that involves weakness and muscle wastage of the body resulting from the poor living and working conditions he endured. These men were just two of several thousand labourers sent to Alderney – or ‘Adolf Island’ (Insel Adolf) as it was codenamed – after this small island, sixty miles from the British coast and eight miles from France, was occupied by the Germans (Figure 0.1).6 They were also two among several hundred who perished and who remain missing persons. Although these men arrived under the governance of two different a­ gencies – the SS and OT – they both joined their fellow labourers, building fortifications that historians have suggested would assist with Hitler’s plan to make Alderney an ‘impregnable fortress’ and a ‘stepping stone’ from which the Germans could potentially invade mainland Britain.7 While some ­labourers

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‘Adolf Island’

were recruited into the labour programme (voluntarily or, in most cases, under duress), others were incarcerated because they were classed as political opponents, criminals or Jews.8 Hence, the labour programme on Alderney also fulfilled another purpose – removing and punishing so-called enemies of the Third Reich. Housed in a network of camps all over the island, these forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers suffered universally from ill-treatment in the form of poor living and working conditions, beatings and a lack of food.9 For many, ill health, disease or injury (accidental or inflicted by their overseers) meant that Alderney became their final resting place. In addition to its impact on the lives of those who became victims of Nazi persecution, the German occupation of Alderney also had a dramatic effect upon the landscape. Following the decision by the British government that the Channel Islands were too difficult and expensive to defend, in the week before the occupation began, the island’s 1432 inhabitants were evacuated to mainland Britain. Hence, the Germans were free to make use of the houses, businesses, fields, transport facilities and personal possessions left behind.10 Previously unassuming buildings and fields were transformed into labour and concentration camps, and some became killing and burial sites. The forced and slave labour programme also involved huge construction works; green fields and quaint buildings were transformed by the presence of vast concrete megastructures, minefields and military equipment in order to protect against ‘even the strongest attempt at landing’.11 In March 1942, Alderney’s fortifications became part of the Atlantic Wall after Hitler ordered the defence of the entire coastline from Norway to the French border with Spain.12 Ultimately, five coastal artillery batteries, twenty-two anti-aircraft batteries, thirteen strongpoints, twelve resistance nests and three defence lines were built across the island.13 Infrastructural developments also led to large-scale excavations, the vast majority of which were carried out by the labourers. Both above and below the ground, Alderney was radically altered and became what Giaccaria and Minca have described as one of several ‘Nazi grand geographies’.14 Uniquely drawing upon more than a decade’s worth of historical, forensic and archaeological research by the authors, this book’s main aim is to refocus attention on the stories of the forced and slave labourers sent to Alderney and to demonstrate how the complex landscape forged by the Germans impacted upon their lives, work and deaths. Before explaining how this study was carried out, it is important to address some of the reasons why it was necessary, many of which relate to how forced and slave labourers were perceived and presented in the aftermath of WW2. When the first investigators arrived on Alderney after its liberation by the British military on 16 May 1945 – and when its former

Introduction 3

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Figure 0.1  Map showing Alderney in relation to the other Channel Islands, mainland Britain and France

inhabitants returned from Britain the following December – they observed a landscape ravaged by military activity. Teams led by Major Cotton and Major Haddock, and later by Captain Pantcheff, also came across the abandoned remains of camps and burial sites connected to the forced and

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‘Adolf Island’

slave labourers, leading to the conclusion that ‘crimes of a systematically brutal and callous nature were committed on British soil’.15 Efforts were made to interview witnesses (which included former labourers, German personnel and civilians), inspect the camps and investigate claims regarding the nature of the burials on the island. The British personnel were joined by a Soviet investigatory team (whose remit was the documentation of crimes against Soviet citizens) for a short period in June 1945 and they too conducted on-site investigations and interviewed witnesses.16 They excavated a small number of graves and attempted to establish the exact number of victims. Searches for the perpetrators were initially carried out and plans to pursue prosecutions relating to ‘mal-administration’, ‘assault’ and ‘murder’ were formulated by the British government.17 As such, an extensive body of material concerning the experience of the forced and slave labourers was created. However, the initial impetus of the British government to fully document the labourers’ fates dwindled and so did their willingness to undertake legal proceedings. While the initial investigators observed that forced and slave labourers from all over Europe and North Africa were sent to Alderney, declassified documents reveal that the British government went on to claim that all workers were ‘Russians’.18 Drawing upon the Declaration of Atrocities within the Moscow Agreement (1943), the investigations were handed over to the Soviet government, who failed to pursue any trials. Once the native islanders returned, a focus on rebuilding and a desire by the local government (the States of Alderney) to shift attention away from the crimes perpetrated, added to the sanitised, ‘official history’ established by the British government.19 This was cemented further by exhumations carried out in accordance with the Anglo-German War Graves Agreement in 1961 which classified the 389 deceased forced and slave labourers found as ‘German war dead’.20 Claims made by witnesses about further deaths on the island have been regularly dismissed in the years since the war in light of these findings.21 Documents pertaining to the original investigations remained classified for decades. As a result, knowledge about the labourers – who they were, where they came from and what they experienced on Alderney, and the extent and nature of the places they built and inhabited – remains sporadic within the population of Great Britain and beyond. The events themselves reside in an uncomfortable grey area and raise several challenging questions in terms of British reactions to Nazi persecution and the Holocaust, not least because the crimes took place on British (albeit occupied) soil. Hence, they cast doubt on the argument presented by many politicians after the war – that the British had ‘helped destroy’ the ‘vast act of criminality’ that was the Third Reich at every available opportunity.22

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Introduction 5

Instead of addressing these uncomfortable aspects and focusing on the victims of these crimes, Channel Island historians have preferred to focus on Alderney’s military history. The German fortifications have been discussed in terms of their architecture and the role that they played in military strategy, rather than as products of forced and slave labour.23 If one were to visit Alderney today, much of the physical evidence connected to the forced and slave labourers remains hidden from view. Of course, because of their scale and permanence, visitors cannot avoid the fortifications that still dominate the landscape but their role in the forced and slave labour programme is not made clear. The former camps are more difficult to identify as they have been reused, engulfed in vegetation and left to decay. Efforts to commemorate these places with memorial plaques and heritage trails have all been instigated by private individuals (as opposed to ­government) and their importance as places of atrocity and commemoration is not widely accepted or promoted at local level.24 The cemeteries that contained the bodies of labourers have remained unmarked since the exhumations in the 1960s. The appearance of the sites is (in part at least) connected to the pervasive view that the forced and slave labour programme in Alderney is ‘taboo’.25 While (or perhaps because) there have been some efforts in recent years to change this situation by enthusiastic local and external activists, efforts by some local government officials and some community members to oppose outside research or the growth of tourism connected to forced and slave labour have become more veracious.26 A lack of adequate heritage legislation, austerity, issues surrounding land ownership and proposed ­infrastructural developments have also played a part in the ongoing neglect and contested nature of these sites.27 It would be inaccurate to state that the forced and slave labour programme has not received any attention in the years since the end of WW2. In fact, many examples of published literature exist which were born out of efforts by individuals to raise awareness of this aspect of Alderney’s occupation. Several survivors of the Alderney camps published their testimonies, many following the collapse of the Soviet Union when they were finally able to speak freely and discern exactly where ‘Adolf Island’ was located.28 Publications by the head of the second British investigation team to arrive on Alderney after liberation (Theodore Pantcheff) and by Brian Bonnard provide important accounts about the crimes perpetrated, although it should be noted that Pantcheff’s accounts lacked many of the details about the brutality that he included in his original classified reports written for the British government.29 In the 1980s and 1990s, the declassification of some of the British investigative files in the National Archives, and the release of some materials held in Russian archives, also led to an upsurge of interest in the occupation of

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‘Adolf Island’

Alderney and the plight of the forced and slave labourers. A publication by journalist Madeleine Bunting challenged the idea of a ‘model occupation’ which had been born out of other publications seeking to present an official – less controversial – historical account.30 This book and another by Solomon Steckoll demonstrated how the British and local governments downplayed the events in the aftermath of WW2, resulting in a focus on military history rather than on the camps, burials and experiences of the labourers. Unfortunately, as a result of this approach (and in Steckoll’s case, because of some of the rather colourful language he used), these books were branded sensationalist by those who sought to maintain the official history and draw attention away from these uncomfortable aspects. Sadly, this continues to be the reaction of some local historians and officials towards anyone wishing to address these topics with the effect that the victims’ voices continue to be silenced. As a direct reaction to the official histories and the continued focus on the military history of Alderney, several publications and claims have emerged which have muddied the waters further. Proclamations in the press about tens of thousands of deaths sit alongside books likening the situation in the Channel Islands to Auschwitz.31 Therefore, when the authors first began researching the forced and slave labour programme in Alderney in 2008, it was evident that the events of the occupation would be unclear to even the most discerning of readers. The war of words between those promoting the ‘official history’ and so-called ‘sensationalists’ has certainly contributed to this. Academic sources on the topic are fewer in number. In 2005, Paul Sanders provided what remains the most reasoned account of the forced and slave labourers’ experiences, embedded within a wider study concerning the Channel Islands as a whole and drawing upon a range of source material.32 Similarly, research by Karola Fings and Marc Buggeln respectively has contextualised the events on Alderney within discussions concerning the Nazi labour programme more widely.33 However, like the majority of the other aforementioned published works, these represent traditional historical texts with a focus exclusively on written and oral sources. Therefore, prior to the instigation of the research outlined here, no comprehensive study has sought to examine the archaeological evidence connected to these events nor foreground spatial readings of the archival sources on which historians have relied. Drawing on our own research in the sub-field of Holocaust archaeology and forensic a­ rchaeology, we have approached the sites connected to forced and slave labour as crime scenes, a strategy that opened up new opportunities for a more precise analysis of the violence, murders and clandestine burials carried out.34 By viewing Alderney’s occupation through a spatial and forensic ­archaeological lens,

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Introduction 7

we set out to address the biggest questions concerning this period (and ones which remain the most controversial): What was the true nature of the forced and slave labour programme on Alderney? Who was sent there and why? And crucially, how many people died on the island, who are they, how did they die and where are they buried? In order to draw conclusions about these topics – and to provide a more comprehensive history of the period – it was also necessary to address several other key questions connected to the experiences of the labourers and the actions of their overseers which were not answered satisfactorily in published literature: Why did the Nazis fortify Alderney, and did they really intend to use it as ‘a launch pad to invade mainland Britain’? What form did the camps on Alderney take and how did they function? How did these camps fit into the wider Nazi camp system across Europe? What was known about the events of the occupation in its aftermath and why were the perpetrators not brought to justice? How have these reactions influenced the landscape and cultural memory? Therefore, the book stands apart from previous works in that it offers a novel interdisciplinary view that is necessarily a record of the experiences and identities of those who suffered and died on Alderney, a historical retelling of the events of the occupation, a presentation of the newly uncovered physical evidence connected to it, and an exploration of the ‘traces of memory’ that exist as a result of perceptions of sites and the people to which they relate.35 In providing such an account, we hope to inspire archaeologists working at sites of atrocity and conflict to explore ways in which the study of landscapes and material culture can provide a means to highlight the often marginalised or forgotten stories of the victims as well as the actions of the perpetrators and witnesses. We also hope to contribute to the forensic and material ‘turns’ that have seen historians recognise the value of non-traditional sources, including physical evidence, when writing about the Holocaust and other genocides.36 As with our wider work connected to Nazi persecution, this study first involved a review and archaeo-critical assessment of known archive material in order to: (1) examine primary evidence (much of which has been consciously or unconsciously distorted in some previously published works), and (2) offer new perspectives regarding individual and collective experiences, the natural and built environment, and the fate of missing persons.37 Second, the declassification of (and increased level of access to) sources from the UK National Archives, former Soviet territories (most notably Ukraine and Russia) and the International Tracing Service (ITS) archives, was the catalyst for new research regarding many of the forced and slave workers, leading to the creation of micro-histories and a reassessment of what happened to specific individuals. The discovery of many new materials – including several long-thought destroyed reports and

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‘Adolf Island’

c­ orrespondence created by the British investigators – led to a re-evaluation of post-war approaches to the occupation. Documents, photographs, aerial reconnaissance data, maps, plans, testimonies and a wide range of other sources are thus brought together for the first time. Third, the project involved state-of-the-art non-invasive archaeological research, undertaken between 2010 and 2017, which facilitated the location, documentation and characterisation of the various types of physical evidence connected to the labour programme, specifically the camps, fortifications and burial sites. Through the combination of desk-based analysis (e.g., aerial imagery and satellite data) supported by a Geographic Information System (GIS), walkover survey, drone-mounted Light Ranging and Detection (LiDAR), Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Total Station technologies, photogrammetry and geophysical survey, a wide range of macro- and micro-level evidence has been recorded and interpreted above and below the ground. Detailed in-field archaeological investigations took place at Sylt, Norderney and several smaller camps identified on the island. Longy Common (where one of the labourer cemeteries and many fortifications are located) and various fortifications across the island were also surveyed.38 Finally, the research drew upon a wide range of scholarship and methodological innovations, uniquely bringing together archaeology, history, forensic investigation, conflict and genocide studies, games technology, digital humanities, film, geography and memory studies into dialogue with each other. Utilising scholarship relating to the ‘spatial turn’ and ‘spatial witnessing’, our approach recognises and analyses the importance of space and place within individual and collective experience, as well as Nazi policies.39 Sharing the view expressed by Knowles et al. that the efforts to occupy Europe and persecute elements of its population were ‘profoundly geographic phenomenon’, we explore the evolution of Alderney’s landscape, testimonies relating to it and the physical evidence that survives therein in order to learn more about the dynamics and effects of these actions.40 We examine the camps and fortifications constructed and inhabited by a range of individuals, acknowledging as Jaskot has suggested that each individual element’s ‘final form resulted from the many hands that constructed the building and who changed its meaning’.41 Emerging and established frameworks in Holocaust archaeologies,42 forensic architecture,43 the archaeology of suffering44 and internment,45 Holocaust geographies,46 conflict a­ rchaeology47 and sensory archaeology48 have also shaped our interpretations of the physical evidence we have uncovered and have focused our attention on the often symbiotic relationships between the people and landscapes involved in the forced and slave labour programme on Alderney. With a focus on establishing identities, revealing personal stories and humanising Alderney’s occupation landscape, our work also draws upon and contributes to a body

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Introduction 9

of scholarship focused on bringing back the names of victims of Nazi persecution, revealing the ‘textures in everyday life – the ordinary in the extraordinary’ and determining the fate of missing persons.49 This work represents the first detailed investigation of the lives, and landscape inhabited by, the forced and slave labourers in Alderney. It goes beyond the studies of other scholars who have approached the subject from a single discipline and exceeds the scope of the 1945 inquiries conducted by the British and Soviet governments, not least because we have utilised equipment that these investigators simply did not have. Hence, some sites have been revisited and re-examined while others were located and investigated for the first time. Although it is recognised that important evidence connected to the occupation period has undoubtedly been lost – both within archives and the landscape – the interdisciplinary approach taken has provided the opportunity to analyse multiple evidence types while also examining some of the reasons why information might not be available. It should be noted that permission to excavate the camps on Alderney has never been granted; hence, the authors are aware that micro-level material culture such as objects are often absent from our interpretations. Considering the ongoing controversies that surround this period, the temporal scope of this book extends from WW2 to present day. While we attempt to provide a comprehensive history, we do so with a focus on the forced and slave labourers, and with a focus on materiality. Hence, some topics such the technical specifications of the military installations and post-war rebuilding are referred to mainly in the context of what was discovered and how the landscape was modified. This book is indebted to the research of the aforementioned scholars and survivors whose manuscripts sought to draw attention to the events of the occupation of Alderney, first for the information they provided during the research and second because they provide supplementary material for readers interested in topics not covered herein. Between this introduction and its conclusion, the book is divided into four parts: Work, Life, Death and Aftermath, each of which provides information about the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers and the specific places they experienced, for example, fortifications, camps, cemeteries and so on. The first part considers the role that work played in both the economic aspirations of the Nazi administration and in persecuting so-called enemies of the Third Reich, and thus the subsequent impact this had on both the experiences of the labourers and the ways in which they have been perceived in the years since WW2. Chapter 1 presents the different categories of labourers sent to the island and provides information about their working lives before and during their time on Alderney. The goal here is to rehumanise the men and women sent there, moving away from the notion that they were an anonymous collective of ‘Russians’ who acted only as

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‘Adolf Island’

‘tools’ in the Nazi labour machine (as the Germans often described them). In Chapter 2, the fortifications that the labourers constructed are evaluated, not from the perspective of their military significance, but rather in terms of their status as products of forced and slave labour, and their impact upon sensory experiences. This chapter also discusses other material traces interacted with, or generated by, the labourers and members of the German garrison – most notably marks (including graffiti) and objects – while also considering the role that these played in resistance and oppression. The second section, Life, focuses on the daily lives of the labourers within the camps and other internment sites in which they were housed. The history and archaeology of the four main camps – Borkum (Chapter 3), Helgoland (Chapter 3), Sylt (Chapters 3 and 4) and Norderney (Chapter 5) – and the labourers’ experiences in each, are discussed first. This is followed by an evaluation of unnamed and smaller camps as well as prisons in Chapter 6. By focusing on the architecture and spatiality of internment throughout, this section considers both the uniqueness of Alderney’s camp system and its place within the wider Nazi camp system in Europe. Chapters 7 to 9, which make up Part III, consider the somewhat controversial topic of death and burial on Alderney and focus on one of the main questions posed in our study: how many people died on the island, who are they and where are they buried? Although a system for registering deaths appeared to be in place, Chapter 7 considers how this ‘system’ operated in practice. With the aid of death certificates, burial registries and other documentation, it then goes on to reveal the stories of those who died on Alderney, while simultaneously demonstrating demographic trends that can further define the nature of mass violence. Chapter 8 then provides new evidence regarding the burial procedures employed on Alderney, offering new perspectives on known internment sites and identifies possible unmarked, clandestine graves. Chapter 9 focuses on the missing, those individuals who are known to have died on Alderney, whose graves have never been found. This research is unique in its efforts to provide the names – and not just the numbers – of victims. The final stages of the occupation and its legacies are the subjects of Chapters 10 and 11 in the book’s final part, Aftermath. Chapter 10 includes a review of the post-liberation investigations, evaluating what the British government knew about the events on Alderney during the occupation and how they utilised this information over time. This chapter also assesses how and why certain aspects of the occupation have been forgotten or remembered and, crucially, it documents what happened to the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers who survived after liberation, many of whom went on to suffer further internment and persecution. The ­penultimate chapter, Chapter 11, focuses on the legacies of the occupation

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Introduction 11

and the impact that this has had on how the sites and stories connected to forced and slave labour have been approached since WW2 at local, national and  international level. Beginning with a review of the impact that the ravaged landscape had on Alderney’s returning islanders and vice versa, the chapter charts the ways in which cultural memory and approaches to archaeology and heritage have evolved up to the present day. The concluding chapter reviews the major findings of the study and considers the challenges that will impact upon emergent and future discussions concerning the Nazi forced and slave labour programme on Alderney, and its associated ­archaeology and heritage.

Notes   1 NARA, Zugangsbuch Nr 113/041148 and Nr. 111/031596.   2 AG-NG, ‘Transportlisten: Wladimir Sajac’, undated.   3 Ibid.  4 IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’. Misc. dates. Another record initially stated that Alexeianko died earlier in September 1942. However, it was later confirmed that this was not his body and that he was still alive until November 1942 when he died as described here. See Chapter 7.   5 C. John, Building the Third Reich: Organisation Todt: From Autobahns to the Atlantic Wall (Gloucestershire: Amberley Publishing, 2014).   6 A. Wood and M.S. Wood, Islands in Danger: Story of the German Occupation of the Channel Islands 1940–45 (Kent: New English Press Ltd, 1982).   7 M. Packe and M. Dreyfus, The Alderney Story 1939–1949 (Guernsey: Guernsey Press, 1971), p. 38.   8 It should be noted that many people did not fall into the category assigned to them by the Nazis. For example, some inmates who were designated as Jews were in fact not practising Jews. Likewise, many so-called criminals had not actually committed a crime according to the law, but they opposed the Nazi regime. Others were classed as political prisoners, but they were also Jewish.  9 These categories of labourers are adopted from the following text and are discussed further in Chapter 1: M. Spoerer and J. Fleischhacker, ‘Forced Laborers in Nazi Germany: Categories, Numbers, and Survivors’, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 33:2 (2010), 175. 10 B. Bonnard, Alderney at War (Stroud: The History Press, 1993), p. 11. 11 Ibid. 12 Kaufmann et al., The Atlantic Wall, ebook page location (hereafter loc.) 1853. 13 Davenport, Festung Alderney, p. 7. 14 P. Giaccaria and C. Minca, Hitler’s Geographies: The Spatialities of the Third Reich (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 2016), p. 151. 15 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945.

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‘Adolf Island’

16 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Letter from the Commissioner for the Repatriation of the Germans’ Atrocities on the Island of Alderney (France)’, 26 April 1947; GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 152, ‘Correspondence of the Extraordinary Commission with the Office of the Authorized Person of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR for repatriation of atrocities committed against Soviet citizens and prisoners of war in the Channel Islands (Alderney, Jersey, and Gapzi (Guernsey)) in Norway’, 29 November 1946; GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘The Island of Alderney’, 3 July 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Brigadier Shapcott to Major Haddock’, 28 May 1945. 17 Ibid. 18 T.X.H. Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island (Sussex: Phillimore, 1981), p. 9; TNA, WO311/11, ‘War Crimes’, 14 June and 16 July 1945; TNA, WO311/11 ‘Channel Islands’, 2 June 1945; M. Bunting, The Model Occupation – The Channel Islands under German Rule 1940–1945 (London: Harper, 1995), p. 297. 19 For an example of the official history, see C. Cruickshank, The German Occupation of the Channel Islands (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975). An overview of responses to the occupation at local level can be found in G. Carr and C. Sturdy Colls, ‘Taboo and Sensitive Heritage: Labour Camps, Burials and the Role of Activism in the Channel Islands’, International Journal of Heritage Studies 22:9 (2016), 702–715. DOI:10.1080/13527258.2016.1191524. 20 TNA, DO35/6145, ‘Anglo-German Agreement on German War Graves in United Kingdom Territory’; TNA, HO284/84, ‘Anglo-German War Graves Agreement’, 1959; CWGC, PA UKC/10823, ‘Members of the German Todt Organisation’, 7 December 1961. 21 For the official death toll cited by Major Pantcheff, see Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 73. 22 D. Stone, ‘“The Greatest Detective Story in History”: The BBC, the International Tracing Service, and the Memory of Nazi Crimes in Early Postwar Britain’, History and Memory 29:2 (2017), 63. 23 T. Davenport, Festung Alderney (Jersey: Barnes Publishing Limited, 2003); C. Partridge, Fortifications of Alderney: A Concise History and Guide to the Defences of Alderney from Roman Times to the Second World War (Alderney: Alderney Publishers, 1993); M. Ginns, The Organisation Todt and the Fortress Engineers in the Channel Islands Archive Book No. 8 (Jersey: Channel Islands Occupation Society, 1994). 24 L. Vanaker (ed.), The Striped at Alderney (unpublished manuscript, 2008); J.  Trails, ‘Alderney Holocaust and Labour Trail’, www.jtrails.org.uk/trails/ alderney-holocaust-and-slave-labour-trail (accessed 5 May 2017). 25 Carr and Sturdy Colls, ‘Taboo and Sensitive Heritage’, p. 702. 26 For examples, see ibid.; BBC News, ‘Should Alderney make its wartime camps tourist attractions?’, www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-guernsey-40940531 (accessed 20 October 2017); Alderney Press, ‘“Forgotten”’ Nazi camp on British soil revealed by archaeologists’, 12 April 2020. Further discussion is provided in Chapter 11.

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Introduction 13

27 Carr and Sturdy Colls, ‘Taboo and Sensitive Heritage’; C. Sturdy Colls, ‘Holocaust Archaeology: Archaeological Approaches to Landscapes of Nazi Genocide and Persecution’, (PhD dissertation, University of Birmingham, 2012), ch. 5. 28 B. Bonnard, The Island of Dread in the Channel: Story of Georgi Ivanovitch Kondakov (Stroud: Amberley Publishing Limited, 1991); J. Dalmau, Slave Worker in the Channel Islands (Guernsey, Guernsey Press Co. Ltd, 1945), p. 19. See also testimonies in: Bunting, The Model Occupation; S. Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp (London, Granada, 1982); B. Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny (Marigny: Eurocibles, 2010). 29 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island; Bonnard, Alderney at War. 30 Bunting, The Model Occupation; Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp. 31 T. Freeman-Keel, From Auschwitz to Alderney and Beyond (Malvern: Seek Publishing, 1995); R. Kemp and J. Weigold, ‘Hitler’s British Death Island: Astonishing Story of how the Nazis Murdered 40,000 people in Channel Island Concentration Camps – and Planned to Blitz the South Coast with Chemical Weapons’, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4478574/Nazis-killed-40–000-Al derney-chemical-weapons-island.html (accessed 5 May 2017); R. Philpot, ‘In Nazi-occupied Britain, graves at Alderney’s “Little Auschwitz” may be defiled’, www.timesofisrael.com/in-nazi-occupied-britain-graves-at-alderneys-little-aus chwitz-may-be-defiled/ (accessed 16 October 2017). 32 P. Sanders, The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation 1940–45 (Jersey: Jersey Heritage Trust 2005). 33 K. Fings, Krieg, Gesellschaft und KZ: Himmlers SS-Baubrigaden (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2005); M. Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014). 34 C. Sturdy Colls, Holocaust Archaeologies: Approaches and Future Directions (New York: Springer, 2015). 35 S. Macdonald, Memorylands: Heritage and Identity in Europe Today (London: Routledge, 2013); P. Nora, ‘Between Memory and History: Les lieux de mémoire’, Representations (1989), 7–24. 36 Z. Dziuban (ed.), Mapping the ‘Forensic Turn’: The Engagements with Materialities of Mass Death in Holocaust Studies and Beyond, Vienna, New Academic Press, 2017). 37 C. Sturdy Colls, Holocaust Archaeologies, ch. 1. 38 Although the results of these investigations are referred to throughout the book, many of the technical details regarding how the results were acquired and detailed analyses of certain datasets are published elsewhere in order to aid the narrative. Much original material is included in C. Sturdy Colls, ‘Holocaust Archaeology: Archaeological Approaches to Landscapes of Nazi Genocide and Persecution’ (PhD dissertation, University of Birmingham 2012), ch. 5. In relation to Norderney, see also C. Sturdy Colls and K. Colls (2014), ‘Reconstructing a Painful Past: A Non-invasive Approach to Reconstructing Lager Norderney in Alderney, the Channel Islands’, in E. Ch’ng, V. Gaffney and H. Chapman (eds), Visual Heritage in the Digital Age (New York: Springer, 2014) and

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‘Adolf Island’

Sturdy Colls, Holocaust Archaeology, ch. 5; for mark-making practices and prisoner identities, see C. Sturdy Colls, R. Bolton-King, K. Colls, T. Harris and C. Weston,, ‘Proof of Life: Mark-Making Practices on the Island of Alderney’. European Journal of Archaeology 22 (2018), 232–254, DOI:  https://doi. org/10.1017/eaa.2018.71; for surveys at Sylt, see C. Sturdy Colls, J. Kerti, and K. Colls, ‘Tormented Alderney: Archaeological Investigations of the Nazi Labour and Concentration Camp of Sylt’, Antiquity 94:374 (2020), 512–532 and J. Kerti, ‘The Application of Non-invasive Archaeological Techniques to Record, Map and Decipher Lager Sylt Concentration Camp’ (undergraduate thesis, Staffordshire University, 2013); and for surveys on Longy Common, see Sturdy Colls, Holocaust Archaeologies: Approaches and Future Directions; C. Sturdy Colls, ‘The Archaeology of Cultural Genocide: A Forensic Turn in Holocaust Studies?’, in Dziuban, Mapping the ‘Forensic Turn’, pp. 119–142; C. Sturdy Colls, K. Colls and W. Mitchell, ‘Non-invasive Investigations at the Forced and Slave Worker Cemetery on Longy Common, Alderney’ (working title in prep.). 39 B. Warf and S. Arias, The Spatial Turn (London: Routledge, 2014); W. Beorn, ‘Unravelling Janowska: Excavating an Understudied Camp through Spatial Testimonies’, in C. Browning, Beyond ‘Ordinary Men’ (Leiden: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2019), p. 251. DOI: https://doi.org/10.30965/9783657792665_020. 40 A.K. Knowles, T. Cole and A. Giodorno, Geographies of the Holocaust (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2014), p. 1. 41 P.B. Jaskot, ‘Architecture of the Holocaust’, Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Annual Lecture, 4 November 2015. 42 Sturdy Colls, Holocaust Archaeologies, p. 1. 43 E. Weizman, Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017); E. Weizman, Forensis: The Architecture of Public Truth (Berlin: Sternberg, 2014). 44 S. Pollock, ‘The Subject of Suffering’, American Anthropologist 118:4 (2016), 726–741, DOI: 10.1111/aman.12686. 45 A. Myers and G. Moshenska (eds), Archaeologies of Internment (New York: Springer, 2011). 46 A.K. Knowles, T. Cole and A. Giodorno, Geographies of the Holocaust; T. Cole, Holocaust Landscapes (London: Bloomsbury, 2016). 47 J. Carman, Archaeologies of Conflict (London: Bloomsbury, 2013); J. Schofield, Aftermath: Readings in the Archaeology of Recent Conflict (New York: Springer, 2009); A. Gonzalez-Ruibal, ‘Time to Destroy: An Archaeology of Supermodernity’, Current Anthropology 49:2 (2008), 247–279. 48 N. Saunders and P. Cornish (eds), Modern Conflict and the Senses (London: Routledge, 2017); M. Leonard and E. Breithoff, ‘Archaeologies of the Senses and Sensorial Archaeologies of Recent Conflict’, in The Routledge Handbook of Sensory Archaeology (London: Routledge, 2019), pp. 281–292. 49 For some examples, see I.M. Nick, Personal Names, Hitler, and the Holocaust: A Socio-onomastic Study of Genocide and Nazi Germany (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019); M. Jasinski, A. Ossowski and K Szwagrzyk, ‘Give Them



Introduction 15

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Back Their Names and Faces – competing memories and communism in Poland 1939–1956’. Paper presented at the Competing Memories Conference, 29 October 2013, Amsterdam; USHMM, ‘Behind Every Name a Story’. Digital exhibition, www.ushmm.org/remember/holocaust-reflections-testimonies/behi nd-every-name-a-story (accessed 20 October 2018); N. Wachsmann, ‘Being in Auschwitz: Lived experience in the Holocaust’, TLS, www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/ being-in-auschwitz-nikolaus-wachsmann/ (accessed 27 January 2020).

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Part I Work

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1

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The labourers

The German invasion, and Hitler’s decision to transform Alderney into an ‘impregnable fortress’, irrevocably altered its landscape.1 The construction of thousands of individual fortifications and earthworks left behind material traces that embodied Hitler’s desire to occupy British territory and ultimately to invade mainland Britain (Figure 1.1). Many publications have been written about these structures – most notably by Colin Partridge, Michael Ginns and Trevor Davenport.2 These works provide important detailed information regarding the types of fortifications constructed, their military significance and the ingenuity of their engineering. The reader is therefore referred to these works if these aspects are of interest, as well as to Chapter 2 of this volume. However, the labourers who built these megastructures have received considerably less attention. Just as Peter Hayes argued that he did not know of a single military history book that referred the reader to who built the bunkers in Normandy, scant are the stories of the labourers sent to Alderney in books that have focused on the fortifications.3 Yet, it was the exploitation of these men and (to a lesser extent) women that ensured that Alderney, and the Channel Islands more widely, ‘were fortified much stronger and much earlier than the Atlantic Wall’.4 Without these people, the military personnel stationed on the island could not have realised Hitler’s vision to retain his little piece of England until the final months of World War 2 (WW2).5 The human cost involved in such an undertaking has rarely been considered; the result being that the vast majority of forced, slave and lessthan-slave labourers sent to Alderney have remained anonymous.6 Just as the Nazis themselves described the labourers as ‘tools’ operating within a vast machine, they are often presented as a homogenous mass in post-war documents and literature.7 As the first step in attempting to reverse this trend, this chapter focuses on the identities of these labourers: Who were they? Where did they come from, and why and how were they sent to Alderney? Drawing upon extensive archival research, this chapter discusses the individual stories of the

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Figure 1.1 Some of the immense fortifications constructed (mostly by forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers) on Alderney during the German occupation. The anti-tank wall at Longy Bay (top left), gun emplacement at Battery ‘Annes’ – Westbatterie (top right), defensive positions at Bibette Head (bottom left), and a bunker/casemate at Longy Bay

labourers and details concerning the various demographics from which they came. In taking this approach, it also aims to establish how the nature of the work being undertaken, and the attitudes towards individual and groups, affected the daily lives of the labourers and how their treatment was influenced by the wider Nazi forced and slave labour programme implemented across Europe. The latter is especially important as whether the construction works on Alderney were undertaken for military/economic gain or as part of a wider strategy of persecution levied at minority groups remains one of the most contentious issues surrounding Alderney’s occupation.

The first labourers Almost immediately after the first German planes landed on Alderney on 2 July 1940, the Nazi administration began to ship workers to the island. At this stage, most were volunteers who were tasked with killing any remaining livestock, reviving Alderney’s economy and transporting goods to the neighbouring island of Guernsey (which was also occupied).8 Steps were taken to

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The labourers 21

grow food, repair damaged property and make h ­ abitable living quarters for the military personnel. Many of these workers were under the control of Field Command 515 (Feldkommandantur 515/FK515), Alderney’s newly installed military government.9 From early 1941 onwards, several calls for volunteers capable of undertaking repair work and agricultural activities were posted in local newspapers in Guernsey and Jersey.10 Four working parties existed by September 1941; two were responsible for agriculture, the third for the maintenance of property and the fourth for breakwater improvement works. Additional groups arrived from the neighbouring islands throughout the occupation, all of which were under tight surveillance to ensure no inappropriate behaviour occurred and no escape attempts were made.11 In July 1941, Sector Group I/14 of the Fortress Engineers (Abschnittgruppen I/14, Festungspionierstab) came to Alderney to undertake construction works.12 Accompanied by a contingent of Belgian forced labourers, they were tasked with the construction of camps (described in Chapters 3–6) to house the large number of workers set to arrive on the island. A group of Moroccan and Algerian labourers given over to the Germans by the French Vichy government also arrived in a poor state of dress and health.13 Other workers sent to Alderney during this first phase included French women employed as cooks in the newly functioning Norderney camp (Chapter 5).

Organisation Todt (OT) After Hitler’s directive in October 1941 to make the Channel Islands into an ‘impregnable fortress’, it soon became evident that the Fortress Engineers and volunteer workers from the neighbouring islands would not be able to complete the fortification of Alderney on the scale required.14 Consequently, the Todt Organisation (Organisation Todt, henceforth the OT) was tasked with sourcing and transporting thousands of workers and construction materials to the island. The OT was an administrative entity set up in 1933 by Dr Fritz Todt to assist the Fortress Engineers with the Westwall construction programme. From 1938 onwards, it became responsible for the provision of labour to firms involved in construction projects ordered by the Nazi Party.15 Hitler described it as ‘an organisation entrusted with the execution of construction tasks playing a decisive role in the war effort’ after 1939.16 Although it was not a Nazi Party organisation, members still swore an oath of loyalty to Hitler and staff wore uniforms bearing swastikas after the war broke out. To create a more centralised system of control from Berlin and after Todt’s death in February 1942, the OT was governed by Hitler’s architect and Minister for Armament and War Production, Dr Albert Speer, and Ministerial Director, Franz Xaver Dorsch.17 However,

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in reality, organisation was governed more closely at local level, firstly by nine geographically designated task forces (Einsatzgruppen) and then by the individual personnel in charge of workers at construction sites. In the case of Alderney and OT group ‘Adolf’, work was supervised by the Fortress Engineers who reported to the Chief Construction Office (Oberbauleitung) in St Malo until February 1943 and Cherbourg thereafter. Ultimately, the Chief Construction Office and their subordinates were all answerable to Einsatzgruppe West in Paris.18 Many of the ‘vast labour pool’ created on Alderney worked for foreign companies brokered by the OT (see Table 1.1), while others were sent to work on ‘special projects’ such as the FK515 farm.19 OT workers would ultimately make up the majority of the overall labour contingent throughout the occupation. The first OT workers to arrive in January 1942 comprised an unknown number of voluntary (paid) workers and forced labourers (mostly French Jews and German political prisoners).20 The voluntary workers were tasked with the ongoing construction of camps to house forced workers – most notably the four main camps: Sylt, Norderney, Borkum and Helgoland (Chapter 3–6). Meanwhile, the forced labourers undertook construction projects in the harbour.21 Among the first to arrive were a group of Spanish workers (Figure 1.2). Having been ‘recruited’ from French labour contingents, they were offered a choice between working for the OT or being sent back to Franco’s Spain (from where they had fled).22 Some of these men had opposed (and in some cases fought against) General Franco during the Spanish Civil War and so, as well as being deemed enemies at home, they were identified as ‘Communists or “Reds”’ by the Germans (Profile 1).23 Hence, they were subject to punishment via harsh labour at the hands of the Nazis, a fact that Brenneis has recently shown ‘continues to be largely overlooked’ among scholars.24 Some Spaniards who would ultimately be transferred to Alderney were recruited from the Argèles refugee camp in southern France with the promise of well-paid work in the occupied zone and support for their families who remained in Spain.25 They were then transferred to Brest where they undertook labour for the Germans and were housed in two camps in Saint-Pierre-Quilbignon.26 Luc has shown that at least thirty-one Spaniards arrived in Alderney from Brest via Cherbourg on 22 February 1942.27 Most of these men appear to have been transferred as a punishment for crimes committed in the camps in which they were housed, for example, the possession of so-called propaganda materials, a refusal to work and acts of sabotage.28 Arasa has suggested that 297 Spaniards arrived between February and the summer of 1942.29 Spaniards continued to be sent to Alderney for forced labour duties in 1943 (as part of c­ ontingents from Drancy) and as late as 1944, although they arrived in smaller groups.30 They were housed

The labourers 23



Table 1.1  Construction firms operating on Alderney who employed labourers and who worked in collaboration with OT Construction firm

Location of headquarters

Specialism

Sager & Wörner

Berlin with a branch in Munich, Germany (amongst other locations) Berlin, Germany

Surface, underground, road and pillbox construction**

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Deubau (Deutsche Bau) A.G. Kniffler Wolfer & Göbel

Saarbrücken, Germany Esslingen, Germany

Bosland

Fuchs

Amsterdam, The Netherlands* Rotterdam, The Netherlands* Santpoort, The Netherlands* Koblenz, Germany

Strabag

Weimar, Germany

Westdeutsche Steinindustrie Karl G. Blume Shipping

Linz am Rhein, Germany

Colignon Baufoerster Wiener & Trachte

France Germany Dortmund, Germany

Stork DeWolf

Hamburg, Germany

Harbour installations, underground and concrete constructions Construction Surface and underground construction Construction Construction Construction Pillbox construction, water supplies Road builders, excavations and camp construction Quarrying Shipping, pillboxes, surface underground and concrete construction** Construction Construction Pillbox, concrete and camp construction

* sub-contractors of Wolfer & Göbel ** reportedly worked on secret weapon sites across Nazi-occupied Europe. Source: TNA, WO 208/3018, ‘Handbook of the Organisation Todt’, March 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Otto Heinrich Arnold’, 26 May 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by PW KP 256520 Grenadier Walter Schüller’, July 1945.

in various camps and other locations around the island, and were given a range of positions. Some examples include: Jose Murillo who was a mechanic for the National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK), Ricardo Llacer Iborra who was responsible for the transportation of corpses for burial, and several labourers who worked in Norderney camp such as barber Julio Comin, shoemaker Luis Lorenzo Cobos and Ramon Santamaria, who worked in the kitchen food store.31

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Figure 1.2  Forced labourers (Spanish Republicans) who were sent to Alderney to undertake construction works, photographed in Norderney

In mid-1942, the exploitation of forced and slave labourers increased considerably, and this continued throughout the occupation. The largest group of workers on Alderney under the auspice of the OT were from Eastern Europe – from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and other Soviet territories such as Georgia, the Crimea and Belarus.32 Soviet investigative documents claim that the Germans confirmed the arrival of 800 Russian workers in Alderney on 15 and 16 March 1942, twenty of whom were dead on arrival.33 British investigators suggested that the first groups arrived in July and August 1942, totalling about 2,800.34 Further transports of men from these territories occurred throughout the occupation.35 While some were Soviet prisoners of war (POWs) (identified by having ‘SU’ written across their backs), others were ordinary citizens (Profiles 2 and 3). Some were both, as they had been arrested for being members of the Soviet military, but they were then classed as political prisoners or criminals after escaping or committing other crimes in the camps.36 Despite their diverse nationalities, these men were collectively referred to as ‘Russian’ by their German overseers; a term that has repeatedly been



The labourers 25

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Profile 1  Julio Comin Julio Comin was among the first group of Spaniards to arrive on Alderney on 22 February 1942.37 Born on 2 February 1909 in Obon in  the province of Teruel, Aragon in Spain, Comin became an officer in the Spanish Republican Army during the Spanish Civil War.38 After the fall of the Spanish Republic and the mass exodus of Spanish citizens to the French border that followed, Comin was then interned in camps for military personnel and Spanish Republican refugees in Saint-Cyprien and then Rivesaltes (1941 onwards), both in the Pyrénées-Orientales.39 After his transfer to the refugee camp in Argèles, he was conscripted into the Nazi labour programme and sent to Brest to one of the camps in Saint-Pierre-Quilbignon in July 1941.40 The camps there were under German control and inmates like Comin had to undertake construction works under the control of the OT.41 He was sent to Alderney as a punishment after he was accused of trying to cut the barbed wire in the camp.42 He was housed in Norderney where he worked as a barber in the barbershop from May 1942.43 In his testimony delivered to the British military after liberation, Comin described several incidents involving ill-treatment by the Camp Commandant Dietz and his subordinates. He stated that Spaniards were paid more than the ‘Russian’ prisoners in Norderney, which allowed them to buy more food than their allocated rations (which matched those of the ‘Russian’ prisoners). He also suggested that the ‘Spaniards also had more spirit than the Russians. They did not allow themselves to be ill-treated and took a united stand against any German who attempted to do so’, a fact that British investigators noted after the war likely explains how they were able to survive a longer period of incarceration on the island.44 Comin remained on Alderney until the July 1944 when he was transported to Jersey.45 He was liberated when the British arrived there on 8 May 1945.

used by the British government, scholars and the media when discussing the occupation of Alderney (Chapter 10). The use of this term was derogatory and humiliating to POWs and civilians alike, many of whom strongly opposed Soviet rule and/or belonged to other national or ethnic groups.46 Likewise, as historian Karel Berkhoff has argued, ‘during 1941 and 1942 the very imposition of a Russian identity on the multi-ethnic Soviet POWs was crucially important in shaping their fate’, since the harshest treatment was reserved for Russians, particularly members of the armed forces and

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so-called Bolsheviks.47 In fact, their ill-treatment was strongly encouraged to ensure that the perceived ‘threat’ that they posed to the German people was eradicated, either via servitude or death.48 Heinrich Himmler regularly emphasised the need for such an approach: ‘everything that brings us closer to victory is right. Everything that keeps these savage people in our service is right, and it is right for a Russian to die instead of a German. It is right, and we can defend it before God and men’.49 Hence, on Alderney, as elsewhere in Europe, the ‘normative’ view was that labour was a means by which Soviet citizens could be economically exploited to the point of exhaustion and, eventually, eradication.50 The term Ostarbeiter (Eastern European workers) was also commonly used and came to be seen as a deprecating term; many workers were branded with ‘OST’ badges to distinguish them from their co-workers.51 While on Alderney, men from Eastern Europe were often referred to as ‘shaggy’, given their ragged appearance and malnourished state.52 For Eastern European civilian workers who were ‘encouraged’ to become labourers or recruited ‘by force’, humiliation, persecution and ill health began in their homeland, long before they arrived in Alderney.53 Early in 1942, the Germans launched a programme aimed at alleviating labour shortages in the Reich. In Russia and Poland, labour quotas were immediately imposed upon cities, towns and villages. For example, a group of young men from the Orel region of Russia – comprising children taken from the largest families in their village – were selected for work (Profile 14 in Chapter 3).54 Many found their way to Alderney via a sorting centre in Wuppertal in Germany and a several-days-long boat journey from St Malo.55 Polish men and boys, like Ted Misiewicz (aged 14) who arrived on Alderney in one of the first contingents of OT workers, were selected by the local authorities in their home towns and villages to ‘voluntarily’ sign up for labour.56 Emil Sulikowski (aged 16) from Rovno (Rivne in Ukraine from September 1939 onwards), described how he was ‘mobilised by the Germans against my will’; like many Soviet labourers, he found himself grouped together with others from all over Eastern Europe for transportation to Alderney (Profile 15 in Chapter 5).57 Many individuals like Sulikowski were too young to be soldiers. Hence, many of the workers sent to Alderney were in their mid- to late teens.58 In Ukraine, the German labour programme was initially met with some enthusiasm by Ukrainian citizens – partly owing to the terrible conditions they faced in their own country, a desire to earn a supposedly good wage, the benefits being offered and curiosity about what Germany might be like.59 Many Ukrainians volunteered for labour and were initially sent to Germany before being transferred elsewhere in the Reich, such as to Alderney.60 Propaganda posters, films and newspaper adverts helped

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The labourers 27

encourage the masses with slogans like ‘While Working in Germany, You Defend Your Fatherland!’, as did the increasing number of mass shootings that were being carried out in their home towns and villages.61 Large numbers of labourers who would ultimately end up in Alderney were recruited in Kostopil, some via adverts in local newspapers which promised a good wage and working conditions.62 The large number of men from Kostopil who died on Alderney was notable in the island’s burial registers, illustrating that the promise of a better life was false (Appendix; Chapter 7). After the war, the Extraordinary State Commission – an organisation established to investigate crimes perpetrated against the Soviet Union  – noted that ‘voluntary’ recruitment (via the use of billboards) and the implementation of a directive on ‘Forced Labour in the Occupied Eastern Provinces’, which included the threat of jail time for non-compliance, were two of the methods used to recruit labourers in the Reichskommissariat Ukraine.63 In Poltava, mass deportations began in May 1942 encouraged by the use of adverts and special recruiters who would visit individuals and workplaces (Profile 2).64 Those who agreed to join the Nazi labour

Profile 2  Grigorii (Hrigorii) Koriachka Grigorii (Hrigorii) Koriachka was born in 1904 in Matviivka near Dikanka in the Poltava region of Ukraine.65 Before the war, he was a labourer. In November 1941, a public employment service was organised in Poltava to facilitate the mass recruitment of labourers for Germany.66 The first mass deportations from the region began in May 1942.67 Initially, recruitment was voluntary and Soviet citizens were encouraged to sign up via advertisements, articles in newspapers and magazines (such as Golos Poltavschina/Voice of the Poltava Region), radio advertisements and special recruitment agents.68 On 20 May 1942, Koriachka was recruited and he was assigned to OT. He was sent to Alderney on 2 June 1942, where he remained for exactly one year.69 He was classed as an unskilled worker and he undertook fortification construction works. On 2 June 1943, he was sent to a camp in Cherbourg where he worked as a loader on the railway until the Allied landings on 6 June 1944.70 On 20 April 1945, he was repatriated to the Soviet Union, leaving Liverpool for Odessa. He was then transferred to Bilokorovyhi in the Zhytomir region, Ukraine. On 27 July 1945, he was demobilised on account of his being born between 1890 and 1904, in accordance with the Law on the Demobilization of Older Ages of the Personnel of the Army of 23 June 1945 and he returned to his hometown of Marviivka.

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programme were then examined by a medical commission of up to five German officials. As word began to get back to Ukraine about the conditions in Germany and elsewhere, ‘most natives came to believe that going to Germany was tantamount to death’.71 Although they were meant to be voluntary labourers, it quickly became apparent to many workers that they had lost their freedom when they signed up for the labour programme. As labour shortages worsened and the desire to remove Ukrainian people from their homeland to make space for new Germanic settlers increased, compulsory ‘recruitment’ activities began in the second half of 1942, whereby local authorities were made to draw up lists of people for deportation to Germany. People with undesirable political affiliations, those who were disliked by the person(s) making the list, individuals deemed to be performing poorly at their jobs (e.g. due to illness or disability) and the children of victims of Soviet persecution were commonly selected.72 Round-ups, led by Ukrainians conscripted into the German Order Police (Ordnungspolizei), commonly took place when people on the lists resisted or local authorities failed to meet deportation quotas, and these often turned violent. The Extraordinary State Commission reported that men and women were often captured in the street, before being separated from their children and escorted to a designated holding facility: before being sent off there was a medical examination: men and women were stripped naked, the examination was conducted with large amounts of witnesses in a pass-through room, then they were escorted to the train. They could not take anything with them or speak to their relatives before departure.73

The labourers from Soviet territories who would end up in Alderney travelled via a variety of routes. Many undertook forced and slave labour in Germany before being deployed elsewhere. The cities of Forchheim (northern Bavaria) and Wuppertal (North Rhine-Westphalia) became gathering and selection points for many who ultimately ended up in the Channel Islands.74 Elsewhere in the Soviet Union, individuals fell victim to the fact that the Nazi government ordered ‘the transformation of Soviet people into slaves’; men could be bought and sold at slave markets, placed in isolation in places of confinement, stripped of their name and clothing, be forced into large anonymous groups and be subjected to malnutrition, long hours and abhorrence from the German population.75 It was under these terrible circumstances that many other Eastern European workers from Russia, Poland, Ukraine and other Soviet territories found their way into the Nazi labour programme and, subsequently, to Alderney.76

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Other Eastern European labourers who were considered political prisoners were military men captured during active duty (Profile 3). They too were branded as ‘Russian’, but they came from a diverse range of countries including Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia and the Crimea. For example, Adam Shuliakovskii was born near Minsk in Belarus and was drafted into the Red Army in September 1940.77 He went missing during military service in 1941 near the Finnish border after fighting in the so-called Winter War.78 Like many other captured military men, Georgian citizen Milton (Melton) Bereschwil was also deemed to be an enemy of the Reich due to his role in the Red Army.79 Generally speaking, the German view on Soviet POWs was that ‘their use value was nothing more than a variable in an economic equation that included many others, notably overall supplies available to the German military and the Reich’.80 In summary, the workers who came from Eastern Europe to Alderney – civilian or military – had no control over their fate. While some spent only a few months on the island, others undertook hard labour under the control of the OT for more than two years.81 By 1944, it seems that the camps on Alderney had obtained a reputation both on and outside Alderney as a place where harsh punishments were meted out against workers from the Soviet Union. Documents in the International Tracing Service (ITS)

Profile 3  Fedor Kochetkov Born in 1911 in Novye Kotlitsy (formerly known as Gorkii) in the Nizhnii Novgorod region (now Vladimir region), Fedor Kochetkov was of Russian nationality.82 Before WW2, he became a Communist Party candidate, and he was an agronomist specialising in the science of soil management and crop production.83 He was conscripted into the Red Army in 1939 but was demobilised soon after. Following the invasion of the Soviet Union, he was conscripted again on 30 June 1941 and became a sergeant/telegraphist.84 He was captured near Krasnograd in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine on either 8 or 10 October 1941.85 Sometime after (exact date unknown) he was sent to Alderney where he was housed in camp 2 (Norderney). During his time on the island, he  worked in a nearby quarry where he excavated materials used for the construction of fortifications.86 It is unclear when Kochetkov left Alderney in the absence of further records but, on 1 May 1945, he was sent from Marcelle to a collection point in Odessa.87 He was then transferred to Beloparovichi and finally Berdychiv in Ukraine on 19 June 1945, where he continued his military service.88

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archive dating to early 1944 refer to a recommendation to send a group of prisoners housed in OT camp ‘Wilhelm Busch’ in Cherbourg to ‘Adolf’ (Alderney):

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since it is to be assumed that all those who have been arrested would continue with their Communist subversive activity among the rest of the camp inmates, it will be suggested to take them to a guarded camp on the island of ‘Adolf’ and to use them, under strict supervision, to carry out heavy work.89

Although it is unclear whether the transfer was ultimately made, this proposal suggests that the overseers believed that the distribution of Communist propaganda and anti-German sentiments would be prevented on Alderney; perhaps because Soviet citizens had already spent some 14–16 months on the island without much in the way of incident between July and August 1942 and the winter of 1943.90 From July 1942, additional German political prisoners, Frenchmen, Dutchmen, Belgians, Moroccans, Algerians and forced labourers of other nationalities were sent to Alderney and tasked with heavy construction works. German labourers comprised some specialist workers but also a contingent of ‘political unreliables’ or so-called ‘B-men’ from Germany.91 These men were actual or supposed anti-Nazis, trade unionists, Communists and Socialists who were forbidden from joining the German army, and who were arrested and placed into the German penal 999 brigade.92 A group of fourteen of these men remained on Alderney in 1945 when the island was liberated and detailed accounts of their experiences were collated by the British government (Profile 4). Many supposedly had ‘an impressive record of political persecution and imprisonment’.93 Members of the German military stationed on Alderney also found themselves incarcerated in camps and prisons on the island.94 The total number of German nationals was estimated to be 400–500 in 1942 and this rose to 700 by September 1943.95 While the majority worked for the OT, court-martialled German soldiers also appear in the lists of SS Baubrigade 1 (SS BB1) prisoners sent to Alderney in March 1943 (see next section and Chapter 7).96 The British military documented that acts of sabotage were carried out by the 999 Brigade members against the Germans on Alderney, leading to a situation whereby these men ‘were regarded as so dangerous’ that a German officer had to report on their behaviour to the Island Commander three times a day.97 Some Frenchmen sent to Alderney in the early part of the occupation were what Alderney occupation-era resident Daphne Pope termed ‘­volunteer or you will be forced types’ even though they were meant to be volunteers.98 A group of 100 women mostly from France and Belgium were also employed by the OT to do domestic tasks across the island.99 Many came to Alderney



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Profile 4  Jacob Pfarr German national Jacob Pfarr was born on 4 February 1909 in Hammersbeck.100 He worked as a boat builder until 1930 when he became unemployed.101 He was married and had a child.102 On  24  October 1933, he was sentenced for high treason by the Nazi Party on account of being a member of the Communist Party of Germany from 1927 to 1933, a crime that carried a sentence of incarceration for two years and six months.103 After being released in 1936 and working in crane construction, he was arrested once again on 1 September 1939 (the first day of WW2) and, without a trial, taken into protective custody in Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen concentration camp.104 Following his release in December 1939, he was placed under police surveillance until 4 February 1943 when he was recruited into the 999 Brigade of the Wehrmacht due to being a ‘political unreliable’.105 A period of military service in Greece followed but then in September 1944 he was ‘thrown out of the German army’ and sent to Alderney.106 There he worked as a carpenter under the control of the OT until liberation on 16 May 1945. Like his fellow 999 Brigade members, he was retained for interrogation by British investigator Captain Kent who noted his ‘anti-Nazi’ attitude.107

owing to a lack of work in their homelands and some turned to prostitution to make money (Profile 5).108 At least 855 deportees were sent to Alderney from France in several transports between August and December 1943.109 Although many of these men had been born in France, many were born elsewhere (e.g. Turkey, Egypt, the USA, Romania).110 Some had dual citizenship, while others were simply classed as French because they were arrested in France/French t­ erritories.111 Some had been members of the French resistance. This group also included North African prisoners (from Morocco, Tunisia and especially Algeria) arrested during raids in France in 1943, most of whom arrived in Alderney from Compiégne in a transport of 113 men in September 1943.112 Some 590 of the men transported from France were incarcerated because they were Jewish, which meant that they were seen as both a biological and criminal threat to the Third Reich.113 These men were ‘the most assimilated part of the Jewish bourgeoisie’: doctors, lawyers, politicians, academics, musicians and other intellectuals, many of whom were defined as so-called ‘half-Jews’ or Jews from mixed marriages (‘Conjoint d’Aryenne’ in French) (Profile  6).114 Many were arrested (often as part of organised round-ups

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Profile 5  Louise Melanie Blamont Louise Simonet was born on 20 April 1909 in Paris and took the name Blamont upon marriage.115 After separating from her husband, she ‘left France voluntarily’ in July 1941 because of a shortage of work in her home country. Following a period working in Bremen, she arrived on Alderney on 2 September 1942 in the employment of the OT. As a kitchen maid in Borkum camp, she received 3,200 francs a month in wages. After seven months, she transferred to a kitchen operated by the Deubau firm (possibly within a camp on Le Vallée; see Chapter 6). Between February 1944 and the liberation of Alderney on 16 May 1945, she worked in the Commandant’s house in the kitchen before moving to a house in St Anne where she did laundry and sewing for the Wehrmacht.116 In her testimony delivered to British investigators on 18 May 1945, she stated that – although she had heard from fellow French citizens that beatings took place on the island – she had not ­experienced or witnessed any atrocities personally. The British investigators who interviewed her observed that she was one of several women who were ‘of a fairly low class, rather frightened and probably prostitutes’, although this was not conclusively confirmed.117

initiated by the Germans and implemented by Vichy French personnel) for a range of so-called misdemeanours including having an Aryan spouse, offences against racial laws (such as not wearing the Star of David, breaking curfew, etc.) and resistance activities.118 Eighty-seven per cent of the Jewish inmates in this group, as well as some non-Jewish Frenchmen, had spent time in Drancy, a Vichy-ran camp housing male French Jews established in August 1941 and located seven miles from Paris.119 Most Jewish inmates arrived from an OT camp in Querqueville, having been deported there from Drancy in mid-1943.120 Several had also spent time in other smaller camps and prisons elsewhere in Cherbourg, Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande prior to arrival to Alderney.121 These men are discussed further in Chapter 5 and Profiles 16–18. The exact number of Jews sent to Alderney throughout the occupation remains a subject of much discussion, but records suggest that this totalled somewhere in the region of at least 650–1,000 by the end of December 1943.122 Other slave labourers under the control of OT included thirty Italians – captured after Italy’s capitulation in September 1943 – who remained on Alderney on liberation day (16 May 1945).123 In June 1944, at least twenty-five French North African POWs from Morocco, Tunisia



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Profile 6  Théodore Valensi Théodore Valensi was born on 21 June 1886 in Tunis (Tunisia) and was of French nationality. Valensi became a lawyer and member of the Parisian bar.124 After his move to France, he also entered politics and joined the Parti républicain-socialiste, holding the role of Deputy of Haute-Saône for three months in 1928, and for a longer period between 1932 and 1936.125 As a senior lawyer, Valensi was deemed to be influential. Hence, when the Nazis initiated round-ups in August 1941, he and around forty other Jewish lawyers were specifically targeted by the French police.126 He was sent alongside c.4,000 Jewish men to the newly established Drancy camp (Camp du Drancy), situated around seven miles north-east of Paris.127 When it opened on 20 August 1941, Drancy was governed by the Vichy so French gendarmes and a French commandant were responsible for overseeing these new arrivals.128 The presence of Valensi and his fellow lawyers in the camp was something of a spectacle. In September, just a few weeks after their arrival, SS Heinrichsohn (assistant to Camp Commandant SS Hauptsturmführer Theodor Danneker) rounded up and photographed the most eminent among this group, including Valensi (Figure 1.3).129 A German-controlled daily newspaper – Paris-Soir – also announced ‘I saw them, those millionaire Jews … ex-celebrities of the Parisian bar interned in a camp near our capital.’130 As well as printing photographs of Valensi and other lawyers, the journalist who authored the piece added, ‘justice at last!’131 After becoming ill, Valensi was sent to the Rothschild Hospital for a short period and the Drancy camp infirmary in April and June 1942 respectively.132 He was deported to Alderney from Drancy on 12 August 1943 in the first transport of convoy 641.133 He was sent to Norderney camp where he was incarcerated until he was evacuated back to Drancy in the summer of 1944.134 In early August 1944, he was deported to Paris where he would have been executed had the Resistance not rescued him.135 He survived the war and took up a role as a financial attaché in the USA from 1947 to 1948, before returning to work as a lawyer and writing several novels.136 He provided testimony as part of the criminal proceedings against Adam Adler and Heinrich Evers (the Commandant and Deputy Commandant of Norderney camp), in which he described Alderney as ‘hell island’.137 Valensi died on 10 September 1959.

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Figure 1.3  Eminent lawyers including Theodore Valensi (second left), photographed in Drancy shortly after their arrival in September 1942

and Algeria were sent to the island and they apparently received slightly better treatment and more favourable work than their civilian countrymen.138 Although many arrived as volunteers, some Channel Islanders were also incarcerated as a form of punishment. For example, Frederick Walker was sent from Jersey to Alderney after being caught selling black market cigarettes, while Gordon Prigent – also from Jersey – was arrested and imprisoned for listening to the radio.139 A further example is provided in Profile 7.

SS Baubrigade 1 (SS BB1) In March 1943, SS Baubrigade 1 (henceforth SS BB1) – a building brigade comprising of prisoners sent via the concentration camps of Sachsenhausen and Neuengamme in Germany – arrived on Alderney. It was the aspiration of the Nazi administration that this unit would increase the number of construction outputs, as well as their quality. However, SS BB1 also simultaneously functioned as a penal unit and being a member of it was a form of punishment. SS BB1 labourers were housed in Sylt concentration camp in the south-west corner of Alderney (discussed further in Chapter 4). The



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Profile 7  Eric (Ernest) Charles Kibble Eric Kibble was born in Liverpool on 10 March 1893.140 An engineer by training, he moved to Guernsey in 1938 with his wife.141 After the outbreak of WW2 he attempted to evacuate himself to England, but his request was denied because he was over 35. Thus he remained in Guernsey.142 In October 1941, he worked as a motor engineer for the OT and later for ‘the German forces’ in a garage in St Peter’s Port.143 He was arrested for theft and sentenced to three weeks’ imprisonment in Guernsey in July 1942 and then in July 1944 he received a nine-month jail term for ‘refusing services in kind and heavy ordinary theft’.144 The latter followed an anonymous letter to the Secret Field Police (Geheime Feldpolizei) and the subsequent discovery of a radio in his house.145 After his trial he was sent to Alderney in February 1945 to carry out three months of his sentence. He was held in a prison in St Anne (Chapter 6), where he was made to carry out labour even though he  was suffering from ill health.146 He was the only Englishman there at the time. He witnessed how inmates from places other than Great Britain were ‘knocked about, bullied and starved’, particularly the Algerian prisoners.147 When the British military arrived on Alderney on 16 May 1945, Kibble was waiting at the harbour with the German military personnel. He announced loudly that they would find proof that crimes were committed by the Germans all over the island: ‘hundreds of people have been whipped to death … throw the dirty swine in the sea’ he exclaimed.148

arrival of the SS on Alderney, and prisoners under their control, resulted from developments that began in Germany the previous year. In February 1942, the head of the Construction Office of the SS Main Economic and Administrative Office (SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamtes/WHVA) suggested the creation of construction brigades (Baubrigaden) to help with the German construction industry.149 In September 1942, three construction brigades of around 1,000 workers each were created following a meeting of the Armaments Ministry and WHVA, chaired by Albert Speer.150 Although their initial role (as set out by the Reichsführer of the SS Heinrich Himmler in the summer of 1942) was to clear away the rubble from bombed German cities, from the outset it was declared that ‘the SS Construction Brigades will in the future become our Peace Construction Brigades, no longer ­clearing up but constructing the new’.151 SS  BB1 was formed in September 1942, taking prisoners from Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany (Figure 1.4). Half of the men drafted into this brigade were sent

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Figure 1.4  View of the prisoners’ barracks in Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany

to undertake slave labour in Duisburg and the other half to Düsseldorf.152 In February 1943, the decision was made to send SS  BB1 to Alderney to assist the OT with construction works.153 The other Baubrigaden were not sent to Alderney but to other locations throughout Germany.154 In March 1943, SS BB1 was transferred to the overall command of the concentration camp at Hamburg-Neuengamme in Germany (Figure 1.5). At local level, the Baubrigade – and ultimately SS concentration camp Sylt

Figure 1.5  Prisoners at Neuengamme concentration camp in Germany, the parent camp of Sylt concentration camp on Alderney

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The labourers 37

where they would be held on Alderney – were overseen by the SS Death’s Head Unit (SS-Totenkopfverbände), a group known for their brutal treatment of concentration camp inmates and their strict discipline (discussed further in Chapter 4).155 SS BB1 was replenished to at least 1,087 people following its depreciation in Düsseldorf and Duisburg; around 75 per cent of these men came from Sachsenhausen and the rest from Neuengamme concentration camp.156 Before their arrival on Alderney, any men who did not already have a Neuengamme prisoner number were issued with one – usually between 16,000 and 17,200.157 The train carrying the first SS BB1 prisoners bound for Alderney left Düsseldorf on 22 February 1943. When the group arrived in St Malo, sixty prisoners managed to escape, although six were recaptured.158 SS Scharführer Högelow recalled how they were given a meal containing glass splinters as punishment.159 Across two days (3 and 5 March 1943) 1,027 labourers arrived at Alderney by boat.160 The majority of SS BB1 prisoners for whom records are available seem to have been classed under the general umbrella of protective custody prisoners: ‘in Nazi terminology, protective custody meant the arrest – without judicial review – of real and potential opponents of the regime’.161 Others were classed as asocials or security detention prisoners. Three ‘Zigeuner’ (Roma) were among the group (Profile 8).162 According to a post-liberation report written by Pantcheff, the SS  BB1 prisoners consisted of ‘about 500 Russian prisoners of war and p ­ artisans – 180 Germans refusing to work, professional criminals, political prisoners (especially former members of the International Brigade in Spain) – 130 Poles (political prisoners) – sixty Dutch (among them the head of the Amsterdam police) – twenty to thirty Czechs, political prisoners, and those who attempted to leave the German Empire and join the allies – twenty French and other nationalities’.163 These designations should be viewed with caution in the absence of precise records about all prisoners, not least because the nationalities assigned to deceased individuals by the British investigators have been proven to be inaccurate in many cases (see Chapter 7). Records do show that the majority were from Eastern Europe. However, as with the OT workers, the ‘Russian’ prisoners comprised many people from Ukraine and other Soviet territories, as well as those from Russia itself. Regardless of their true nationality, as already noted, anyone classed as a Soviet POW – particularly members of the armed forces and so-called Bolsheviks – was commonly subjected to the harshest treatment throughout the Nazi camp system.164 Alderney was no exception. Otto Spehr, a German prisoner of SS BB1, reported that fifty to sixty of the ‘Russian’ SS political prisoners had their files marked with ‘“RU” i.e. Rückkehr unerwünscht,

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Profile 8  Bendeli Weiss Bendeli Weiss (born 22 February 1909 in Weissensee [Berlin] Germany) – was one of only three ‘Zigeuner’ (Roma) sent to Alderney as part of SS BB1.165 However, Weiss had been incarcerated by the Germans long before 1943. On 19 August 1938, his name appears on a document recording the personal effects of inmates of Sachsenhausen concentration camp, located in Oranienburg, twenty-two miles north of Berlin.166 Sachsenhausen (also known as Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg) opened in 1936 and was originally intended as a camp for political prisoners and criminals.167 In 1938, a large contingent of ‘asocials’ or ‘work-shy’ prisoners arrived, increasing the number of inmates to more than 9,200.168 Weiss was among the latter group.169 In reality, the widespread persecution of Roma people occurred not because they were ‘work-shy’ but because they were considered by the Nazis to be ‘racially inferior’, a fact that led to their being incarcerated, subjected to forced and slave labour, and murdered by the regime.170 Life in Sachsenhausen camp for all prisoners, including Roma, was characterised by harsh labour, hunger, disease and ill-treatment ­courtesy of the SS Death’s Head guards that governed it.171 On 7 November 1938, Weiss’s name appears on another document stating that he had been transferred.172 However, his destination is not recorded. Before his departure to Alderney in early March 1943, he was registered in Neuengamme with prisoner number 17,262.173 He survived incarceration in Sylt concentration camp on Alderney for more than a year. He departed the island with SS  BB1 on 24/25 June 1944. Records from Neuengamme, Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora camps illustrate his movements from camp to camp between July and October 1944 after his reassignment to SS  BB5.174 In the absence of records it is unclear whether he survived beyond 29 October 1944. meaning “return unwanted”’.175 Many Soviet POWs had been housed in POW camps (Stalag) or camps for officers (Oflag) following their capture by the German army (Profile 9). All SS BB1 prisoners had also already been housed in other concentration and labour camps or prisons elsewhere in Europe – including Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Neuengamme, Buchenwald and Natzweiler Stuthoff (Figure 1.6; Chapter 7).176 Of those who survived, many commented that the terrible brutality meted out on Alderney was equal to that experienced in these camps; some that it was even worse by comparison.177



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Profile 9  Konstantin Zhurbin Konstantin Zhurbin was born on 13 November 1922 in Shymraevka in the Kursk region, Russia.178 Before WW2, he was a student, possibly in a military institute.179 After being conscripted into the Red Army and serving as a lieutenant in the 855 Infantry Regiment, he was captured in Karachev on 14 October 1941, eight days after the German military occupied the city.180 Consequently, he became a prisoner of war (POW) and was sent to a number of POW camps: first, Oflag 57, a camp for officers in Ostrolenka in the Soviet Union (now Poland), and then Stalag IA in Stablack, East Prussia (now Bagrationovsk in Russian Kaliningrad Oblast).181 He was then assigned to Kommando Neidenburg 7/201 but on 10 October 1942, he escaped from his place of work. A week later, he was recaptured, interrogated and sent to Stalag IB in Hohenstein, East Prussia (now Olsztynek, Poland).182 He was arrested and punished for a period of eight days. On 10 December 1942, he was transferred to Stalag III C in Alt-Drewitz, Brandenburg before being moved to Sachsenhausen concentration camp on 20 January 1943.183 Having been assigned to SS  BB1 and designated a political prisoner, he was given a Neuengamme camp number (17,140) prior to his transfer to Alderney on either 3 or 5 March.184 Incarcerated in Sylt concentration camp, Zhurbin survived fifteen months of slave labour in Alderney, after which he was transported back to mainland Europe. Like the majority of former Alderney SS BB1 prisoners, after an arduous journey lasting several weeks, he was registered in Neuengamme, before being sent to Sollstedt (a subcamp of Buchenwald and later Mittelbau-Dora) where he was forced to undertake further harsh labour following his reassignment to SS BB5.185 After the war was over, he returned to his native village. Following a shift in Soviet policy towards war veterans after 1980, Zhurbin was awarded the Order of Great Patriotic War (second class) on 6 April 1985 (the fortieth anniversary year of victory against the Germans) in recognition of his military service during WW2.186 In terms of the religious denominations of the SS BB1 prisoners held in Sylt concentration camp, this issue is equally as complex as discerning an individual’s true nationality. Most records were destroyed so we are reliant on limited transport lists and death registers for information. The majority of inmates whose names are recorded within the central Neuengamme camp documents that are available were identified as Christian, most commonly

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Figure 1.6  Camps and prisons that SS Baubrigade 1 prisoners experienced prior to their arrival to Alderney

members of the Orthodox church.187 Some were Greek Orthodox or Greek Catholic, the latter predominating in Western Ukraine and therefore indicating Ukrainian nationality (Profile 10). At least fifty-four Jehovah’s Witnesses were housed in Sylt, the majority of whom were from Germany (Profile 11).188 Conflicting information exists about the number of Jewish prisoners in SS  BB1. As historian Karola Fings has argued, ‘the SS-Baubrigaden consisted as a rule of male non-Jewish prisoners’ and records suggest that this seems to have been predominantly the case in Alderney.189 Inmate Wilhelm Wernegau stated that there was one Jewish prisoner among the prisoners of SS  BB1 when they arrived in Alderney in March 1943 and a report by MI19 dated 20 April 1945 indicates that ‘reliable antiNazi’ Wegmann noted that Jewish labourers were among the group.190 Transport lists and death registries relating to inmates from Sylt provide further insights. In the column ‘religious denomination’ no one is identified as Jewish.191 However, further examination of the records reveals that twenty-eight of 103 deceased have ‘unknown’ recorded next to their religious denomination. For fear of persecution, during the Soviet and Nazi periods, some Jews used the Slavic or German form of their names to mask their Jewish

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Figure 1.7  Photograph of Konstantin Zhurbin on his registration card from Oflag 57 where he was housed prior to his arrival to Alderney

i­dentity, while others had converted from Judaism to the Orthodox faith in the 1920s.192 In other cases, their names were misspelt by their captors. Therefore, the presence of additional Jewish inmates or inmates with Jewish ancestry amongst the initial SS BB1 contingent or prisoners sent to

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Profile 10  Dmytro Lelo Among the SS BB1 prisoners were a small number of Greek Catholics of Ukrainian nationality. Dmytro Lelo was one of these men and he was born in Berezka in the Sanok region of Poland, a village with a large Ukrainian majority and a Greek Catholic church. A baker by profession before the war, by mid-1942 (and perhaps earlier) Lelo was living in Berlin, most likely because he was part of the Nazi labour programme. On 25 July 1942, he was taken into custody and incarcerated in Stapo Halle because he reportedly left his place of work.193 Six days later, he was registered in Buchenwald concentration camp, north of the city of Weimar and assigned to work commando 53 (Arbeitskommando 53).194 This means that he most likely worked and was housed outside the main camp. On 22 February 1943, he was transferred to Neuengamme ahead of deportation to Alderney and incarceration in Sylt concentration camp a week later.195

Sylt for punishment from the OT camps cannot be ruled out. It is accurate to state, however, that Sylt was not a camp designed specifically to house Jewish inmates but rather it was a concentration camp for political enemies of Nazi Germany and later a punishment camp (Chapter 4).196 Instead, Norderney camp (and to a lesser extent Helgoland) continued to house the largest contingents of Jewish inmates, many of whom found themselves under the control of the SS after changes to the administration (Chapter 5).197 In fact, an analysis of source material relating to the SS on Alderney demonstrates that many authors have often confused Sylt and Norderney within witness testimonies, leading to a situation whereby descriptions of events and inmates that occurred in Norderney have been incorrectly referred to as having happened in Sylt.198 Another factor that adds to the confusion lies in the presence of Jews in concentration camp uniforms when SS BB1 was transported from Alderney to Jersey on 28 June 1944, as described by Leslie Sinel.199 It is possible that these men could well have been Norderney concentration camp inmates or Jews from Norderney who were sent to Sylt as punishment, but unfortunately this remains unclear (Chapter 4). Certainly, the SS had interactions with Jewish workers who were not housed in Sylt, for example in Norderney or outside the camps during their time overseeing construction projects across the island. Witness testimonies make clear that in these contexts the SS meted out considerable brutality against Jewish workers (see also Chapter 2). One incident like this was



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Profile 11  Otto Kamien Otto Kamien was one of at least fifty-four Jehovah’s Witnesses in SS  BB1 on Alderney. He was born on 30 May 1903 in Wanne-Eikel in the Ruhr region of Germany.200 At the outbreak of WW2, he was married and had two children.201 When the Nazis came to power in 1933, the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses began when they refused to swear allegiance to, or adhere to instructions issued by, the Nazi Party.202 Kamien was first arrested on 22 June 1937 on account of his faith, in Herne, close to his hometown.203 In December 1938, he was arrested again for participating in bible research and sent to Dortmund prison.204 On 28 January 1939, he was admitted to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.205 His medical examination observed that he was of slim build, with blond hair, blue eyes and a scar on the left side of his neck.206 A fellow prisoner recalled how Kamien helped him sew his prisoner number and purple triangle (to denote that he was a Jehovah’s Witness) onto his uniform when he arrived. He told him to maintain his faith in the camp at all costs: Otto cautioned: ‘From time to time, they will ask whether you are still one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Be firm, be steadfast, and say loud and clear: “I am still one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” He added: “If you are firm and steadfast, the Devil will leave you alone” (James 4:7). Otto’s ­encouragement helped me keep integrity to God during the next six years I spent in three concentration camps.207

After almost thirteen months in Sachsenhausen during a period of severe overcrowding, Kamien was sent to Wewelsburg, one of Sachsenhausen’s newly designated subcamps, in February 1940.208 He was part of a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses sent to take over labour works from ‘preventative custody’ prisoners who had twice tried to escape.209 Kamien and the rest of his labour contingent were tasked with renovating and expanding Wewelsburg Castle, which Himmler planned to transform into a Reichsführerschule (Reich leadership school), and with constructing camp buildings.210 Conditions in the camp were brutal, not least because of the behaviour of prisoner functionaries (who were also Jehovah’s Witnesses), while the work that the inmates were forced to do was mostly dangerous and physically exhausting.211 It is possible that Kamien was reassigned to SS  BB1 in October 1942 and, hence, may have spent time working in Düsseldorf or Duisburg before being sent to Alderney in March 1943.212

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so bad that it led to OT Bauleiter Leo Ackermann submitting a protest to Fortress Engineer staff. The SS responded to his complaint by claiming that he was ‘soft on Jews’.213

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Reflections and conclusions Although establishing the exact number of workers sent to Alderney remains difficult because of the fragmented nature of source material, the new research outlined here (as well as details provided in later chapters) suggests that from 1941 to 1945 more than 6,600 forced, slave and lessthan-slave labourers originating from around thirty countries were present on the island (Table 1.2).214 The terms of the labourers’ employment have been subject to debate for decades. The volunteer status of OT labourers has often been emphasised and, with a few notable exceptions, little attempt has been made to connect their experiences with the wider Nazi labour programme. As already described, some workers were genuine volunteers who had signed up of their own accord and had ‘privileged’ status, usually based on their country of origin. Those of Germanic origin (from Germany and Austria) were at the top of the hierarchy, followed by people from Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Flanders.215 The ‘privileged’ workers on Alderney were paid a wage and were treated reasonably well. Many of these workers arrived at the beginning of the occupation period, although some, including ‘voluntary’ workers from Jersey and Guernsey continued to be recruited in 1943.216

Table 1.2  Minimum numbers of forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers sent to Alderney throughout the German occupation, based on available documents Date

Details

22 February 1942a February to summer 1942b 15 and 16 March 1942c July and August 1942d Up to September 1943e 3 and 5 March 1943f 12 August 1943g 9 September 1943h

Spaniards Spaniards Eastern Europeans Eastern Europeans Germans SS Baubrigade 1 labourers Jews (transported from France) Transport from Compiègne comprising French and North Africans Jews (transported from France) Italian POWs ‘Bas-Normands’

11 October 1943i September 1943j 17 May 1944k

Number of individuals 31 c.270 c.800 c.2,800 c.900 1,027 325 113 245 c.30 30



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Table 1.2 (Continued) Date

Details

Number of individuals

5 June 1944l June 1944m September to May 1945n Up to May 1945o

Mostly Spaniards North African POWs German 999 Brigade Channel Islanders imprisoned in Norderney or the island prison

40 25 At least 14 At least 7

Total

c.6,657

Note: This list does not include Jews, North African prisoners and French and Belgian labourers sent to Alderney before the summer of 1942 as details regarding numbers are scarce, but we can assume a minimum of several hundred should be added to these totals. The list also omits volunteer labourers, many of whom were then arrested or co-opted into the OT, including around 100 French, Belgian and Portuguese women tasked with domestic work. Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 17. TNA, WO311/11, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702 ‘Periodical Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. c GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘The Island of Alderney’, 3 July 1945. d TNA, HO 144/22237, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2122, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 12 April 1944. e TNA, WO311/11, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702 ‘Periodical Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. f IA-G, AQ875/03, ‘Testimony of K. Hinrichsen, captain of the Ship “Robert Muller 8”’, 15 June 1945. g Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 17. h Ibid. i Ibid. j TNA, KV4/78, ‘Copy of report to IO I9B HQ Force from Sjt Bennet, Alderney’, 23 May 1945. k Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 17. l Ibid. m Ginns, The Organisation Todt, p. 64. n TNA, KV4/78, ‘Report on Alderney’, June 1945. o For detailed profiles of these individuals, see links within the Frank Falla Archive pages: R. Miller, ‘Alderney Gaol’, www.frankfallaarchive.org/prisons/alderney-gaol/ (accessed 20 November 2019) and R. Miller, ‘Norderney Concentration Camp’, www.frankfallaarchive.org/prisons/norderney-concentration-camp/ (accessed 20 November 2019). a

b

Widely accepted research on the Nazi labour programme defines privileged workers as those who were able to end their terms of employment voluntarily and who could draw upon the law to have their concerns aired in the case of ill-treatment.217 These workers were sometimes able to send letters home, generally had better rations and did not usually face ill-treatment or

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violence unless they were deemed to have committed a crime.218 However, they made up a small percentage of the workers sent to Alderney during the occupation. Additionally, as elsewhere in Nazi-occupied Europe, the status of people from the aforementioned countries could be diminished by their religion, perceived or actual crime, age, skill set and a wide range of other factors, and privileged workers could be stripped of this status should they commit a crime. Many examples of this occurring on Alderney have been described among both the OT and SS labourers. As has been clearly demonstrated, most of the labourers sent to Alderney were coerced or had no choice but to enter the labour programme, for example because their situation at home was so terrible or because they were arrested and sentenced to labour. As the war progressed, many were transported from other camps and internment sites. Thus, most workers fell into one of the three categories defined by Spoerer and Fleischhacker in their widely accepted research on the Nazi labour programme: • Forced labourers who could not end the terms of their employment, but they had some ability to voice their concerns about working conditions. These labourers were mainly Belgians, Czechs, Dutch, French and Serbs. Slave workers who had no right to exit their employment and no voice. This included Poles and citizens of the USSR, as well as Italians (after September 1943). • Less-than-slave workers who on Alderney were either Soviet POWs, working Jews or, after March 1943, concentration camp prisoners (when OT prisoners as well as SS BB1 prisoners found themselves in the SS-ran camps Sylt and Norderney).219 Certainly for most OT and SS workers that arrived on Alderney, there was no illusion that they were anything other than forced, slave or less-thanslave labourers, as reflected by the brutal treatment they received and the deaths that occurred.220 This is discussed further in the following chapters but, in summary, unprivileged labourers were forced to work for at least twelve hours a day, with poor clothing and footwear, little in the way of medical treatment and harsh living conditions.221 Camp Commandant (Lagerführer) of Helgoland camp, Johann Hoffmann, described how the combination of a so-called ‘Eastern levy’ and embezzlement meant that most Eastern European workers under the governance of the OT never received any money for the work they completed.222 Other workers who were meant to receive a wage also rarely obtained it and, although workers might occasionally receive parcels or letters, these were also often destroyed or appropriated by their overseers. Emil Sulikowski, who arrived in Alderney in July 1942, describes the typical daily life of an unprivileged OT worker:



The labourers 47

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we worked on reinforced concrete construction works, road construction etc., from 6 o’clock in the morning until 7–8 o’clock in the evening with a 10-minute lunch break. We worked seven days per week. Only at the end of 1943 was all of this work finished, and we worked on Sunday until 1 o’clock in the day. We did not have the right to complain about the low quality of the food they gave us or about the long working day. Those who tried to complain were beaten.223

The SS  BB1 labourers worked similarly long hours under the constant threat of punishment.224 Many OT and almost all SS workers were starving because of the poor rations they were offered and because German military personnel and privileged workers were banned from giving ‘Russian’ workers additional food.225 Although the situation in which most labourers  found themselves in is deplorable, it should perhaps not come as a surprise because Alderney formed part of a wider system of oppression in which these practices were employed as standard. For example, the deprivation of food was consistent with the treatment meted out to ‘Russians’ throughout Europe. Herbert Backe, the architect of the Hunger Plan implemented in the Soviet Union, professed to the SS, OT and German army alike that Russians did not deserve the quality of life that Germans should expect: for centuries, Russian man has tolerated poverty, hunger, and small means. His stomach is elastic, so no misplaced pity! Do not try to apply the German standard of living as criterion, and do not attempt to change the Russian lifestyle.226

One labourer from the Orel region in Russia even likened working for the OT on Alderney to being back home under the harsh Stalinist regime, which was notorious for starving its population, and this sentiment was certainly expressed by SS prisoners as well (Chapter 4).227 Subjugation and oppression of ‘Untermensch’ was a fundamental principle in the Nazi ‘moral universe’, hence it was expected that these so-called enemies of the Reich would be treated harshly, particularly (though not exclusively) those under the control of the SS.228 The importance of ‘maintaining order’ was outlined to all OT and SS overseers and the movement of labourers was restricted to ensure no escape attempts or efforts to obtain extra food could be realised.229 Beatings were commonplace, and violence pervaded most aspects of the workers’ everyday lives. As demonstrated in Chapters 3–6, the conditions at work were made worse by life in the camps. Examination of these conditions, coupled with the methods of disposing of the deceased (Chapters 7–9), clearly demonstrate that the actions of many overseers resulted in the maiming and even killing of certain groups of labourers at various points in their journey through the Nazi labour programme.230

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For many labourers, this ill-treatment followed a series of similar experiences in camps and construction units on mainland Europe. By failing to see the labour programme on Alderney as anything other than a military operation, the wide range of different (and often extremely traumatic) experiences of the variety of individuals sent to the island have often been overlooked. As is repeatedly demonstrated throughout this book, especially in Chapter 2, the seemingly organised and official nature of the OT and SS BB1 as construction units should certainly not detract from the fact that most workers suffered terribly during their time on ‘Adolf island’. By highlighting individual stories and microhistories, this chapter has attempted to move away from the familiar tropes found in some previous texts about the occupation, which have often dehumanised the victims of the Nazi system. Although they often intersected, each of the 6,600+ forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers sent to Alderney had their own (often traumatic) experiences. Some of their stories have been lost to history, but newly available archival materials make it possible to reconstruct the lives of many individuals before, during and (assuming they survived) after their time on the island. Focusing on who was sent to the island and why also provides new insights into the mechanisms of the forced and slave labour system and its purpose, a topic which the next chapter continues to address.

Notes 1 M. Packe and M. Dreyfus, The Alderney Story 1939–1949 (Guernsey: Guernsey Press, 1971), p. 38; P. Giaccaria and C. Minca, Hitler’s Geographies: The Spatialities of the Third Reich (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016), p. 151. 2 C. Partridge, Fortifications of Alderney: A Concise History and Guide to the Defences of Alderney from Roman Times to the Second World War (Alderney: Alderney Publishers, 1993); M. Ginns, The Organisation Todt and the Fortress Engineers in the Channel Islands. Archive Book No. 8 (Jersey: Channel Islands Occupation Society, 1994); T. Davenport, Festung Alderney (Jersey: Barnes Publishing Limited, 2003). 3 P. Hayes, ‘Forced and Slave Labor: The State of the Field’, in Forced and Slave Labor in Nazi-Dominated Europe: Symposium Presentations, USHMM, Washington D.C, 2004. p. 5. 4 JA, L/D/25/D1/5/1, ‘Report by Graf von Schmettow on the Channel Islands 1940–45’, undated. 5 J.E. Kaufmann, H.W. Kaufman, A. Jankovič-Potočnik and Vladimir Tonič. The Atlantic Wall: History and Guide (Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2011), loc. 1362.

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6 M. Spoerer and J. Fleischhacker, ‘Forced Laborers in Nazi Germany: Categories, Numbers, and Survivors’, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 33:2 (2010), 175. 7 H. Backe, ‘Zwölf Gebote für das Verhalten der Deutschen im Osten und die Behandlung der Russen’, 1 June 1941. 8 AMA, ‘Letter to Bailiff of Guernsey from FK515 regarding conditions in Alderney’, 29 November 1940; AMA, ‘Letter from member of 1st Working Party sent to Alderney’, 9 December 1940. 9 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 2; Packe and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story. 10 AMA, ‘Letter to Bailiff of Guernsey from FK515 regarding conditions in Alderney’, 29 November 1940; AMA, ‘FK515. Report about the condition on the Isle of Alderney since June 1940’, 10 February 1942; AMA, 95/218/10 ‘Life in Alderney: All Going Well. Unknown Newspaper Report’, 16 September 1940. 11 Cruickshank, The German Occupation of the Channel Islands, pp. 196–197; Lists of Channel Islanders housed in Alderney can be seen in: IA, FK30–9, An die Nebenstelle der Platzkommandantur I Guernsey’ 16 February 1945; IA, FK3.6, ‘Untitled document’, 25 March 1944; IA, FK-29–1, ‘Englander auf Alderney’, 18 July 1944 for example. 12 M. Ginns, The Organisation Todt and the Fortress Engineers in the Channel Islands, Archive Book No. 8 (Jersey: Channel Islands Occupation Society, 1994), p. 15. 13 Ibid., p. 59. 14 Packe and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story, p. 38. 15 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 5. 16 C. John, Building the Third Reich: Organisation TODT: From Autobahns to the Atlantic Wall (Gloucestershire: Amberley Publishing, 2014); ITS, 2.2.3.0/82362315, ‘Decree of the Fuhrer about the Todt Organisation’, 2 September 1943. 17 ITS, 2.2.3.0/82362314, ‘Organisational Chart of the Organization Todt’, undated; NARA, MS P-057, ‘Xaver Dorsch, The Organisation Todt’. 18 ITS, 2.2.3.0/82362314, ‘Organisational Chart of the Organization Todt’, undated. 19 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, pp. 1–7; TNA, HO 144/22237, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2122, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 12 April 1944. 20 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945; Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 64. 21 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 64. 22 Ibid., pp. 59–78. 23 Ginns, The Organisation Todt, p. 60. 24 S.J. Brenneis, Spaniards in Mauthausen: Representations of a Nazi Concentration Camp, 1940–2015 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018), p. 3.

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25 S. Soo, ‘Ambiguities at Work: Spanish Republican Exiles and the Organisation Todt in Occupied Bordeaux’, Modern and Contemporary France 15:4 (2007), 457–477; B. Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny (Marigny: Eurocibles, 2010), p. 36. 26 Soo, ‘Ambiguities at Work: Spanish Republican Exiles and the Organisation Todt in Occupied Bordeaux’; Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 36. 27 Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, pp. 246–272 and 17. 28 Ibid. 29 D. Arasa, Exiliados y enfrentados: Los espanoles en Inglaterra de 1936 a 1945, Barcelone, Ediciones de la Tempestad/Puntos, 1995, p. 231. Spaniards in Alderney (and the Channel Islands in general) are discussed further in D.W. Pike, ‘Les îles anglo-normandes sous l’occupation allemande et la singularité des républicains espagnols en captivité (1re partie: 1940–1943)’, Guerres mondiales et conflits contemporains 260:4 (2015), 68. 30 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Report on Alderney’, June 1945; Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, pp. 33–40. 31 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Murillo Jose’, 10 August 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Comin, Julio’, 10 August 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Cobos Luis Lorenzo’, 10 August 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Santamaria Ramon’, 10 August 1945. 32 For examples of workers sent from Soviet-occupied territories, see: TsGAMORF, 56261, ‘Irrevocable Loss Report’, 25 December 1943’, https:// obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=56111546&p=1; TsGAMORF, Fond 58, 977527:88, ‘Adam Shulyakovsky’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id= 70680717. 33 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘The Island of Alderney’, 3 July 1945. 34 TNA, HO 144/22237, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2122, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 12 April 1944. 35 For examples see ITS, 2.2.3.0, ‘General Information and Files of Organisation Todt’, Misc. dates. 36 TNA, WO199/2090A, ‘M.I.19 Report Russian Round-Up. Forced Labour – Prison – Atrocities. RPS 2293’, 25 July 1944. 37 P. Sanders, The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation 1940–45 (Jersey: Jersey Heritage Trust, 2005), p. 193. 38 TNA, WO311/12, ‘‘Alderney Concentration Camps’, 23 May 1945. 39 Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 40. Further information about these camps can be found in: European Observatory of Memories, ‘Saint-Cyprien’, https://europeanmemories.net/memorial-heritage/camp-dinternement-de-saintcyprien/ (accessed 12 November 2019) and Foundation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, ‘Rivesaltes Camp Memorial’, www.fondationshoah.org/en/memory/ rivesaltes-camp-memorial (accessed 12 November 2019). 40 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Alderney Concentration Camps’, 23 May 1945; F. CateArries, Spanish Culture Behind Barbed Wire: Memory and Representation of the French Concentration Camps, 1939–1945 (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2004), p. 156.

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41 Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 37. 42 Ibid., p. 36. 43 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Comin, Julio’, 10 August 1945. 44 Ibid.; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Alderney Concentration Camps’, 23 May 1945. 45 WO311/12, ‘Alderney Concentration Camps’, 23 May 1945. 46 K C. Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine under Nazi Rule (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004), p. 90. 47 Ibid., p. 90. 48 J. Chapoutot, The Law of Blood: Thinking and Acting Like a Nazi (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), p. 374. 49 H. Himmler, ‘Security issues – lecture given at the Commander’s meeting in Bad Schachen on 14 Oktober 1943’, cited in Chapoutot, The Law of Blood, p. 374. 50 Chapoutot, The Law of Blood, pp. 267 and 412. 51 Ibid., pp. 254–256. The true definition of an Ostarbeiter is ‘workers of nonGerman origin who were registered (recruited) in the Reichskommissariat Ukraine, Generalkommissariat Weissruthenien [western Belorussia], as well as regions located farther east of these Kommissariats and the former free states of Latvia and Estonia, who were deported after the occupation by the Wehrmacht to the Third Reich, including the protectorates of Bohemia and Moravia, and who were engaged in labour there’. See M. Spoerer, Zwangsarbeit unter dem Hakenkreuz: Ausländische Zivilarbeiter, Kriegsgefangene und Häftlinge im Deutsche Reich und im besetzten Europa 1939–1945 (Stuttgart and Munich: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 2001), p. 94. 52 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, Island of Dread, p. 66. 53 Spoerer and Fleischhacker, ‘Forced Laborers in Nazi Germany, p. 172. 54 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, Island of Dread, p. 13. 55 Ibid; TNA, WO199/2090B, ‘Report. German Atrocities in Eastern Europe (RPS) 2255’, 6 July 1944; T. Kurylo, ‘“The Biggest Calamity that Overshadowed all Other Calamities”: Recruitment of Ukrainian “Eastern Workers” for the War Economy of the Third Reich, 1941–1944’ (PhD dissertation, University of Alberta, 2009). 56 IWM, MISC 2826, 189/2, Nr.3376 ‘Interview with Ted Misiewiec’, undated. 57 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimonies made by Emil Shulikovsky’, 10 June 1945. 58 ‘Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR Decree’, https://ru.wikisource. org/wiki/Указ_Президиума_ВС_СССР_от_22.06.1941_о_мобилизации_ военнообязанных_по_четырнадцати_военным_округам, 22 June 1941. 59 Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair, pp. 254–256. 60 For examples see: GASBU, Collection 1 op 1 Case (spr) 60, ‘Ivan Orlovskii’; ITS, 2.2.3.0./82361071, ‘Gregori Metkin’, 14 February 1944; ITS, 2.2.3.0./82361074, ‘Grigori Lyssiuk’, 14 February 1944; ITS, 2.2.3.0./82361075, ‘Wassili Kulisch, 14 February 1944. 61 Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair, pp. 254–256. 62 Examples of recruitment materials from Kostopil can be found in: https://libraria. ua/numbers/271/8200/; https://libraria.ua/numbers/271/8198/; https://libraria.

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ua/numbers/271/8188/; 31.05.1942 https://libraria.ua/numbers/271/8128/; 7.06.1942 https://libraria.ua/numbers/271/8107/; and Poltava: https://libraria. ua/numbers/328/12139. 63 ThDAGO, Fond 1, Opis 23, Spr 598, ‘Excerpt from the official report on atrocities of German Nazis in the City of Poltava’, p. 62. The full title of the Extraordinary State Commission is the Extraordinary State Commission for the Establishment and Investigation of the Atrocities of the German Fascist Invaders and Their Accomplices and the Damage They Caused to Citizens, Collective Farms, Public Organizations, State Enterprises and Institutions of the USSR (ChGK). 64 GASBU, Fond 1, Opis 1, Spr 196, p. 5 65 FZSP and AZSP, 013035, ‘Grigorii (Hrigorii) Koriachka’, 7 May 1945. 66 GASBU, Fond 1, Opis 1, Spr 197, pp. 17–20. 67 GASBU, Fond 1, Opis 1, Spr 196, p. 5. 68 Ibid.; Golos Poltavschina, 1 May 1942, https://libraria.ua/numbers/328/12139 (accessed 15 July 2019). 69 FZSP and AZSP, 013035, ‘Grigorii (Hrigorii) Koriachka’, 7 May 1945. 70 Ibid. 71 Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair, p. 253; https://libraria.ua/numbers/271/8198/ 72 Ibid., pp. 272–274. 73 ThDAGO, Fond 1, Opis 23, Spr 598, ‘Excerpt from the official report on atrocities of German Nazis in the City of Poltava’, p. 62. 74 TsDAGO f op 57 s 116; GASBU, Criminal Proceeding 26587 (Vinnitsa Region), ‘Grigorii Krivoi’; Georgi Kondakov, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 162. 75 G. Grinchenko, ‘The Ostarbeiter of Nazi Germany in Soviet and Post-Soviet Ukrainian Historical Memory’, Canadian Slavonic Papers/Revue canadienne des slavistes LIV 3–4 (2012), 405. 76 For a broader overview of the various experiences of forced and slave labourers from Soviet territories, see A. von Plato, A. Leh and C. Thonfeld (eds), Hitler’s Slaves: Life Stories of Forced Labourers in Nazi-Occupied Europe (New York: Berghahn Books, 2010). 77 TsGAMORF, Fond 58, 977527:88, ‘Adam Shulyakovsky’, https://obd-memo rial.ru/html/info.htm?id=70680717. 78 TsGAMORF, Fond 58, 977527:78, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm? id=70839943; Shuliakovskii’s death is discussed in Chapter 7. 79 OBD, 56261, ‘Irrevocable Loss Report’, 25 December 1943, https://obd-memo rial.ru/html/info.htm?id=56111546&p=1; He died of poisoning on Alderney after a period working for the Sager and Wörner firm. The deaths of former military men are discussed further in Chapters 7 and 9. 80 Chapoutot, The Law of Blood, p. 271. 81 For a group of examples, see the interrogation reports of workers from Russia who were sent from Alderney to Cherbourg in ITS, 2.2.3.0/8236101682361096, January-February 1944. 82 FZSP and AZSP, 013035, ‘Fedor Kochetkov’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/ info.htm?id=85455438&p=3027 (accessed 5 December 2019).

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83 Ibid. 84 OBD, ‘Information from the Book of Memory’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/ info.htm?id=408551936 (accessed 20 April 2020). 85 TsAMO, 58/818883/576, Fedor Kochetkov’, 6 March.1942; TsAMO, 58/18 003/1449, 24 September 1945. 86 FZSP and AZSP, 013035, ‘Fedor Kochetkov’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/ info.htm?id=85455438&p=3027 (accessed 5 December 2019). 87 TsAMO, Odessa Runway/2223247/16, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, 7 May 1945, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=84271443 (accessed 5 December 2019). 88 Ibid. 89 ITS, 2.2.3.0/82361098, ‘Russen im OT-Lager “Wilhelm Busch”’, 21 February 1944. Camp ‘Wilhelm Busch’ is itself something of a mystery. The aforementioned documents suggest it was in or near Cherbourg and that it was an OT camp but other records regarding its operations are absent. The camp’s namesake was either a German cartoonist from the nineteenth century or a German pastor who was arrested for his anti-Nazi activities. 90 One of these men, Vitali Bogdanow, was accused of sabotage of water pipes on Alderney. See ITS, 2.2.3.0/ 82361077, ‘Bogdanow Vitali’, 2 February 1944. 91 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Jacob Pfarr’, 18 May 1945; TNA, KV4/78, ‘Copy of report to IO I9B HQ Force from Sjt Bennet, Alderney’, 23 May 1945. 92 Ibid. 93 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Report on Alderney’, June 1945. 94 Discussed further in Chapters 7–9; For an example, see TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Johann Lofy’, 19 May 1945. 95 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 96 AG-NG, ‘Häftlinge Database’, Misc. dates. 97 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Report on Alderney’, June 1945, p. 12. 98 IWM, MISC 2826 189/2, ‘Interview with Daphne Pope’, undated. 99 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Translation of statement by PW LD 685 O’Lt William Girrbach’. 27 June 1945. 100 TNA, WO311/12,’Statement of Jacob Pfarr’, 18 May 1945. 101 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Report on Alderney’, June 1945, p. 16. 102 Ibid. 103 Ibid.; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Jacob Pfarr’, 18 May 1945. 104 WO311/12, ‘Statement of Jacob Pfarr’, 18 May 1945; ITS, 1.1.38.1/4137258, ‘List of former political prisoners of the Concentration Camp Sachsenhausen’, 1946. 105 TNA, WO311/12,’Statement of Jacob Pfarr’, 18 May 1945. 106 Ibid. 107 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Copy of report to IO I9B HQ Force from Sjt Bennet, Alderney’, 23 May 1945. 108 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Copy of report to IO I9B HQ Force from Sjt Bennet, Alderney’, 23 May 1945.

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109 Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 21; USHMM, courtesy of Miriam Herr. Photograph Number: 71010. 110 For examples, see Zoltan Alfoldi, a 24-year-old half-Jew born in Budapest who arrived on Alderney on 11 October 1943 in AMA, 96/208 and Salvator Arico, born in New York in the USA, who arrived on Alderney from Compiègne, France on 9 September 1943 in a convoy of 113 people in Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 247. 111 F. Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands during the German Occupation 1940–45 (Jersey and London: Jersey Museums Service, 2000), pp. 133–134; For example, Albert Eblagon, the grandson of the Chief Rabbi of Crete, was categorised as a French Jew upon arrival in Alderney even though he was born in Greece. 112 Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 16. 113 Ibid.; Chapoutot, The Law of Blood, pp. 389–391. 114 Sanders, The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation 1940–45, p. 194. 115 This profile was derived from TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Louise Melanie Blamont – nee Simonet’, 18 May 1945 unless otherwise stated. 116 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Report on Alderney’, June 1945, p. 9. 117 Ibid. 118 Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, pp. 44–53; For examples, see Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands, p. 134. The records of MDLS and CDJC (which include Serge Klarsfeld’s records), ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/resultat. php?q=biographies_tous%3A%28aurigny%29%20AND%20id_pers%3A %28%2A%29&start=0&rows=100&facet.sort=count&sort=tri_nom%20 desc&spec_expand=1&sort_define=tri_nom&sort_order=1&rows=100 (accessed 13 July 2019). 119 D.F. Afoumado, ‘Drancy’, in G. Megargee, J. White and M. Hecker (eds), The United States Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945: Volume III, Camps and Ghettos under European Regimes Aligned with Nazi Germany (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2018), p. 134. 120 Theodore Haénel, in Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 159. 121 Ibid., pp. 16 and 58–66. 122 Benoit Luc has described the journeys of 590 French Jews sent to Norderney in Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, whilst French Jews were known to have been sent to the island in early 1942. A further 101 Jews may have been transported from Cherbourg at the end of October 1943, see ITS, 2.2.3/83261200, ‘Überstellung von jüdischen Arbeitskräften nach Alderney’, 26 October 1943. Fondation pour la Mémorial de la Shoah has suggested around 700 Jews were sent to Alderney in Memoire Viviante, ‘Dossier Aurigny-Alderney’, https://fondationdeportation.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/ memoire_vivante50.pdf (accessed 12 March 2019), while Steckoll indicated 900 in Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp and 1,000 was mentioned in TNA, HO 144/22237, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2122, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 12 April 1944. In the absence of further transport lists, confirming an accurate

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The labourers 55

total remains impossible. No evidence has been found to support transports in the tens of thousands as some have suggested. See Chapter 9 for further ­discussion. 123 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Copy of report to IO I9B HQ Force from Sjt Bennet, Alderney’, 23 May 1945. 124 Mémorial de la Shoah, MXCV_520/ C.D.J.C./JEAA/Coll. Esther Tankel, undated; Mémorial de la Shoah, CCXLV_359, 12 September 1941. 125 ‘Théodore Valensi’, in J. Jolly (ed.). Dictionary of French parliamentarians; biographical notes on French ministers, deputies and senators from 1889 to 1940 (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1960–1977); ‘Théodore Valensi’, http://www2.assemblee-nationale.fr/sycomore/fiche/(num_dept)/7340 (accessed 16 April 2020). 126 J. Fette, Exclusions: Practicing Prejudice in French Law and Medicine, 1920–1945 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012), p. 157. 127 Afoumado, ‘Drancy’, p. 134. 128 Ibid. 129 BA Bild 183-S69244, 12 September 1941. 130 Mémorial de la Shoah, CCXLV_359, 12 September 1941. 131 J. Josephs, Swastika over Paris (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012), pp. 105–106. 132 M. Laffitte and A. Wieviorka, A l’intérior du camp de Drancy (Paris: Perrin, 2012). 133 MDLS, ‘Theodore Valensi’, http://ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/notice. php?q=identifiant_origine:(FRMEMSH04087071022617)# (accessed 20 April 2020). 134 Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 41; S. Steckoll, Death Camp Alderney (London: HarperCollins,1982), Annex 7. 135 TharvA, ‘Two young voices of the Shoah’, www.tharva.fr/la-shoah-dans-leloir-et-cher/bernard-jankelovitch (accessed 27 April 2020). 136 ‘Théodore Valensi’, http://www2.assemblee-nationale.fr/sycomore/fiche/(num_ dept)/7340 (accessed 16 April 2020). 137 JA, L/C/24/B/1, ‘Souvenirs de l’ile d’enfer’, 1949. 138 Ginns, The Organisation Todt, p. 64; The aforementioned convoy from Compiègne in September 1943 predominantly comprised Algerians but also a smaller number of people from Morocco and Armenia. See Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, pp. 246–272. 139 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Copy of report to IO I9B HQ Force from Sjt Bennet, Alderney’, 23 May 1945; Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Mr Prigent’, www.jerseyheritagetrust. org/edu/resources/pdf/prigent.pdf (accessed 14 April 2009). 140 An extended profile for Kibble can be found in G. Carr, ‘Eric Charles Kibble’, www.frankfallaarchive.org/people/eric-charles-kibble/ (accessed 20 April 2019). 141 TNA, WO3111/12, ‘Statement of Ernest Charles Kibble’, 1945. 142 Ibid. 143 G. Carr, ‘Eric Charles Kibble’, www.frankfallaarchive.org/people/eric-charleskibble/ (accessed 20 April 2019).

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144 Ibid.; IA, CC14–05–77/29 and 139. 145 TNA, WO3111/12, ‘Statement of Ernest Charles Kibble’, 1945. 146 Ibid. 147 Ibid. 148 The Citizen, ‘Atrocities in Alderney alleged’, 17 May 1945. 149 BA-B, NS 19/2065, ‘SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltunghauptamt Amtgr Ch. C 65/Sei’, 10 February 1942, pp. 20–33; This was followed by a decision by Himmler to create the brigades. See BA-B, NS 19/14, ‘Letter from Himmler to Pohl’, 9 September 1942. 150 BA-B, NS 19/14, ‘Letter from Pohl to Himmler’, 16 September 1942. 151 Ibid. 152 ITS, Catalogue of Camps and Prisons in Germany and German-Occupied Territories, Sept. 1, 1939–May 8, 1945. Volume I (Arolsen: International Tracing Service Records Branch, 1949) reprinted in M. Weinmann, Das nationalsozialistische Lagersystem (CCP) (Frankfurt am Main: Zweitausendeins, 1990), p. 365. 153 BA-B, NS 19/14, ‘Bericht Nr. 5’, 9 November 1943; BA-B, NS 19/1572, 1, ‘Telegram from Kammler to the RFSS’. The other Baubrigaden were deployed to various other locations throughout Germany and France and were not sent to Alderney. For further information, see ITS, Catalogue of Camps and Prisons, pp. 365–368 and 493. 154 For further information, see ITS, Catalogue of Camps and Prisons, pp. 365–368 and 493, and K. Fings, ‘Alderney (Kanalinsel) (SS-BB1)’, in G. Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2009), p. 1357. 155 K. Orth, ‘The Concentration Camp Personnel’, in J. Caplan and N. Wachsmann (eds), Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany: The New Histories (London: Routledge, 2004), p. 46. 156 Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps, pp. 85–86. 157 ITS, 2.3.5.1/82370653, 30 December 1951. 158 AG-NG, 13_7_5_5_1_SS_Baubrigade 1, ‘Geständnis des SS-H.Scharf, Högelow, Lagerführer einer Baubrigarde eines Koz. Lager’, May 1945. 159 Ibid. 160 IA-G, AQ875/03, ‘Testimony of the K. Hinrichsen, Captain of the Ship ‘Robert Muller 8’, 15 June 1945. 161 USHMM. 2017, ‘Law and Justice in the Third Reich’, https://encyclopedia. ushmm.org/content/en/article/law-and-justice-in-the-third-reich (accessed  12 June 2017). 162 Of these three men, two were listed as ‘asocials’ in camp registration documents and one as ‘work-shy’ but the fact that they were ‘Zigeuner’ was also noted. See Josef Rose, in ITS 1.1.5/6946183, 21 September 1944; Bendeli Weiss, ITS 1.1.5/7391441, 21 September 1944 and Wladimir Afonitschew in AG-NG, ‘Datenbank’, undated, Misc. dates.

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163 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Appendix ‘H’ comprising section V extracted from report LDC477, relating to report on concentration camp at Alderney’, 27 June 1945. 164 K. Berkoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine under Nazi Rule (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004), p. 90. 165 AG-NG, ‘Datenbank’, Misc. dates. 166 USHMM, HSVD, ‘Veränderungsmeldung’, 20 August 1938, www.ushmm. org/online/hsv/person_view.php?PersonId=8518283 (accessed 16 April 2020). 167 AG-NG, ‘Datenbank’, undated. 168 T. Heubner, ‘Sachsenhausen Main Camp’, in Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, p. 1256. 169 USHMM, HSVD, ‘Veränderungsmeldung’, 20 August 1938, www.ushmm. org/online/hsv/person_view.php?PersonId=8518283 (accessed 16 April 2020). 170 Further information about the persecution of the Roma can be found in A. Weiss-Wendt (ed.), The Nazi Genocide of the Roma: Reassessment and Commemoration (London: Berghahn Books, 2013). 171 H. Kaienburg, Der Militär- und Wirtschaftskomplex der SS im KZ- Standort Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg: Schnittpunkt von KZ- System, Waffen- SS und Judenmord (Berlin: Metropol, 2006). 172 USHMM, HSVD, ‘Veränderungsmeldung’, 7 November 1938, www.ushmm. org/online/hsv/person_view.php?PersonId=8518276 (accessed 16 April 2020). 173 AG-NG, ‘Datenbank’, Misc. dates. 174 ITS 1.1.5/7391441–7391446, 21 September to 29 October 1944. 175 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1, Nr. 4496, ‘Interview with Otto Spehr’, undated. 176 For some examples, see TNA, WO311/677, ‘Report on the Interrogation of Two PW Kempton Park Camp’, 19 November 1944; NARA, Zugangsbuch Nr. 112/035432; AG-NG, ‘Datenbank’, Misc. dates. 177 AG-NG, Thematische Sammlung, KZ Neuengamme Aussenlager. I. SS-Baubrigade Alderney (Männerlager), ‘Bericht von Alfons Kupka Sproetze’, 8 September 1947; Grigory Zbovorski in L. Vanaker (ed.), The Striped at Alderney (unpublished manuscript, 2008), p. 24. 178 Also spelt Shemarevka or Schewrajewka. 179 FSB-Kursk, 6221_38a, ‘Prisoner of war information’, https://obd-memorial.ru/ html/info.htm?id=915610308&p=2 (accessed 2 December 2019). 180 Ibid.; M.N. Kozhevnikov. The Command and Staff of the Soviet Army Air Force in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945 (Moscow: All-union copyright agency of the USSR, 1977), p. 54. 181 For information about the camps, see Forces War Records, ‘German camps’, www.forces-war-records.co.uk/european-camps-british-commonwealth-prison​ ers-of-war-1939–45 (accessed 16 April 2020); FSB-Kursk, 6221_38a, ‘Prisoner of war information’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=915610308&p=2 (accessed 2 December 2019). 182 Ibid. 183 Ibid. 184 AG-NG, ‘Datenbank’, Misc. dates.

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185 ITS, 1.1.5/7104267–7104273, ‘Konstantin Shurbin’, misc. dates; ITS, 1.2.27/2719551, ‘Konstantin Shurbin’, undated. 186 ‘Zhurbin Konstantin Zakharovich 1922’, http://podvignaroda.ru/?#id=1 512067030&tab=navDetailManUbil (accessed 2 March 2020); 1985 was also the year that Perestroika (restructuring) in the Soviet Union began as a political movement of reformation within the Communist Party following a speech by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and the introduction of his ‘glasnost’ (openness policy). The implications of this policy and the fate of Soviet POWs after WW2 is discussed further in Chapter 10. See also: N. Tumarkin. The Living and the Dead: the Rise and Fall of the Cult of World War II in Russia (New York: Basic Books of HarperCollins, 1994), pp. 194–201 and the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR Decree on the Rewarding of Active Participants of the Great Patriotic War 1941, 11 March 1985. 187 ITS, 1.1.3.0/3411088–3411095, 12 September 1944; AG-NG, ‘Totenbuch’, Misc. dates. 188 ITS, 1.1.3.0/3411088–3411095, 12 September 1944; AG-NG, 1274, ‘Helmut Knöller’, 27 October 1944. 189 Fings, ‘SS-Baubrigaden and SS-Eisenbahnbaubrigaden’, p. 1355. 190 Wilhelm Wernegau in Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp, p. 81; TNA, WO199/3303, ‘M.I.19(a)/DIS/86’, 20 April 1945. 191 ITS, 1.1.3.0/3411088–3411095, 12 September 1944; AG-NG, ‘Totenbuch’, Misc. dates. 192 P. Polian, Zhertvy dvukh diktatur: Zhizn’, trud, unizheniia i smert’ sovetskikh voennoplennykh i ostarbaiterov na chuzhbine i na rodine, 2nd edn (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2002), p. 896; Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, A Journey Through the Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter: From Antiquity to 1914 (Toronto: Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, 2018), p. 94. 193 ITS, 1.1.5/6469671, ‘Dmitrij Lelo’, 1 August 1942. 194 ITS, 1.1.5/6469670, ‘Arbeitskommando’, 7 August 1942. 195 ITS, 1.1.5/6469673, ‘Dmitrij Lelo’, 22 February 1943. 196 Roberts has claimed that up to 9,000 Jews were sent to Alderney and this included a potential contingent of Baubrigade II prisoners (see R. Philpot, ‘In Nazi-occupied Britain, graves at Alderney’s “Little Auschwitz” may be defiled’, www.timesofisrael.com/in-nazi-occupied-britain-graves-at-alderneys-littleauschwitz-may-be-defiled/ (accessed 16 October 2017)). However, there is no known documentary evidence to support such claims. Sources that refer to BB2 clearly show that they were not sent to Alderney as Roberts has suggested and they indicate that BB2 (like BB1) comprised predominantly ­non-Jewish ­political prisoners. 197 AG-NG, 1515, ‘Ernst Fischel’, undated; IWM, MISC 2826 – 189/2, Nr. 3376 ‘Interview with Ted Misiewicz’, undated. 198 For example, a testimony by E.F. in the Neuengamme archive has been cited in relation to Sylt but, when the history of Norderney is considered, it is evident that this individual was referring to Norderney II, the Jewish section

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The labourers 59

of Norderney camp which was governed by the SS, and not Sylt concentration camp. Further details about these sources can be found in Chapter 5 in the context of discussions regarding Norderney. 199 Leslie Sinel, ‘The German occupation of Jersey. A complete diary of events June 1940–June 1945’, Jersey Evening Post, 1945. 200 ITS, 1.1.31/3669208, ‘Otto Kamien’, 28 January 1939. 201 Ibid. 202 More information about the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses can be found in M. Reynaud and S. Graffard, The Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Nazis: Persecution, Deportation, and Murder, 1933–1945 (New York: Cooper Square Press, 2001). 203 ITS, 1.0/52451478, 20 January 1953. 204 Ibid 205 ITS, 1.1.0.7/87767667, ‘Auskunft über Lager Alderney-Island’, 10 June 1950. 206 ITS, 1.0/52451478, 20 January 1953. 207 Josef Rehwald, ‘Keeping Integrity in Nazi Germany’, Watchtower 93:2/8 (1993), 20. 208 ITS, 1.1.31/3669208, ‘Otto Kamien’, 16 February 1940. 209 K. John-Stucke, ‘Wewelsburg’, in Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, p. 1518. 210 Ibid. 211 Ibid., p. 1519. 212 ITS, 1.0/52451478, 20 January 1953. 213 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945; F. Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands During the German Occupation 1940–1945 (Jersey: Jersey Museums Service, 2000), p. 132. 214 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 215 Spoerer and Fleischhacker, ‘Forced Laborers in Nazi Germany’, p. 171. 216 In May 1943, twenty-six ‘voluntary’ workers from Jersey were sent to Alderney and were employed by the Army Billeting Office (Wehrmacht Heeresunterkunftsverwaltung) as opposed to the OT. Groups of Guernsey men continued to work there as well throughout 1942 and 1943. See Bonnard, Alderney at War, pp. 52–58. 217 Spoerer and Fleischhacker, ‘Forced Laborers in Nazi Germany’, p. 172. 218 Vichy Frenchmen supposedly ‘came off well’ as they had leave every three months and were paid. See Packe and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story, p. 57. 219 Spoerer and Fleischhacker, ‘Forced Laborers in Nazi Germany’, p. 175. 220 TNA, PRO WO311/11, ‘German Occupation of Channel Islands: Death and Ill Treatment of Slave Labour and Transportation of Civilians to Germany’, Misc. dates. 221 Ginns, The Organisation Todt, p. 88; For a summary, see Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 11. 222 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945.

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223 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimonies made by Emil Shulikovsky’, 10 June 1945; See also Profile 15 in Chapter 5. 224 Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps, ch.1. 225 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Ausstellung Russischer Arbeitskräfte zu Einheiten der Wehrmacht (Issuing of Russian Workers to Units of the Wehrmacht)’: 9 October 1942. 226 H. Backe, ‘Zwölf Gebote für das Verhalten der Deutschen im Osten und die Behandlung der Russen’, 1 June 1941. 227 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, Island of Dread, p. 7. 228 N. Wachsmann, KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camp (London: Little, Brown, 2010), p. 107. 229 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Aufrechterhaltung der Ordnung (Maintaining Order)’, 18 August 1942. 230 Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair, pp. 254–296.

2

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Products of forced and slave labour

Militarily speaking, the fortifications constructed on Alderney were the means by which Hitler and the Nazi Party: (1) ensured the island’s population could not return to their homes, (2) desecrated British territory, sending a strong message to the British government that the German army was moving ever closer, and (3) could have attacked Britain. However, although Alderney was conceived as a military landscape, once the Germans arrived it also became a landscape of persecution because thousands of labourers were transported to the island to facilitate the construction programme. Like the cars produced for Audi, Mercedes and Volkswagen, the steel produced for ThyssenKrupp and the electrical products made for Bosch during the Nazi era, the outputs built and created by the workers on Alderney were also the products of forced and slave labour.1 They are a physical embodiment of the experiences of those who built them, many of whom experienced ill-treatment and sometimes death in the process. By examining the form of these structures and the ways in which they were built, it is possible to reveal details of the men’s daily lives and their sensory experiences. As archaeologist Matthew Leonard has argued, ‘through making and interacting with things, people make themselves in the process’; hence, it is possible to examine how the work these men were forced to carry out affected their mental wellbeing, personalities and ­identity.2 Likewise, because the fortifications also became mediums through which the workers reflected and attempted to provide evidence of their existence, for example through the creation of graffiti and other marks, they should also be viewed as a source of biography.3 As large numbers of workers died during the construction works (Chapters 7–9), the fortification landscape should also be seen as a ‘deathscape’.4 Therefore, this chapter views the fortifications through each of these lenses, also drawing upon the results of walkover surveys, photogrammetry and mapping exercises in order to evaluate the various interactions between the labourers and the landscapes in which they worked. It concludes with a discussion about

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the purpose of the labour programme on Alderney, reflecting on both its ­economic value and role in the persecution of so-called enemies of the Third Reich.

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The scale of forced and slave labour A history of the construction programme in Alderney was provided in the introduction to this volume, illustrating its vast scale and its centrality in Hitler’s plan to have a British stronghold. However, a closer examination of what was built and how this was achieved reveals further insights into the lives of both the labourers who did the work and their overseers. The fortification programme resulted in the construction of five coastal artillery batteries, twenty-two anti-aircraft batteries, thirteen strongpoints, twelve resistance nests and three defence lines (Figure 2.1).5 By 3 March 1944, Alderney officially became Fortress Alderney (Festung Alderney) in recognition of the scale of these fortifications.6 The nature of the island’s landscape made it possible to build an array of underground defences.7 Each comprised variably of bunkers, Tobruk pits, trenches, tunnels and other fortifications. Anti-tank walls, mines, armoured cupolas, beach obstacles and other military installations were also built and put into position. Specific instructions were also provided by the highest echelons of the Nazi administration regarding camouflaging, with many fortifications being covered with the natural rocks found on Alderney to disguise their true purpose (Figure 2.2). Special camouflage crews were created, which included gardeners, to help match the fortifications to the landscape in which they were built.8 Raw materials, such as sand and stone, were obtained from existing or newly created quarries across the island. Some of these materials were used on Alderney, while the rest were shipped to France for use on the mainland. Most of this work was carried out by labourers under the control of the OT and SS. Hence, the labourers sent to Alderney were involved in the ­construction of more than one thousand individual fortification features, the majority of which were made from concrete with steel reinforcement. The work involved the building of new fortifications, the excavation of earthworks such as trenches, the digging of underground tunnels, the extraction of raw materials for use in construction, repair works, for example on the roads and harbour area, and for infrastructural elements such as communication and electricity lines. As well as the construction of new fortifications, the existing forts on Alderney – of which there were eighteen, dating to the Napoleonic and Victorian eras – were also adapted for the Germans’ purposes. Gun emplacements, bunkers and other military installations were added to each fort to match the needs of modern

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Products of forced and slave labour 63

Figure 2.1  Examples of some of the fortifications that survive on Alderney built by forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers

warfare (Figure 2.3). Many existing buildings also became administrative and domestic buildings for the German military and OT, camps, internment sites and places that supported the construction programme (Chapter 11). In the early days of the occupation, voluntary workers or the Fortress Engineers were responsible for these appropriations and conversion but later the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers took over. As well as construction works, the labourers were also quickly engaged in domestic chores, unloading ­materials sent to the island by boat and agricultural works necessary to feed the German garrison and (with much lower quotas) themselves. Women were also working on the island, undertaking a range of domestic tasks.9

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Figure 2.2  A camouflaged bunker on Bibette Head where local stone was used to mask its existence from the air and sea

Figure 2.3  Fort Clonque, one of the pre-existing forts on Alderney, which was added to by the Germans when they fortified the island



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Sensescapes Given the scale of the labour programme on Alderney, it is easy to lose sight of the individual experiences of labourers who were tasked with building the fortifications and the trauma inflicted upon them as they did so. How did the labourers feel in these landscapes?10 What did it mean to spend every day undertaking such harsh labour? What relationships did the labourers form with the landscapes and material objects that they were working in and with? Also, how did their overseers and the wider German military experience the island? Many of the OT and SS labourers who gave testimony about their time on Alderney describe the ‘killing work’ or the ‘back-breaking’ tasks they were forced to do in general terms, referring to the long hours, punishments for failing to work at the desired speed and the injuries sustained in the process.11 However, it is interesting to note that most labourers delivering testimony about their time on Alderney did not provide detailed descriptions of the construction works undertaken. Rarely are  the  specific tasks that they were required to do discussed in anything more than general terms (e.g. widening a road, building a bunker, constructing the anti-tank wall or mixing cement). Perhaps it was the monotony of the work, the delirium that ensued due to working under such conditions or, as Georgi Kondakov states, ‘an all-absorbing longing for food [that] forced out all other sensations’ which led to this lack of detail.12 Hence, an examination of the material traces that resulted from their work in conjunction with other documentary evidence about the fortification programme offers many important insights into the experiences of the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers, not available through other means. For example, let us examine a single bunker shown in Figure 2.1. Kaufman et al. describe the construction processes involved in building structures such as this.13 Deep excavations, the mixing and pouring of thousands of litres of concrete, the installation of steel reinforcements, shuttering and supportive beams, the installation of weapons and internal fixtures and digging to camouflage the bunkers with earth represent just some of the back-breaking processes involved. Each of the coastal artillery batteries, anti-aircraft batteries, strongpoints, resistance nests and defence lines that existed on Alderney had many bunkers as well as a wide range of other, often more complex, structures within them.14 Such an undertaking would have been extremely difficult even for workers in good health and with good provisions, so it does not take much effort to imagine the awful nature of these construction works for the labourers on Alderney who did not benefit from such conditions.

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Going one step further, Nicholas Saunders and Paul Cornish suggest that sites of conflict should also be viewed as sensescapes where ‘new meanings were attached to the lights, sounds, smells, tastes, and vibrations of war on such a massive scale’.15 Undoubtedly, this is true in relation to Alderney given that the undertaking and supervision of forced and slave labour resulted in an assault upon the senses. The natural and built environment – as it already existed and as created or developed by the labourers – certainly appears to have impacted upon them. Many construction works were undertaken on Alderney’s harsh coast, sometimes on dangerous cliffs or rocky promontories that extended out into the sea. The powerful tides experienced on the island, coupled with the intense nature of the work undertaken, created precarious conditions for the workers and increased the risk of potentially deadly falls. One need only look again at the complex of fortifications on Bibette Head (Figure 2.4), adjacent to Norderney camp or the defences added to Fort Clonque to imagine these perilous conditions. For those labourers who witnessed their workmates falling into wet concrete or into deep excavations, this provided a shocking reminder of the fine line between life and death.16 The sounds of the sea were mentioned in many testimonies as constant reminders of the isolation in which the workers found themselves.17 The gigantic nature of many individual fortifications, many of which were open to the elements, was also overwhelming to the labourers. Likewise, the scale of the militarised landscape, which was literally covered with concrete and steel, appears to have left a lasting impression. As Kondakov

Figure 2.4  The complex fortifications and defensive positions at Bibette Head, adjacent to Norderney camp

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describes: ‘I remember Alderney to be grey and gloomy … in whatever direction one looked, the only thing one could see was the barbed wire. “Achtung Minen – these warnings made the heart sink down. Every step of a person was followed by an impartial eye glued to the foresight of the guns.’18 The reminders of the impossibility of escape were everywhere. Others observed the monotony of life and the feelings of hopelessness that ensued because of the nature of the work being undertaken.19 The sounds of construction on such a scale were intense and were often accompanied by gunfire (military, leisurely fire and when executions were carried out), the shouts of the overseers, the use of dynamite in quarrying works and the sounds made by a variety of weather conditions.20 As Alderney is a small island, it is likely that many sounds travelled, enabling them to be heard in various locations. As well as vast open spaces and gigantic fortifications, labourers also worked in confined spaces. As few came from mining backgrounds, this was a new and terrifying experience for many. The impact of working within tunnels, trenches or other enclosed places has been observed by Leonard: ‘the size of these subterranean features required the body and mind to adjust to an often-painful physical engagement with the landscape on a daily basis’.21 In the darkness or restricted light and air, there may be ‘little or no visual reference points to anchor the human body to the physical surroundings’, resulting in disorientation, panic and, in some cases, madness.22 The fear that earth might collapse was also another concern.23 The exacerbation of sounds in confined spaces, which would have echoed from the rock or concrete, created intense and sometimes eerie conditions. The individual tool marks that exist in many of the underground tunnels across Alderney survive as reminders of the painstaking nature of the work required to construct this underground maze. Then there were the smells. Scents associated with the sea, the mixing of concrete, the quarrying of materials and working in damp conditions would have been accompanied by the odours of fellow workers, both alive and dead, and the bodily fluids they secreted.24 The poor state of the workers attracted lice and other vermin, while disease and illness owing to poor conditions resulted in sights that mentally scarred many of the labourers.25 Many of the fortifications became ‘deathscapes’ because men died in the course of the construction works, thus their role as killing sites, places of trauma and (if some witness testimonies are to be believed) burial sites (Chapter 8) should not be overlooked.26 Just like on the front line in World War 1, ‘renegotiation of personal identities’ occurred in the dramatic construction landscapes on Alderney and in the camps as a result of these experiences.27 As a final point on the sensory experiences of the labourers, it is also interesting to note that, despite all of the terrible things that they experienced,

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when observing the island’s landscape, ‘the feelings of beauty and wonder, hidden somewhere in the depth of the soul, would surface from time to time’.28 The colour, movement and sounds of the sea often captivated both the labourers and overseers alike. Both Kondakov and Sylwester Kukuła note how they and their countrymen longed to go back to Alderney during and after the war as the landscape had a certain draw. For Kondakov, the romantic view of Alderney across the water from France, where he continued to undertake slave labour, had a certain allure and, had the Germans not still been there, he might have tried to return.29 For Kukuła, the desire to go back continued post-war and he eventually returned almost forty years later.30 For the German military personnel stationed on Alderney, their quality of life was also related to the landscapes in which they worked. They spent most of their time in cramped bunkers, gun emplacements and other fortifications with uninspiring food and poor sanitary facilities. Darkness – during both day and night – heightened the senses to the smells, feelings and sounds of the fortifications which, even in the daylight, created a claustrophobic, often subterranean, environment.31 For those stationed above ground, the risk of air attack was ‘a cause for speculative alarm as well as a nuisance’.32 The claustrophobic nature of the small island, repetitive drills, vermin (rabbits and rats), damp accommodation and diseases (venereal and parasitic) reportedly made the Germans on Alderney ‘more depressed than those on Guernsey’.33 One German soldier even stated to a prisoner that ‘he looked forward to the arrival of the Tommies [British troops] so that he could be taken prisoner and sent to Canada’, while another proclaimed his life on Alderney to be ‘hopeless’.34 According to Gerhard Nebel, a soldier who was sent to Alderney as punishment, the landscape itself made ‘a bleak impression’ as it was ‘lacking the villas, the gardens, the greenhouses and the fields’.35 Instead, it was a ‘technical landscape’ comprised of ‘barracks, iron scaffolding, cement mixers, mountains of cement, sand heaps, bunkers, tank traps, piles of timber, field railways, locomotives and lorries’.36 Numerous complaints were also made about poor rations, the lack of entertainment, the difficulties in maintaining food supplies and issues with labour provision.37 German personnel who committed crimes while on Alderney also faced harsh treatment and many buildings were used as places to dole out punishments. Mr Doyle, one of the Englishmen who stayed behind on Alderney, described what happened at the Casquets Lighthouse and in some of the bunkers on the island: they used to put prisoners on [sic] there mostly, any German soldier that done anything wrong. I passed by there once and they ran down the steps and they were naked – they had nothing on them – their heads shaved and no clothes at



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all. The same as these bunkers, you know; when they built them they used to have these big gates and padlocks on them – they used to put soldiers in there ‘on guard’, and lock them in. That was punishment.38

While for some who had been court-martialled, being sent to Alderney was literally a punishment, other members of garrisons stationed on the other Channel Islands also viewed it as such, describing Alderney as ‘the arse-hole of the world’.39 The personnel involved in overseeing the labour force were also affected by the fortification landscapes. Testimonies reveal varying degrees of responses to this, ranging from enjoyment to abhorrence. For example, while some guards stated that inmates ‘were not human beings but only beasts’, examples exist of where German personnel helped ‘Russians’ get bread, an act that carried a heavy prison sentence.40

The importance of location Archaeologist Maria Starzmann argues that – as well as what they were required to do – segregation, marginalisation and the locations where they were made to work played an equal role in torturing forced and slave labourers in Nazi-occupied Europe.41 In Alderney, this began with the fact that the labourers were sent to an island, the location and even the name of which most were unaware of. Then, where they actually worked ultimately meant the difference between life and death; securing a job in one location or another could significantly affect the experiences and mortality of an individual (Profile 12). In many cases, the labourers’ experiences were inherently connected to the nature of the landscape, a site’s materiality and the material objects they would encounter within the space. Labourers made a conscious effort to secure work in the locations deemed to be less dangerous or which provided opportunities to acquire extra resources.42 Popular locations included the island laundry, the harbour (providing it involved unloading the food and water sent to Alderney by boat) or some of the island’s farms, since these locations afforded the chance to steal vital supplies and/or do lighter work.43 However, for some workers these locations were synonymous with harsh beatings. Working on coastal defences sometimes offered the chance to obtain seafood from the shore, while cleaning the accommodation of the camp guards sometimes provided opportunities for extra food.44 Yet, these ‘thefts’ carried harsh penalties, which included death; hence, there was always a fine line on Alderney between an act that could save or endanger a labourer’s life. The ‘safety’ afforded by some locations also changed over

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Profile 12  Victor Tiurin (also spelt Victor Tjurin) Victor Tiurin was born in Voroshilovo, in the Orel region of Russia, to a poor family. Although his passport stated 1 May 1924, he did not know his actual date of birth.45 In 1942, when he was just 18, he and the head of the kolkhoz (collective farm) were arrested on charges of helping partisans.46 As a result, they were both cruelly whipped, and suffered a long interrogation and a period of incarceration in Orel prison. Later, Tiurin was sent to Germany and then to St Malo via Belgium. During this long train journey, he recalled how the Russian prisoners were starved of food. Local people in Belgium and France threw them scraps and brought them bread, while railway workers reportedly expressed solidarity with the prisoners.47 After the group arrived in St Malo, they were sent by boat to Alderney the next day. Tiurin was initially assigned to a construction group to build ‘pillboxes’. He recalled how many labourers died because of the poor quality food they were given and the extremely harsh conditions on the island. They were quickly replaced by new labourers. As well as the Soviet prisoners, Tiurin recalls how Spaniards, French, Dutch people and Jews were present on the island. Despite the language barrier, he noted how they found ways to communicate and support each other. Tiurin escaped the fate of many of his fellow labourers because he managed to secure work in the harbour where he could acquire some extra food. During his time on Alderney, he was aware of the proximity of the island to England and hoped that he and his fellow prisoners would get help from the British. In his post-war testimony, he described how efforts were made by labourers to alert the British to their presence. This included an ill-fated escape attempt by three of Tiurin’s friends who were hung when their stolen boat was detected by searchlights. In 1943, Tiurin was then sent to the French coast to dig defence positions, he believed because the ‘pillboxes’ on Alderney had been completed.48 He recalled how French people helped them in different ways, for example by sharing food, helping with escapes and so on. During the frequent Allied raids in May 1944, Tiurin and some of his fellow Soviet prisoners escaped. They eventually reached Cherbourg where they were liberated by the Allies the following month. He was able to steal photographs from his personnel file prior to his departure (Figure 2.5).49 He lived in France for a year before returning home in 1947. He became a distinguished geographer, winning many awards and eventually holding the title of Distinguished Professor at the Kuban State University (2000).50

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Figure 2.5  Photographs of Victor Tiurin taken during his time as an OT forced labourer. The image on the left was most likely taken in France just before his arrival on Alderney

time and sometimes differed for the OT-governed labourers and those under the control of the SS. Several places on Alderney were viewed as the worst places to work by OT labourers and an examination of both testimonies and the locations reveal the gruelling conditions they were subjected to. These locations became synonymous with ill-treatment from 1942 onwards. Westbatterie (later known as Battery Annes), located in the vicinity of Sylt camp and drawing upon its OT inmates in 1942, apparently had the highest mortality rate.51 Here, labourers constructed a naval coastal artillery battery, ­complete with a command post, gun emplacements, bunkers, personnel shelters and searchlight positions to ‘fortress standard specifications’ (Figure 2.6).52 Deep excavations, a dangerous coastal location and exposure to harsh winds were just some of the elements that greeted those working here. Kondakov described what the workers called a ‘wedding’ at

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Figure 2.6  Westbatterie, one of the most dangerous places to work on Alderney according to OT workers

Westbatterie during which they were forced to work for 36 hours in terrible weather with poor rations and few breaks in order to rapidly build elements of the fortification complex.53 He stated: ‘the second day of this awful labour had started. The hands could scarcely hold the shovel, we had no strength left to move, and only the idea that moving postponed death, kept us working’.54 During this ‘wedding’, which occurred in January 1943, six out of 150 men reportedly went missing and likely succumbed to the terrible working conditions. Beatings were also common here. Jacques Pierre Chansalme is one of many witnesses who describe such brutality; he saw a Jew being hit over the head by an ‘ordinary OT man’ with a pick that he was using.55 Longy Bay was known by the OT workers as ‘inevitable death’, given the heavy construction works that the men were expected to undertake without safety equipment and with poor clothing and footwear to protect their malnourished or disease-ridden bodies (Figure 2.7).56 Working on the antitank wall – which was over 600 m long and formed part of a complex of defences that included bunkers, machine-gun positions and trenches – was particularly dangerous.57 Roberts has also suggested that this wall and two others at Platte Saline became execution places, where labourers were lined up and shot, pointing to the presence of bullet holes as evidence (Figure 2.7, bottom).58 Certainly rumours about this circulated among the islanders who returned to Alderney after liberation and it has been suggested that the ‘bullet holes’ at Longy Common were created by shots fired from a nearby machine-gun position.59

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Figure 2.7 Fortifications at Longy Bay and bullet holes present in a section of the wall (bottom). Working here was seen as ‘inevitable death’ by OT workers

Visual examination of the site by forensic ballistics expert Rachel BoltonKing confirmed that, with the exception of four examples, the defects (points of impact) in the wall appear mostly random in terms of patterning (distribution) and exist at varying heights (from the top of the wall down to the current ground level) with some areas where defects appear to be absent.60 Unfortunately, even with further forensic analysis and reconstructive testing, it may never be possible to conclusively confirm or refute whether these shots were fired at any live targets on the basis that: (1) the date when these defects were made is not known (a fact that is complicated

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by the presence of the British military on Alderney post-liberation and post-war laws permitting firearm ownership on the island), (2) the current ground level does not reflect that at the time (due to the shifting nature of the sand) and hence it cannot be stated that the marks were at head or chest height for example, (3) the distribution of the defects means that these could have been created, for example, by projectiles being fired at the wall in ­relatively rapid succession or over a longer time period, thus the ­possibility that they were created during target practice or by bored military personnel stationed in these locations cannot be negated, (4) determining which weapon was used is complicated by the fact that the extent of impact damage (terminal ballistics) on any surface can be significantly affected by the terminal velocity, kinetic energy and design of the projectile/object that created the defect, which are in turn influenced by firing distance, ammunition and weapon type, and (5) there is no documentation of how the defects have changed over time, for example as a result of weathering or their exposed coastal positioning.61 Undertaking reconstructive testing, further examining the defects in situ using portable XRF (X-ray fluorescence) and/or analysing casts of the site may in future yield further information concerning the type of weapon and/or ammunition used to create the defects, while excavating the ground beneath the walls in question could also confirm whether any human bone fragments, bullet fragments or fired cartridge cases exist in and around the area. Such an approach has been utilised at other sites of Nazi persecution in Europe.62 Forthcoming work by artist Piers Secunda relating to moulds of the impact marks may also yield interesting results in the future.63 Returning to dangerous worksites, Battery Quarry (also known as Strongpoint Steinbruch) – also had a reputation for terrible conditions and deaths. Most of the men who worked there were housed in Norderney and Helgoland camps and assigned to the Westdeutsche firm. It too formed part of the Longy Bay complex and the workers here had to construct further bunkers, machine-gun positions, mortar pits and flak positions. The quarry of the Strabag firm near Corbletts Bay was also a feared location given the poor conditions and gruelling excavation works that the labourers were forced to undertake.64 Working for a cable gang was seen by many as the worst job since cable trenches had to be excavated to a depth of 10 m in places and the men had to dig through hard ground to create them. On one occasion, the trenches above Braye Square collapsed, killing several men working there.65 These works were commonly assigned to the SS BB1 prisoners after they arrived on Alderney in March 1943.66 Four farms – the ‘Island Farm (Inselfarm/Gutshof)’, Mignot Farm, Rose Farm and Mill Farm – existed and OT labourers began working at these

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Figure 2.8  An old postcard of Rose Farm before the occupation. This was one of several OT farms where many acts of brutality were observed by labourers and other witnesses

sites from 1942 onwards (Figure 2.8).67 Around sixty SS Baubrigade prisoners worked at ‘the OT farm’ (presumably the Island Farm) under the control of Hubert Rigner, a man known for his brutal treatment of the workers he oversaw.68 Heavy beatings were a daily occurrence and prisoners were punished heavily for perceived insubordination. Prisoners who had been beaten were reportedly left for several days lying on the ground.69 Rigner would also set Alsatians on the prisoners, encouraging attacks by beating the men if they tried to escape.70 Shootings occasionally occurred (one incident included the shooting of a foreman who left the farm) and there were reports of dead bodies lying on the ground.71 Beatings were, in fact, commonplace at most worksites across Alderney; hence, if the work was not backbreaking enough, then bodily harm was still seemingly inevitable for most workers. For example, Ivar Drony reported that he saw prisoners being beaten with coshes filled with sand, and the shooting of three Russians because they were too weak to work. Their bodies were taken away on a truck.72 Otto Spehr recalled that the only way to survive was by ‘trying not to stand out’ and working in the centre of a group.73 The illusion of work was certainly important on Alderney, as failing to appear busy could incite harsh punishments and even death.74 Therefore, the fortifications and other outputs that the

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labourers were forced to produce can be seen both a means of destruction and a means of staying alive (since to work was to prove one’s usefulness). This was a common trait of the Nazi forced and slave labour programme.75

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SS control The arrival of the SS on Alderney resulted in significant changes to the administration and operations of the construction programme. The transfer of SS BB1 to the island was intended to provide additional manpower for the OT and their construction programme (Chapter 4). Initially, SS prisoners were divided up into working details based on the needs of the OT Bauleiter (superintendent/construction supervisor) and requests could be made for additional labourers based on the defence work priorities at any given time.76 While some working groups comprised solely of SS-controlled labourers, at other sites these workers were joined by OT labourers.77 When Sylt became a punishment camp for OT workers (Chapter 4), this co-working also became more commonplace. For most SS-controlled labourers, the oppressive conditions they experienced started in the camp where they were housed (usually Sylt, but also some of the other camps) and continued en route to the worksite to which they were allocated. Before prisoners set out to work and after, they had to undertake cleaning duties and roll calls in the concentration camp.78 They were then marched to their designated worksite, wearing their distinctive striped uniforms and poor footwear, in strictly guarded columns. Gordon Prigent reported that the SS also attempted to make the route to work longer because they: used to send them [people working near the airport] down working near our camp three and a half miles away, and we would have to march three and a half miles to work by the airport – I couldn’t understand that. So we used to pass, prisoners used to pass each other.79

Fritz Veeman stated that ‘almost every day I saw columns of workers walk past. These were the concentration camp prisoners. Some of them were terribly emaciated and you could often see how comrades helped the stragglers’.80 The journey to work sometimes offered the prisoners the opportunity to try to obtain food, although the price for doing so was considerable. Annie Kathleen Le Cheminant, a British subject from Guernsey who voluntarily went to work on Alderney for the Germans, was ‘pounced on by Russian workers’ attempting to obtain the biscuits she was carrying.81 These prisoners, like many others she encountered, were beaten by the SS

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guards with their rifle butts. Long walks and poor treatment en route to work was also reported by some OT prisoners.82 The SS prisoners were forced to undertake the most feared tasks. From March 1943 until the end of April 1944, they had laid 1,300 m of cable trench across the island, a gargantuan assignment which placed them in extreme danger.83 A regular contingent of SS prisoners worked in the harbour, unloading ships, constructing tank barriers and carrying out expansion and repair works.84 Here, it was not so much the work that was harrowing, but rather the treatment they received. Several German officers report that these workers were regularly beaten.85 They were forbidden to have contact with the OT labourers who also worked there, although in some cases they were able to share information regarding the atrocities in the concentration camp.86 Witnesses recall that a guard named Sonn was particularly brutal in the way that he beat the prisoners, using a stick and aiming ‘mostly at their legs’.87 When questioned by his fellow guards, Sonn allegedly said it was none of their business.88 Oberleutnant Hey and his frigate captain Baselov were ‘regular guests of the SS officers of the Silt [sic] camps, in the SS barracks and vice versa’.89 Other German soldiers witnessed how prisoners were beaten so badly while working in the harbour that they collapsed, covered in blood.90 Labourer John Dalmau also described shooting incidents that occurred there whenever the bombing of a German town took place.91 The relationship between the SS and the OT leadership was somewhat strained due to competing jurisdictions and differing opinions regarding the effectiveness of each other’s workers. Although SS BB1 were technically in the service of the OT, the OT leadership was only allowed to provide technical instruction to the labourers, as per an agreement made between the Army Engineers, OT Einsatzgruppe West and the SS leaders in France; all other communication was forbidden. Members of the German military were also forbidden to have any contact with the SS prisoners, even when they were building the emplacements in which they were stationed.92 The SS retained responsibility for guarding and punishing these prisoners and could control, and be violent towards, both SS and OT workers when they worked at the same site. As early as 30 March 1943, the head of the Chief Construction Office in Cherbourg (Oberbauleiter Cardinal) wrote to Einsatzgruppe West requesting that the OT ‘German frontline workers and the Russian and French workforce’ leave the island and the size of the SS BB1 be increased to 3,000 workers.93 This, he claimed, was due to the fact that members of this ­building brigade on Alderney were a more effective workforce: ‘the performance of people is considerably greater than the Russians [OT workers] as they are well disciplined and very energetic’.94 The presence

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of specialist engineers, foremen, technical staff and a doctor amongst the group was seen as a particular advantage, as was the fact that governing these prisoners was easier, given the discipline instilled by frontline staff and the fact that ‘escape is impossible’.95 The proposal to exchange OT for SS workers does not appear to have become a reality. However, recent research by Maxwell S. Meredith has demonstrated that there might be some credence to the SS’s claims that their labourers produced higher quality outputs. After testing the anti-tank wall at Longy Common with a Schmidt rebound hammer, Meredith demonstrated that some of the inner sections of this wall, reportedly completed by SS labourers, had a higher compressive strength (and were thus of better quality) than the outer sections built by OT labourers, thus suggesting that the SS labourers might have had access to higher grade materials and/or were more proficient in construction.96 Tensions between the SS and OT escalated when Leo Ackermann was appointed Bauleiter in August 1943 and demanded that the OT have greater control over the workers. He submitted several complaints to the leadership in France regarding the treatment of prisoners by the SS (Chapter 4).97 After liberation, he stated: I often saw how the brigade leaders beat their own subordinates because they did not work fast enough. Each time I brought this to the attention of the SS management, and stated that such treatment of prisoners was not acceptable, but no attention was paid to my remarks. After this I sent a protest to the Head Quarters. They told me that a letter had been sent to the management of the SS construction brigade. But again no measures were taken, and I created for myself enemies within the SS management and they began to threaten me with a military court martial, and even arrested me because I stood up for the concentration camp prisoners.98

In December 1943, SS BB1 prisoners were actually shipped back to France as a result of Ackermann’s protests.99 However, after an intervention by Franz Xaver Dorsch, they were transported back to Alderney on 7 January 1944 and the 319 Infantry Division and Sappers HQ II/II took over Ackermann’s role of governing and dispatching them during working hours.100 A report written by SS-Hauptsturmführer List (the Commandant of Sylt concentration camp) stated that ‘on 8.1.44 the return of the Baubrigade to the island took place. Their deployment is now carried out directly by the Wehrmacht’.101 At this time, Oberstleutnant Müller 'announced that from that moment he would answer for the prisoners and therefore demand higher work productivity’.102 In a letter dated 1944, List noted that SS BB1 were working across ten different worksites.103



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Leaving their mark As a response to the conditions in which they found themselves, labourers and members of the German administration left behind material traces of their existence and experiences. While some were large-scale, such as the fortifications they built, others were on a smaller scale and existed as a result of mark-making practices.104 Many of these marks were recorded during archaeological surveys of occupation sites on Alderney and they are described at length by Sturdy Colls et al.105 In some cases, these marks were made passively during the process of construction or repair, such as the tool marks visible in the many tunnels that survive on the island. Others were deliberately created for a variety of reasons. An investigation of the large anti-tank wall that runs along large sections of the south coast of Alderney (Figure 2.7) revealed dates etched into the top of each section (Figure 2.9). The earliest complete visible date is 16 April 1942 (Figure 2.9a) and the last, 26 October 1943 (Figure 2.9b). Initially, it was assumed that these were construction dates of sections of the fortification. However, after an assessment of RAF aerial photographs was completed, it was clear that most of the wall had been erected by 30 September 1942. Therefore, these dates must represent another milestone deemed worthy of permanent marking, perhaps the final construction works on each section for example.106 Due to the varied information contained in the inscriptions and the fact that the labourers working on construction projects changed frequently, it is likely that different sets of engravings were created by different individuals potentially from different countries, evidenced by the use of different date separators (Figure 2.9c). These marks provide important information about the nature of the work that the men were forced to do, the time periods in which they did it and the location on the island where they were working. Sometimes these marks have the benefit of supporting documentary sources but in other cases they can provide information not available elsewhere. In some cases, the marks that were created were not connected to the construction process but rather they took the form of bodily imprints, messages and other traces of human existence.107 Some may have been deliberate, others accidental. Handprints and footwear impressions can be found on and within the concrete of several fortifications, providing powerful ephemeral traces of selected moments when the construction works were taking place (Figure 2.10). Other inscriptions – created in wet concrete, dry concrete and brick – were certainly deliberate and sometimes involved the use of fingernails, literally resulting in body parts becoming elements of the fortifications on which they were created.108

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Figure 2.9  The a) first and b) last clearly visible dates inscribed into the concrete of the anti-tank wall on Longy Common, and c) another example showing the use of alternative date separators

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Figure 2.10  Examples of foot and hand prints in concrete a) in a bunker near Fort Tourgis and b) in an underground structure in Sylt concentration and labour camp

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Names – of which a minimum of forty-nine were recorded by the authors during an archaeological survey on Alderney – made it possible to document some of the labourers who were transported there and offer direct reminders about those who were forced to build the fortifications into which they were inscribed. For example, an inscription by Kostia (Konstantin) Beliakov in which he proclaimed ‘Kostia (Konstantin) Beliakov worked here 1944’ provided the starting point to discover: (a) that Beliakov had been sent to Alderney as part of SS  BB1, (b) that he had worked on the repairs at Fort Grosnez (a military fort on the north coast of Alderney) in 1944 and (c) that he was subsequently deported to Sollstedt (a subcamp of Buchenwald concentration camp) in September 1944, most likely after leaving Alderney the previous June.109 A number of other workers, presumably in the same working party (given the proximity and similarity in the inscription text style), are also documented in the same area of wet concrete at Fort Grosnez (Figure 2.11): Sergei Shcherbakov, Nikolai Michailenko and (likely Hans) Haase, all of whom were also probably transported from Alderney to Sollstedt.110 Nikolai Michailenko was most likely in a subcamp of Buchenwald called Halle from July 1942 until February 1943 before being transferred to Neuengamme and then Alderney. These names become a form of testimony, acknowledging the existence of individuals in a given location at a specific moment in time, and reflecting a desire ‘to materially

Figure 2.11 Names of SS BB1 workers which were discovered inscribed into concrete at Fort Grosnez

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acknowledge one’s presence’ in a location’.111 Thus, they provide powerful reminders of the human cost of the forced labour programme. Determining the exact identity of workers who inscribed their names can, of course, be extremely difficult when only partial names and dates exist. Likewise, even when full names were provided, it was often difficult to identify exactly which individual the name related to when multiple people in archive searches had the same name. The names documented on Alderney provide additional information, however, beyond the identities of the individuals. For example, the majority were written in Cyrillic text – something which would probably have prevented the German guards from identifying who had inscribed them, due to a lack of language proficiency.112 Likewise, the presence of names etched into brick at Fort Albert – something that would have taken a long time to achieve – suggests that some of the workers must have been left unattended long enough to complete the etchings; thus providing details that are absent in testimonies. Although it is difficult to determine whether all such marks were left with the intention of asserting a presence to the outside world, their creation can be viewed as an act of resistance as the creation of ‘graffiti’ was forbidden and carried harsh penalties.113 As Janez Gerčar and Uroš Košir have argued, graffiti can be seen as the ‘mirror of suffering’ and as ‘a medium for a transfer of thoughts, feelings, messages and memories’, particularly during times of conflict and confinement.114 One can certainly imagine, given the conditions on Alderney, that some of the labourers would have wanted to proclaim their existence on the island in case of future investigations into the events, or to help others determine their whereabouts; certainly, this is a trend that has been observed at many sites of confinement and conflict around the world.115 Other marks recorded on Alderney were more practical. Several date tallies and calendars were found etched into prison cells at Fort Tourgis. Although it is difficult to determine whether these were all created during the occupation, the fact that calendars existed containing the first letters of German days of the week, coupled with the fact that the fort was known to have been used to house military personnel arrested by the Germans and by the British after liberation, suggests that these could be from this period.116 Similar etchings can be seen in the main prison in St Anne where court-martialled German soldiers were held during the German occupation (Chapter 6). Regarding the German garrison on Alderney, they too left marks which provide an insight into their life. Official markings – mainly in the form of military motifs and slogans – can be found on and in many of the f­ortifications where personnel were stationed. The slogans speak of heroism, gallantry in the face of difficult circumstances and allegiance to

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Germany above all else. One such example can be found at Fort Grosnez in the form of a quote from Prussian army Field Marshall August Graf (Count) Neidhardt von Gneisenau (1760–1831):

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Laßt den Schwächling angstvoll zagen! Wer um Hohes kämpft muß wagen; Leben gilt es oder Tod! (Let the weakling struggle fearfully! Who fights for God must dare. It is life or death!). Gneisenau

Outwardly, the impression that the Germans seemingly wished to present was of a ‘well disciplined’ group that had ‘faith in their defences’.117 However, testimonies and material traces found since the liberation of Alderney suggest that life for the regular German soldiers on the island was much less exhilarating than these markings suggest. As described earlier in this chapter, many testimonies speak of the boredom and sense of hopelessness experienced by members of the German garrison, as well as the fact that the men were frustrated by the lack of military action. While these feelings are not represented in the known archaeological record, potential evidence of boredom (or at least wistful doodling) exists in the form of marks around various gun emplacements in Fort Albert (Figure 2.12).118 Some indicators of leisure activities engaged in by the German garrison are represented in murals and graffiti within various fortifications and domestic residences. Murals within Fort Tourgis (which were most

Figure 2.12  A selection of marks likely made by German military personnel stationed on Alderney

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likely created by German military personnel) show romantic scenes, fairytale castles and comedic elements, perhaps indicating the desire for the simple pleasures of domestic life and their homeland (Figure 2.13).119 After liberation, Pantcheff noted a wide range of murals and items in the garden of

Figure 2.13 Murals (bottom) within Fort Tourgis (top) most likely created by German military personnel. These images were taken in 2011. The murals are much more faded today

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‘one of the more discretely isolated houses at the east end of the Island’ which offered an insight into the sexual pleasures enjoyed by Island Commandant Hoffmann and his fellow soldiers.120 In addition to testimonies which describe the unregulated use of prostitutes and live-in partners by members of the German garrison, this evidence offers an insight into the needs and activities of at least some of the military personnel stationed on Alderney. Of course, many marks made by the labourers, their overseers and the German military will have been destroyed since the occupation years. The demolition of the camps during the war and immediately after, for example, means that any marks made within the living accommodation no longer exist. Similarly, only a small sample of the fortifications on the island built by the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers have been examined archaeologically in order to determine exactly what survives; hence, there is potential (and need) for further research.121

Objects of occupation, persecution and resistance In their daily lives (in the camps and at work), the forced, slave and lessthan-slave labourers would have encountered a range of material culture. Objects – including tools, domestic items, clothing, personal belongings and weapons – would have been owned, traded, stolen and manufactured. Based on the testimonies of some of the workers who survived Nazi persecution, it is known that most had few personal belongings upon arrival to the island and those that they did have were confiscated. Many had already been forced to relinquish them in the camps in which they had been held before Alderney. The watch belonging to Wasil Dseruk, an SS BB1 prisoner on Alderney, is the only known belonging of an Alderney inmate to survive in the ITS archives.122 It exists because it was taken from Dseruk during his incarceration in Buchenwald, where he was held prior to his arrival on Alderney (Figure 2.14). Officially, once on Alderney, neither the OT or SS workers were permitted to acquire personal belongings and they were only allowed their issued items or clothing. However, black market activities meant that some workers were able to acquire certain products.123 Unfortunately, owing to the clean-up operations after the war, the ­dispersal of objects into private collections and the lack of archaeological excavations on Alderney, objects related to the occupation are few and far between in comparison to other evidence types. Most objects that are known about are, perhaps unsurprisingly, military in nature. The Alderney Museum, for example, has an occupation display and archive primarily consisting of weapons, uniforms, badges, insignia and other military objects (Figures 2.15 and 2.16). Mixed domestic items – such as bowls, plates and

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Figure 2.14 A pocket watch belonging to Wasil Dseruk, an SS BB1 prisoner on Alderney, which was confiscated during his entry to Buchenwald concentration camp

Figure 2.15 Some of the occupation-era objects displayed in the Alderney Museum

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Figure 2.16 Objects relating to the occupation period which are housed in the Alderney Museum archive: a Wehrmacht belt buckle (top left), a German mine warning flag (top right), a wooden handgun (bottom left) and a dagger with the inscription ‘Alderney Kriegsweihnacht (War Christmas) 1944’ (bottom right)

cutlery – are marked with the OT insignia but it is unclear whether they belonged to the guards or the labourers, owing to a lack of information relating to provenance. Two items of particular interest are a concentration camp prisoner uniform and a pair of wooden clogs found under the floorboards at Fort Albert immediately after liberation which might have been hidden there as relics by a German soldier.124 A leather whip owned by an SS guard and shovels represent other material culture that can be attributed to the ill-treatment of forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers. The limited amount of material culture of this nature is problematic, particularly when the potential of such items to reveal new information about the nature of past events is considered. Saunders argues that ‘in a materiality-based view of the world, an individual’s social being is determined by their relationship to the objects that represent them – the object becoming a metaphor for the self, a way of knowing oneself through things’.125 If we do not have these objects, we lack important insights into individuals’ ‘social being’. Likewise, in Holocaust studies, a recent volume on material culture and Nazi camps highlights the importance of such objects to camp and worker dynamics, the ability to survive and resist, black-market activities, the retention of hope and sentimental connections



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to the past/family members to name but a few themes.126 No requests by the authors to undertake archaeological excavations at the camps or to recover artefacts visible on the surface (and hence at risk) have been approved by the local Alderney government (Chapter 11).

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Conclusions The German occupation of Alderney and accompanying fortification programme resulted in the creation of a military landscape. However, Alderney also became a landscape of suffering due to the use of forced and slave labour.127 As individual and collective structures and traces, the ­fortifications, raw materials and objects generated provide proof of the crimes perpetrated against the labourers. They also illustrate the Nazis’ desire to retain a piece of British territory. As these material traces owe their very existence to the exploitation and suffering of those who were forced to make them, they should be viewed as the products of forced and slave labour. The workers, their overseers and the German personnel stationed on Alderney had complex relationships and interactions with the landscape, both natural and artificial. These interactions shaped the nature of their daily lives, variably contributing to or easing the sense of control, violence, fear, monotony and enjoyment felt by individuals. The landscape was and is also home to a wide range of other material culture, which includes objects used and made by the labourers and their overseers, as well as the subtle marks of their existence that they deliberately or accidentally left behind. Although the assemblage we currently have is incomplete, by examining the material traces of the fortification programme on Alderney, important new insights and ‘proof of life’ have been obtained.128 In drawing this section of the book to a close, it is important to reflect on the purpose of the labour programme in Alderney, although this topic is revisited several times in the context of life and death in the chapters that follow. The evidence presented in this chapter and in Chapter 1 has clearly illustrated that, although it may initially appear that the OT and SS workers sent to Alderney were employed by construction organisations whose goal was to solely meet the demands of highest echelons of the Nazi administration with regards to military preparedness, doing so offered many ­opportunities to punish and, in some cases, remove so-called enemies of the Third Reich. As historian Cord Pagenstecher has argued, ‘with a brutal mixture of racist ideology and economic efficiency, Nazi Germany created one of the largest systems of forced labor in history’.129 The system simultaneously facilitated military and industrial developments, and the illtreatment (and in some cases extermination) of a wide range of individuals

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deemed to be enemies of the Third Reich.130 The treatment of labourers on Alderney emulated this wider trend. It is inaccurate to argue, as some have done, that the sole purpose of sending all labourers to Alderney was to exterminate them but, if they died in the course of their work, their overseers were not usually overly concerned. As one former OT labourer who became a British informant recalled: our term of usefulness was generally accepted by the Germans to be six months. After that we were expended. They tried to get out from us every ounce of labour and energy they could on as little food as possible. If we managed to carry on for another few months well and good, and if not all went to schedule.131

Particularly in the early period, many workers did not survive this long as the OT attempted (and often failed) to strike the right balance between oppression and productive labour. Workers employed under the governance of the SS were subject to similarly harsh conditions, but their overseers were generally more experienced in maintaining tight (but not always deadly) control over labourers while ensuring maximum production. The desire to keep the workers alive often fluctuated as the demand for outputs increased and there were some cases where OT labourers were sent for a period of ‘prolonged rest’ in St Malo and Cherbourg before they returned to Alderney.132 Additionally, some overseers were removed from the island throughout the occupation when productivity dipped and mortality rates increased (Chapter 3 and 5). Spoerer and Fleischhacker have suggested that ‘only the German economy’s urgent need of manpower retarded their [the labourers] immediate and complete destruction’ and this appears to apply in Alderney, particularly with regards to Eastern European workers and Jews.133 That said, as the war progressed, Alderney also became somewhere to send enemies for punishment and the harsh conditions there were recognised at various levels of the Nazi administration (Chapter 4). As already noted, the nationality, religion and skillset of a labourer influenced the value placed upon their life. Alderney became somewhere where ‘Untermensch’ could be quietly destroyed, first mentally and physiologically, and then literally in death. While many died from injuries, disease and ill-treatment at work or in the camps, others were executed for perceived crimes irrespective of their ‘value’ as workforce for the fortification programme. As further demonstrated in Chapters 3–6, individual guards also often modified the treatment of labourers for their own gain or because of their own sadistic tendencies, resulting in appalling living and working conditions. Thus, the seemingly contradictory and ever-changing purposes of the forced and slave labour programme – switching between (and often making coexist)



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­ eaningful production and punishment/death through work – thus became m yet another mechanism that contributed to the torturous environment in which the labourers found themselves.134 Part II discusses how treatment of the labourers at work was compounded by the treatment they received in the camps in which they were housed; treatment which was equally diverse and tumultuous.

Notes 1 A. Hall, ‘Revealed: How the Nazis helped German companies Bosch, Mercedes, Deutsche Bank and VW get VERY rich using 300,000 concentration camp slaves’, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2663635/Revealed-How-Nazis-hel ped-German-companies-Bosch-Mercedes-Deutsche-Bank-VW-VERY-richusing-slave-labor.html (accessed 14 June 2018). 2 M. Leonard, ‘Assaulting the Senses: Life and Landscape Beneath the Western Front’, in N. Saunders and P. Cornish (eds), Modern Conflict and the Senses (London: Routledge, 2017), p. 50. 3 E.C. Casella, ‘Written on the Walls: Inmate Graffiti within Places of Confinement’, in A.M. Beisaw and J.G. Gibb (eds), The Archaeology of Institutional Life (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2009), pp. 172–186. 4 A. Maddrell and Sidaway, J.D. (eds), Deathscapes. Spaces for Death, Dying, Mourning and Remembrance (London and New York: Routledge, 2010). 5 T. Davenport, Festung Alderney (Jersey: Barnes Publishing Limited, 2003), p. 7. 6 J.E. Kaufmann, H.W. Kaufmann, A. Jankovič-Potočnik and Vladimir Tonič. The Atlantic Wall: History and Guide (Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2011), loc. 1353. 7 JA, L/D/25/D1/5/1, ‘Report by Graf von Schmettow on the Channel Islands 1940–45’, undated. 8 Ibid. 9 T.X.H. Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island (Sussex: Phillimore, 1981), p. 9. For examples, see Chapters 1 and 5 in this volume. 10 De Nardi has stressed the importance of understanding how individuals feel in landscapes of conflict, in S. De Nardi, ‘Emplacing the Italian Resistance: The Dystopian Fight Against Fascism and Nazism (1943–1945)’, in N. Saunders and P. Cornish (eds), Modern Conflict and the Senses (London: Routledge, 2017), p. 145. 11 For examples, see: TNA, TS 26/89, ‘EMS Postal and Telegraph Censorship. Transit Mail. Summary of a letter written by a former Russian slave worker in Alderney’, 30 May 1945; Georgi Kondakov, in B. Bonnard, The Island of Dread: Story of Georgi Ivanovitch Kondakov (Stroud: Amberley Publishing Limited, 1991), p. 7; Various statements in TNA, WO311/11–13 and GARF Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167; AG-NG, 1515, ‘Ernst Fischel’, undated.

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12 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 55. 13 Kaufmann et al., The Atlantic Wall. 14 Davenport, Festung Alderney, p. 7. 15 N. Saunders, ‘Bodies of Metal, Shells of Memory: “Trench Art” and the Great War Recycled’, Journal of Material Culture 5:1 (2000), 55; N.J. Saunders, ‘Materiality, Space and Distance in the First World War’, in N.J. Saunders and P. Cornish (eds), Modern Conflict and the Senses (London: Routledge, 2017), p. 33. 16 For examples, see Kirill Nevrov in M. Bunting, The Model Occupation: The Channel Islands Under German Rule, 1940–1945 (London: HarperCollins, 1995), pp. 165–167; Albert Eblagon: Interview with Solomon Steckoll; Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 85. 17 Kirill Nevrov, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 166. 18 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 62. 19 For example, TNA, TS 26/89, ‘EMS Postal and Telegraph Censorship. Transit Mail. Summary of a letter written by a former Russian slave worker in Alderney’, 30 May 1945. 20 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Forced Worker’s Testimonies: Albert Porthugine’, 2009, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/occupation_memorial/pdfs/forcedworkertestimony.pdf (accessed 5 December 2008). 21 Leonard, ‘Assaulting the Senses’, p. 53. 22 Ibid., p. 43. 23 Georgi Kondakov in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 85. 24 For further discussion regarding conflict and smell, see F. Nicolis, ‘The Scent of Snow at Punta Linke: First World War Sites as Sense-scapes, Trentino, Italy’, in N. Saunders and P. Cornish (eds), Modern Conflict and the Senses (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 61–75 and D. Dendooven, ‘Trench Crap: Excremental Aspects of the First World War’, in N. Saunders and P. Cornish (eds), Modern Conflict and the Senses (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 183–195. 25 Examples include instances described by Kondakov where a man was so covered in lice that it made his skin raw and seeing bodies being eaten by rats in Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 45. Many inmates experienced a sense of hopelessness that they could not help their fellow labourers and experienced lasting effects of incarceration. For an example see, IWM, MISC 2826 189/2, Nr. 4390, ‘Interview with Gordon Prigent, undated. 26 Maddrell and Sidaway, Deathscapes. 27 N.J. Saunders, ‘Materiality, Space and Distance in the First World War’, in Saunders and Cornish, Modern Conflict and the Senses, p. 32. 28 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 65. 29 Ibid. 30 AZ, Interview za199, Kukuła, Sylwester, 7 November 2005, https://archiv. zwangsarbeit-archiv.de. 31 For similar examples from the World War 1 trenches, see Leonard, ‘Assaulting the Senses’, pp. 43–60.

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32 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 63; An incident where a British plane dropped four bombs is described in IWM, MISC 2826 – 189/1, Nr. 4442, ‘Interview with Schmidt’, undated. Further details about air attacks can be found in B. Bonnard, Alderney at War 1939–1945 (Stroud: The History Press, 2009), pp. 111–114. 33 IWM, MISC 2826 – 189/1, Nr. 4444, ‘Interview with Peter Markert’, undated; TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944. 34 Ibid.; G. Nebel, Bei den nördlichen Hesperiden (Wuppertal: Marees Verlag, 1946), p. 81. 35 Nebel, Bei den nördlichen Hesperiden, p. 186. 36 Ibid.; C. Cruickshank, The German Occupation of the Channel Islands (Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 1990), p. 167. 37 IWM, MISC 2826 – 189/1, Nr. 4444, ‘Interview with Peter Markert’, undated; IWM, MISC 2826 – 189/1, Nr. 4445 ‘Interview with Kassens’, undated; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Dienstreise’ (‘Business Trip’), 30 March 1944. 38 Packe and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story, p. 47. 39 Ibid., p. 48. 40 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Werner Hohne’, 21 May 194; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by PW KP/256658 Gefr. Johann Burbach’, 10 July 1945. 41 M.T. Starzmann, ‘The Materiality of Forced Labor: An Archaeological Exploration of Punishment in Nazi Germany’, International Journal of Historical Archaeology 19, 660. 42 IWM, MISC 2826, 189/2, Nr. 4390 and 4391, ‘Interview with Gordon Prigent’, undated. 43 For the laundry, see ZA, Interview za199, Kukuła, Sylwester, 7 November 2005; For the harbour, see Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 49. 44 Private Collection of Caroline Sturdy Colls, ‘Interview with Marian Hawling’; IWM, MISC 2826 – 189/2, Nr. 3376, ‘Interview with Ted Misiewiec’, undated. Because the lack of food was such a problem on Alderney, other labourers were forced to catch cats and dogs and eat them, according to AG-NG, 1274, ‘Helmut Knöller’, 27 October 1944. 45 V. Tiurin (ed.), Tiurin Victor Nikolaievich as Founder Of Agricultural Geographic Scientific School in the South of Russia. К 90-летнему юбилею Виктора Николаевича Тюрина (On the occasion of the 90 anniversary of Viktor Nikolaevich Tiurin) (Krasnodar: Kuban State University, 2014). 46 Much of this profile is a summary of Tiurin’s testimony which featured in Territoriya avtomatizatsii, 3 May 2015, p. 17, unless otherwise stated. 47 Tiurin recalls that the railway workers raised their left hand and clenched their fists in solidarity with the Russian prisoners. 48 Tiurin (ed.), Tiurin Victor Nikolaievich, p. 5. 49 Mr Tiurin, pers. comm.

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50 Ibid. 51 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 50. 52 Davenport, Festung Alderney, p. 45. 53 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 63; another example of these ‘concrete pours’ is described by Gordon Prigent in IWM, MISC 2826, 189/2, Nr. 4390 and 4391, ‘Interview with Gordon Prigent’, undated and in AG-NG, 1515, ‘Ernst Fischel’, undated. 54 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 63. 55 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Jacques Pierre Chansalme’, 18 May 1945. 56 Kirill Nevrov in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 94. 57 See also Davenport, Festung Alderney, p. 89. 58 M. Roberts, ‘Alderney Holocaust and Slave Labour Trail’ (2014), www.jtrails. org.uk/trails/alderney-holocaust-and-slave-labour-trail (accessed 6 June 2019). 59 Barney Winder, pers. comm. 60 Rachel Bolton-King, pers. comm. 61 Ibid. 62 W. David. Archäologische Ausgrabungen imn der ehemaligen SS-Schießanlage bei Heberthausen (München: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit¨at Munchen, 2003). 63 Piers Secunda, pers. comm. 64 Georgi Kondakov’, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 85. 65 Ibid. 66 TNA, WO 208/3629, ‘Extract of Statement made by PW KP. 256511 UFF2. H Ahrburg’, 2 July 1945. 67 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 45. 68 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of Wilfred Henry Dupont’, 1945; IWM, MISC 2826 189/2, Nr. 4390, ‘Interview with Gordon Prigent’, undated; P. Fort, ‘Alderney atrocities’, Western Mail, 21 May 1945. 69 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Testimony of Frank Alfred Bullock’, 1945; Camp prisoners worked on Gutschof farm alongside Jewish and civilian prisoners from Norderney according to IA, AQ875/03, ‘Testimony of Wilhem Richter’, July 1944. 70 P. Sanders, The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation 1940–45 (Jersey: Jersey Heritage Trust, 2005), p. 206; IWM, MISC 2826 189/2, Nr. 4390, Interview with Gordon Prigent, undated; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of Wilfred Henry Dupont’, 1945; TNA, WO311/12, Testimony of Frank Alfred Bullock, 1945. 71 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Samuel Walker’, undated; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Bosque Guzman’, 17 May 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of John Edwards Beattie’, 1945. 72 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Testimony of Ivan Drony’, 1945. 73 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1, Tape 4496, ‘Testimony of Otto Spehr’, undated. 74 ‘Georgi Kondakov’, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 33. 75 M. Spoerer and J. Fleischhacker, ‘Forced Laborers in Nazi Germany: Categories, Numbers, and Survivors’, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 33:2 (2010), 175.

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76 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. The OT Bauleiter when the SS arrived on Alderney was Dr Otto Panzer but he was replaced by Leo Ackermann from 1 September 1943 owing to illness. TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945. 77 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 77. 78 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1, Tape 4496, ‘Testimony of Otto Spehr’, undated. 79 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Mr Prigent’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/ pdf/prigent.pdf (accessed 14 April 2009). 80 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Testimony of Senior Cavalry Sergeant Major Fritz Veeman’, 7 June 1945. 81 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Miss Annie Kathleen Le Cheminant’, 2 June 1945. 82 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Testimony of Reuven Freidman’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/pdf/freidman.pdf (accessed 5 December 2008). 83 ITS, 1.1.0.2./82342179–82342181, ‘Einsatz der SS-Baubrigaden’, 29 April 1944. 84 Ibid; ITS, 1.1.0.2./82342175–82342176, ‘Einsatz der SS-Baubrigaden’, 14 February 1944. 85 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Statement of Otto Tauber’, 7 June 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Werner Trautwetter’, 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Horst Engel’, 21 May 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Rudi Wolf’, 1945. 86 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Hans Schenk’, 21 May 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Ferdinand Waas’, 25 May 1945. 87 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Werner Trautwetter’, 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of Lorenz Gmeinder’, 20th May 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Rudi Wolf’, 1945. 88 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement Made by O/St. Gefr Friedrich Hausmann’, 1 July 1945. 89 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Statement of Otto Tauber’, 7 June 1945. 90 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Josef Kaiser’, 1945. 91 J. Dalmau, Slave Worker in the Channel Islands (Guernsey: Guernsey Press Co Ltd, 1945), p. 19; See also Chapter 9. 92 TNA, WO311/677, ‘Translation of Statement by Mar. Art. Erns Bauman B202855’, 20 September 1945. 93 ITS, 2.2.3./82361204–82361205, ‘Einsatz der SS-Baubrigade auf Adolf, 30 March 1943. 94 Ibid. 95 Ibid. 96 M.S. Meredith, ‘Hitler’s Channel Fortress: Testing an Experimental Method on a Nazi Megastructure’, Journal of Conflict Archaeology (2017), DOI: 10.1 080/15740773.2017.1341704. 97 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945. 98 Ibid.

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99 BA-L, Zdl IV 404 AR-Z 57/67, ‘Report by Curt Hille’, p. 250; BA-B, NS19/14, ‘SS-WVHA Report No. 6’, p. 33. 100 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann, 8 June 1945; IA AQ875/03, ‘A Report on the Crimes Committed in the “Alderney” Camp During the Period from 1942–1945’, 23 June 1945’ AG-NG, 703, ‘Reinhold Meyer’, 30 October 1964. 101 ITS, 1.1.0.2./82342175–82342176, ‘Einsatz der SS-Baubrigaden’, 14 February 1944. 102 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by a) O/Gefr Georg Preukschat b) Bruno Zietlow in Alderney since 20 November 1945’, 1945. 103 AG-NG, Thematische Sammlung, KZ Neuengamme Aussenlager. I. SSBaubrigade Alderney (Mannerlager), ‘Personalverfügung: Hauptsturmführer Maximillian List’, 25 February 1944. 104 C. Sturdy Colls, Holocaust Archaeologies: Approaches and Future Directions (New York: Springer, 2015), pp. 265–289. 105 A detailed study of these marks, recorded during archaeological surveys in 2015, 2016 and 2017, is provided in C. Sturdy Colls, R. Bolton-King, K. Colls, T. Harris and C. Weston, ‘Proof of Life: Mark-Making Practices on the Island of Alderney’, European Journal of Archaeology 22:2 (2018), 232–254. 106 Meredith, ‘Hitler’s Channel Fortress’, pp. 3–4. 107 Sturdy Colls et al., ‘Proof of Life’, pp. 232–254. 108 J. Gerčar. Begunje (Llublijana: Založba Borec, 1975), p. 70. ITS, 1.1.5.3/5549032, ‘Personal File of Konstantin Bjelakow’; ITS, 109 1.1.30./3411088, ‘List of Transfer from 1. SS Baubrigade Island Alderney to Sollstedt’, 1944. This journey is described further in Chapter 10. 110 See Sturdy Colls et al., ‘Proof of Life’, p. 241; ITS 6.3.3.2/112706273, ‘Personal file of Hans Haase’, 1944. 111 E.C. Casella, ‘Enmeshed Inscriptions: Reading the Graffiti of Australia's Convict Past’, Australian Archaeology 78 (2014), 109; E.C. Casella, ‘Written on the Walls: Inmate Graffiti within Places of Confinement’, in A.M. Beisaw and J.G. Gibb (eds), The Archaeology of Institutional Life (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press), pp. 172–86. 112 Sturdy Colls et al., ‘Proof of Life’, p. 241. 113 U.K. Frederick and A. Clarke, ‘Signs of the Times: Archaeological Approaches to Historical and Contemporary Graffiti’, Australian Archaeology 78 (2014), 54–57. 114 U. Košir, ‘Sounds of Horror: Sensorial Experiences of a Gestapo Prison, Begunje (Slovenia)’, in N. Saunders and P. Cornish (eds), Modern Conflict and the Senses (London: Routledge, 2017), p. 265; Gerčar, Begunje, p. 70. L. McAtackney, ‘Graffiti Revelations and the Changing Meanings of 115 Kilmainham Gaol in (Post) Colonial Ireland’, International Journal of Historical Archaeology 20 (2016), 492–505; Košir, ‘Sounds of Horror’, p. 267; J.A. Ballesta and A. Rodríguez Gallardo, ‘Camposancos: una “Imprenta” de los Presos del Franquismo, Complutum 19:2 (2008), 205; Casella, ‘Written on the Walls’, pp. 172–186.

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116 Sturdy Colls et al., ‘Proof of Life’, p. 242. 117 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944. 118 Sturdy Colls et al., ‘Proof of Life’, p. 244. 119 Ibid., p. 243. 120 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 59. 121 Sturdy Colls et al., ‘Proof of Life’, pp. 232–254. 122 ITS, 1.2.9/108005084, ‘Effekten von Wasil Dseruk’, undated. 123 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944. 124 B. Bonnard, Alderney at War 1939–49 (Stroud: The History Press, 2009), p. 142. 125 Saunders, ‘Materiality, Space and Distance’, p. 30. 126 G. Carr, M.E. Jasinski and C. Theune (eds), Special Issue: ‘The Materiality of Nazi Camps’, International Journal of Historical Archaeology 22:3 (2018). 127 S. Pollack and R. Bernbeck, ‘The Limits of Experience: Suffering, Nazi Forced Labor Camps, and Archaeology’, in Archaeology of the Human Experience. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 27, 1, ed. Michelle Hegmon (2016), 7–21, DOI: 10.1111/APAA.12071. 128 Sturdy Colls et al., ‘Proof of Life’, p. 232. 129 C. Pagenstecher, ‘“We Were Treated Like Slaves”: Remembering Forced Labor for Nazi Germany’, in R. Hörmann and G. Mackenthun, Human Bondage in the Cultural Contact Zone: Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Slavery and its Discourses (Münster: Waxmann, 2010), p. 288. 130 M.T. Starzman, ‘The Materiality of Forced Labor: An Archaeological Exploration of Punishment in Nazi Germany’, International Journal of Historical Archaeology 19 (2015), 648. 131 TNA, WO199/2090A, ‘M.I.19 Report Russian Round-Up. Forced Labour – Prison – Atrocities. RPS 2293’, 25 July 1944; TNA, WO199/2090B, ‘Secret M.I.19 (RPS) 2280. Report. France. Tsarist Intrigues in Paris, 17 July 1944. 132 Ibid. 133 Spoerer and Fleischhacker, p. 171. 134 P. Hayes, ‘Forced And Slave Labor: The State of the Field’, Forced and Slave Labor in Nazi-dominated Europe: Symposium Presentations (2014), United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC, p. 4, www.ushmm. org/m/pdfs/Publication_OP_2004–02.pdf (accessed 5 February 2017).

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Part II Life

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3

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The influx of labourers sent to Alderney during the occupation led to a need for accommodation to house them. When the British military arrived on Alderney in May 1945, they documented the presence of four main camps that the Germans had built for this purpose.1 Borkum, Helgoland, Sylt and Norderney – all named after German Frisian Islands – were constructed at the four corners of the island (Figure 3.1). These camps were erected near to major construction projects that commenced in mid–late 1942 and were governed by the OT (although Sylt and Norderney were later taken over by the SS). Borkum was built in the south-east corner of the island near Longy Bay and several other strategic strongpoints, while Helgoland was set back from a major coastal defence point in the north-west of the island near two major forts where the labourers worked. Sylt was located near to Westbatterie, where Alderney’s largest coastal defence battery would be constructed, and Norderney was built in Saye Bay, adjacent to what would become Bibette Head (Strongpoint Biberkopf) and close to Longy Bay where a huge anti-tank wall was built in 1942–43. Thus, initially at least, the spatial distribution of these camps confirmed their connection to the labour programme. But what was life like for the labourers living in these camps? How did their experiences evolve as the occupation progressed? Although witnesses have recalled the harsh treatment they experienced in Helgoland, Sylt and Norderney, few studies have documented in detail how these camps functioned and the role that they played in the persecution of the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers sent to Alderney.2 British investigators did not carry out detailed investigations at these sites, no doubt partly due to the misconception that, being OT labour camps, they were less oppressive than their SS-ran counterparts. Except for Borkum, all these camps were partially or entirely demolished by the time the British arrived, and the sites were redeveloped in the years that followed. Currently, only Sylt is marked by a memorial plaque and this only refers to its time as a concentration camp as opposed to an OT labour camp. Considering this, an evaluation

Figure 3.1  A map showing the main camps on Alderney during the German occupation

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of archival sources, aerial photographs and archaeological evidence was required to reconstruct the appearance, and conditions, of the camps. Through an examination of the architecture and spatiality (utilising aboveground and buried evidence) and with an awareness of the sensory impact of internment within these complexes, it is possible to create a more detailed narrative concerning the daily lives of the inmates.3 This work was done with the aspiration of creating what art historian Paul Jaskot has termed a ‘relational’ history – that is, a narrative of events that foregrounds the stories of those who experienced these sites, even when (given the paucity of first-hand accounts and survivors) those individuals may not be able to speak for themselves.4 This chapter discusses Helgoland, Borkum and Sylt OT camps, while an extended discussion about Sylt concentration camp and Norderney appears in Chapters 4 and 5.

Helgoland labour camp Camp administration and inmates In the north-west corner of Alderney, the Germans built a camp called Helgoland which would ultimately become the second largest OT labour camp on the island. Witness testimonies confirm that the first inmates were Dutchmen, Frenchmen and French women (housed separately).5 Between June and August 1942, inmates designated as ‘Russian’ arrived in Helgoland.6 Whereas some of these workers were Russian, as demonstrated in Chapter 1, this catch-all term was used to describe workers from Ukraine, Belarus and other Soviet territories. Workers from Helgoland were primarily employed in construction and cement works at the nearby forts Platte Saline and Tourgis in the camp’s early stages, and most worked for the Kniffler and Deubau firms throughout the occupation.7 In January 1943, 900 ‘Russians’ and 150 Germans were reportedly housed in the camp.8 In the same month, many inmates of Helgoland were among two groups totalling c.500 labourers due to be evacuated to France on account of ill health.9 However, these efforts resulted in the beaching of both the Franka and Xaver Dorsch in Braye Harbour.10 Inmates were stranded onboard these ships for several days, resulting in starvation, terrible sanitary conditions and the deaths of at least twenty people.11 According to witnesses, those who survived were brought to Helgoland and a further evacuation attempt was then made in February 1943.12 That same month, fifty to sixty ‘Russians’ from Sylt labour camp were sent to Helgoland in preparation for the arrival of SS Baubrigade 1 (SS BB1) and the subsequent transformation of Sylt into a concentration camp (Chapter 4).13 Around forty to fifty prisoners from Norderney, employed by the Kniffler and

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Deubau firms, also arrived at the camp at this time, having been exchanged with Helgoland inmates working for Sager and Wörner.14 Seventy to seventy-five men from Helgoland were sent to SS concentration camp Sylt in the spring of 1943 as punishment for perceived crimes (Chapter 4).15 British investigator Pantcheff estimated that there were 700 ‘Russians’ in Helgoland and 150 German OT workers in September 1943.16 By November 1943, this had risen to 1,040 labourers according to a German report delivered to the OT headquarters in Cherbourg.17 The presence of Jewish prisoners in the camp is confirmed by various sources. Hans Schenk, a navy officer, witnessed how Jews from Helgoland were attacked by the SS towards the end of 1943, while three Soviet OT workers interrogated by MI19 said that Jewish prisoners were transferred from Helgoland to Norderney.18 In a key that accompanied a map produced by British intelligence division MI19 (based on witness testimony), Helgoland was described as the ‘main camp for Jews’.19 However (as discussed in Chapter 5), other documentary sources suggest that many more Jews were housed in Norderney. The first commandant of Helgoland was OT Obertruppführer Bäcker, who was described as a drunk by Alderney resident Robert Oselton.20 He was succeeded by OT Haupttruppführer Johann Hoffmann who appears to have taken over in January 1943 following a camp inspection.21 Witnesses who testified to British investigators stated that Hoffmann knew of the harsh treatment that the labourers received at work, despite his protestations to the contrary, as he visited the construction sites regularly in his car.22 Another commandant reportedly took over Helgoland for the last six months of its operations, but witnesses were unable to provide further details about his identity.23 ‘Russian’ Kapos (prisoner guards) also operated in Helgoland, helping the German administration keep control of the inmates.24

Construction and layout As Helgoland now lies under modern houses, it is necessary to rely on comparisons between aerial photographs, maps and witness testimonies to determine the layout of the camp. This analysis has allowed the different phases of its operations to be visualised, as shown in Figures 3.2 and 3.3. Evidently, Helgoland was constructed sometime between December 1941 and April 1942 (determining the exact date is not possible due to absence of images in the intervening period). Aerial photographs from mid-May 1942 reveal that it initially consisted of a complex of fourteen wooden barracks running parallel to La Route de Picaterre, but it was expanded to the south-east by July 1942, undoubtedly to accommodate the influx of Eastern European workers that occurred at this time (Figure 3.2).25 Based on the

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analysis of aerial photographs, a total of twenty-two buildings appear to have existed when the camp was at its largest (Figure 3.2 and 3.3).26 It had a capacity of around 1,500 inmates.27 The architecture of Helgoland had a considerable impact on the experiences of the inmates housed therein. Some of the most detailed information available about its appearance comes from Commandant Hoffmann. He reported that ‘it is my conviction that many of the Russians who died in Winter [sic] 1942 were also victims of the bad accommodation’.28 This, he believed, was because the wooden barracks were ‘set too low in the ground’ and because the earth embankments around their exteriors (which were supposed to protect them from the wind) made them ‘dark and not properly ventilated’.29 The barracks, which measured c.20–30 × 7 metres, were French army huts which were not built on foundations but rather on short props, resulting in damp rising through the floors. As a result, inmates could not dry their clothes and slept on damp, overcrowded bunk beds with mattresses and pillows which ‘were nothing more than bags made of twisted paper and flannel blankets’.30 In an attempt to improve their conditions, the occupants often tried to stuff their pillows and mattresses with the bracken that grew beneath their huts. The huts were numbered, and different groups of labourers kept in each. Georgi Kondakov, who spent fourteen months in Alderney, reported that when he arrived in August 1942 Huts 6–9 housed ‘Russians’ who were assigned to barracks based on the firms they worked for (Figure 3.2, 6–9).31 Kondakov noted that Hut 6 was divided in half, with ‘Russians’ in one half and ‘Arabs’ in the other. Different figures are provided by witnesses regarding the number of men housed in each barrack; while the former Camp Commandant reported 80–100 men, Kondakov stated that up to 300 people sometimes resided in each building while he was there.32 Owing to the high mortality rate in the camp, Hut 9 (Figure 3.2, 9) was eventually divided in half; the living occupied one side, the dead the other. Kondakov described how ‘every morning a number of motionless bodies could be found in their beds’ and they were then placed into Hut 9.33 The presence of the bodies and the fact that they remained in the camp for days worsened the smells and presence of vermin in the camp. Sometimes, sick prisoners were mistaken for dead and they were also taken there; thus they spent time in close proximity to decomposing corpses (see also Chapter 8).34 After the failed evacuations in January 1943 described earlier, many of the sick inmates that were brought to Helgoland were placed in this hut; some because they had died in transit, others because they were not expected to survive.35 The presence of only one toilet block – ‘a small pit, outfitted with pegs and a crossbar’ – was a regular problem in the camp.36 There was always

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Figure 3.2  The development of Helgoland labour camp during the German occupation

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Figure 3.2  (Continued)

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Figure 3.3  An aerial photograph of Helgoland camp on 23 January 1943

a large queue, caused by the ever-present diarrhoea the men experienced.37 This, coupled with the fact that the concrete tank underneath the toilets was known to overflow, meant that inmates were frequently subjected to what Des Pres has termed ‘excremental assault’, a common feature of many Nazi camps.38 The labourers’ canteen, which had a separate serving hatch for Soviet prisoners to further segregate them from their more ‘privileged’ campmates, was a place of both violence (as the men tried to get more food) and salvation. Although meagre, the food acquired here meant the difference between life and death, and in an effort to survive, the men also used the canteen as a ‘place where bargaining and exchange of different natural products took place’.39 However, the penalties for being caught undertaking such acts were severe and even asking for more food led to harsh beatings that sometimes resulted in death.40 According to Hoffmann, Helgoland had no fence, which supposedly made it easier for men to come and go, and made it difficult for the camp administration to keep track of the number of inmates.41 However, Kondakov recalls how he cut the barbed wire around the camp to escape to a nearby piggery to acquire food, suggesting that some sort of boundary must have existed and this is confirmed by aerial photographs.42 The camp also had gateposts and a large metal sign with its name in gothic script, illustrating that an official entrance also existed (Figure 3.4).43 Upon arrival, labourers were registered here and they were given a number and

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Figure 3.4  The surviving gateposts of Helgoland labour camp in 2010

information about the firm they would work for (Table 1.1). They were also photographed (Figure 3.5).44

Treatment of inmates Ill-treatment and violence were commonplace in Helgoland throughout all periods of its operation, although it is possible to identify several phases aligned to two separate camp commandants, and before and after an inspection of the camp in the winter of 1942/1943.45 Under Bäcker, the Dutchmen and French men and women housed in the camp in its first months of operation were treated better than the Eastern European prisoners who arrived from June 1942 onwards.46 Consistent with Nazi policy across Europe, Soviet inmates received meagre rations, and their treatment was ‘cold and correct’ as mandated.47 Many of these men arrived already in a state of ill health as the Germans’ treatment of Soviet prisoners had worsened in the spring and summer of 1942, and their condition rapidly deteriorated (Chapter 1).48 Others arrived healthy but quickly declined

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Figure 3.5  The registration photograph of Alexandr Rodin, a labourer housed in Helgoland

because of the conditions experienced in Helgoland – a fact that is evident in photographs taken before and after their arrival (Figure 3.6; Profile 13). German navy man, Josef Kranzer, described how ‘Russian’ prisoners from Helgoland working in the harbour looked ‘very thin and hungry’ and wore inadequate clothing.49 Inmates usually received one loaf of bread between five, 20 g of butter (three times a week only) and thin soup.50 The lack of food and poor sanitation in the camp led to various illnesses, including outbreaks of dysentery, throughout the autumn and winter of 1942. Medical treatment in Helgoland was minimal. A sick bay for minor cases existed in the camp and, for two months, a Jewish doctor visited sick inmates. However, sick or injured workers commonly received no medical assistance, or were sent to the hospital at Norderney.51 Lice and fleas were a common problem and they feature prominently in a number of postliberation testimonies. In November 1942, Alexandr Rodin recalled how the lice were bigger than wild strawberries, while Kondakov describes how a fellow labourer Eugenii (or Zhenia) died after parasites caused major skin damage.52 An inspection of Helgoland was carried out by an OT commission from Berlin in late December 1942/January 1943 because news about a prisoner death from ‘undernourishment’ reached the Island Command in Guernsey and various complaints were submitted to the authorities in Berlin.53 Owing

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Figure 3.6  Photographs of Anton Yezel. The photograph on the left was taken in St Malo in July 1942. The photograph on the right was taken in August 1942 in Alderney

to concerns regarding the theft of prisoners’ food, the poor rations they were issued and the number of deaths, the Commission demanded that the camp administration be rearranged, and improvements were ordered.54 A disinfection exercise on Christmas Day 1942 attempted to curb the issues with lice and the inmates were given fabric to make new clothes (although these soon tore).55 However, after taking over as Camp Commandant in January 1943, Hoffmann reportedly complained to OT Frontführer Lucian Linke and OT Bauleiter Buttmann regarding ongoing issues with ‘insufficient food and bad accommodation’ in the camp.56 These two men left the island in February or March 1943, possibly as a direct result of the findings of the Commission. Around the same time, two managers of the Main Food Supply Depot (Zentralverpflegungslager) were also ‘sentenced to penal servitude on account of embezzlements’ relating to prisoners’ food in Helgoland.57 A third was also transferred off the island for further investigation. Although some improvements appear to have been made after the Commission’s visit (resulting in small ration increases), ongoing problems persisted with food supplies; for example, potatoes often went rotten due to inadequate storage and inmates reported that they were still not receiving

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Profile 13  Volodymyr Saienko Volodymyr Saienko was just 19 years old when he was forced to join the German labour programme.58 He was transported from his hometown in Hlukhiv in the Sumy region of Ukraine and arrived on Alderney on 7 August 1942.59 He was sent to Helgoland and spent more than a year in this camp. During his time there, he and his fellow inmates endured inadequate rations, beatings and a lack of medical treatment. He recalled how ‘both in the winter and summer we wore the same clothes, which we brought with us from Russia, that is, a shirt, trousers and jacket … when our shoes wore out they gave us wooden clogs’. Three times, a guard named Fritz ‘organised a night parade and would begin to beat those standing in the ranks with a shovel’. Inmates were not allowed to complain about these conditions. Hence, even though Saienko and several his fellow inmates were in ‘excellent health’ when they arrived, they quickly deteriorated. Saienko lost several friends in the camp and suffered a severe beating at the hands of the camp cook during the winter of 1942–43. On 26 August 1943, he secured a job working on a farm and left Helgoland. He remained on Alderney until liberation on 16 May 1945. On 10 June 1945, he provided his testimony to British and Soviet teams tasked with investigating the crimes perpetrated on the island. the official rations.60 In fact, bread rations were actually reduced in 1943, despite the previous complaints. A detailed account by Hoffmann about the rations received by inmates suggests that German prisoners in Helgoland received considerably better quotas than the ‘Russian’ prisoners (e.g. almost twice as much meat and sausage and twice as many potatoes throughout 1943).61 Yet, Kondakov claimed that the situation for Soviet inmates was even worse than this as rations consisted of a loaf of bread between five to six people, butter only on the Sundays, liquid jam, the occasional piece of cheese and watery soup at the beginning of 1943.62 He stated that he never had sausage nor vegetables. As well as ill-treatment through lack of food and poor living conditions, Helgoland inmates were also regularly beaten while queuing for food, for perceived misdemeanours and while at work.63 Witnesses report how they were hit with sticks, shovel handles and rubber coshes/piping.64 In his main report on the crimes committed in Alderney, Pantcheff reported of Helgoland that ‘the attitude towards the workers was atrocious, beatings were an everyday occurrence’.65



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Closure of the camp Initially, Pantcheff reported that Helgoland was ‘destroyed’ in October 1943.66 He revised this date to March 1944 in one of his later reports, since he believed – based on the testimony of Hoffmann – that demolition coincided with the transportation of the inmates to Norderney that month.67 However, an aerial photograph dated 20 March 1944 demonstrates that most buildings were still intact at this time and it has already been confirmed that more than 1,000 inmates still resided in the camp in November 1943.68 Likewise, Robert Hemschemeier, a member of the German garrison, who went on leave in April 1944, reported that ‘Russians’ were still in Helgoland when he left.69 All but forty had been transported off the island by the time he returned. Therefore, it seems likely that, although reductions in inmate numbers were made before this time, the camp was in fact functioning with a limited number of inmates inside and was still standing until at least April 1944. When the British military arrived in May 1945, the huts had long been demolished.70 The gateposts are now the only surviving trace of Helgoland that are visible above the ground and these have been modified as a result of being integrated into a front wall of a property (Figure  3.4). In the 1970s, the camp’s former terrain was incorporated into a housing estate which means that the locations of all the barracks are now under houses or, in the case of the southernmost buildings, cutting across the gardens of the properties, negating further investigations.

Borkum labour camp Camp administration and inmates When British investigators arrived in Alderney in May 1945, they came across an OT camp which Pantcheff described as a ‘normal camp where chaps who were glaziers, carpenters and whatever were accommodated and nothing happened there at all’ (Figure 3.1, 3).71 Certainly, Borkum was a camp for labourers who were recruited for specialist tasks and it was an exception to the rule, in terms of the treatment of labourers on Alderney, as it appears that conditions there were more favourable. This was due to the perceived value for the war effort of the workers residing there. The inmates housed in Borkum were mostly German workers or volunteers of other nationalities who were selected because they had skills that would benefit the construction industry or operations more generally. Throughout the occupation, obtaining a place in Borkum was desirable as forced labourers realised that being housed there would improve their quality of life and thus increase their chances of survival.

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Around 400–500 men were in the camp in July 1942.72 Unlike the other camps on the island, the inmate population fluctuated due to the movement of prisoners, rather than because of illnesses and deaths. In August 1942, Anton Buddy (a tailor) was transferred to Borkum from Norderney labour camp with four fellow Polish tradesmen. He reported that there were 900 German OT workers, twenty Spaniards and thirty Frenchmen housed in the camp at this time.73 Another group of Germans originally housed in Norderney were transported to Borkum at the end of 1942, although their exact number is unknown.74 By November 1943, the inmate population had been significantly reduced to around 300 inmates according to German reports and, in early 1944, witnesses suggest that only a few French workers remained.75 The first camp commandant of Borkum was was called Heinrich but, following his recall for military service in January 1943, he was replaced by Letzelter until he too departed Alderney at the end of July 1944.76

Construction and layout Borkum was built around Longy House, a pre-existing residence situated on the south side of Longy Road (Figures 3.1, 3; Figure 3.7). The exact date that construction began is not known but the camp was certainly operating in early 1942, with construction continuing up to (and perhaps beyond) May 1942.77 Surviving structures coupled with the fact that many aerial photographs of Borkum exist, means that it is possible to map the layout of the camp (Figure 3.8 and 3.9). The prisoner barracks formed a U shape and were south of Longy House. A road ran roughly north–south to the west of this compound and concrete gateposts on the northern side and a gate to the south demarcated the main camp area. Later, further wooden barracks, concrete shelters, a garage, trenches and numerous other fortifications (as part of Howitzer Battery ‘Falke’) were built within and around the camp.78 No significant fences appear to have been present, likely reflecting the types of workers held there. That said, it was still an OT labour camp and inmates were still expected to conform to certain protocols or face punishment. A report by MI19 describes how the camp was still guarded by OT men even when the inmate population was reduced and that they were ‘armed with long, French type rifles’.79 The fact that significant fortifications and weaponry existed in the vicinity of the camp also reduced the likelihood of escape. Although the layout of the camp has been determined, very little is known about the conditions in Borkum. The British investigators who arrived in Alderney after the liberation of the island made only passing references to it (likely due to their focus on the other camps where the inmates

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Figure 3.7 The site of Borkum labour camp in 2014: (top left and right) surviving and damaged gateposts, (bottom left) surviving barrack foundations covered by modern waste, and (bottom right) partially exposed building foundations

suffered ill-treatment and violence) and witnesses rarely mention it (as they too were asked about the other camps). In the absence of witness testimony, it is also difficult to ascertain what each individual building in the camp was used for. However, most of the accommodation barracks for inmates were probably situated between the two sets of surviving gateposts, while the locations of the dining room, washrooms, garages and field hospitals can be observed to the north and west (Figure 3.8).80

Closure of the camp Borkum was the only one of the four main camps still operating after June 1944.81 When Alderney was liberated, it was also the only purpose-built camp that remained intact. Renamed Camp Minerva, it was turned into a British billet and prisoner of war camp to house members of the German garrison who remained on the island. Once the German prisoners were deported to the UK mainland and the British military departed, the barracks were sold off to islanders after they returned in 1946.82 Consequently, they were moved to various locations across the island for use as homes

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Figure 3.8  Plans derived from aerial photographs showing the development of Borkum labour camp

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Figure 3.9  An aerial photograph of Borkum camp on 23 January 1943

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and functional buildings. Some of the barrack foundations do still survive in situ, along with the camp gateposts, various fortifications and Longy House, which was converted back into a domestic residence. Today, the existence of a working farm and the waste disposal site in the vicinity means that the remains of this camp are still under threat from damage (Figure 3.7). For example, one of the gateposts has been repeatedly knocked over – at least once by a waste disposal truck – while another is used for signage display for the nearby rubbish dump. The surviving structural remnants that exist on the surface have also been put to various agricultural, industrial or domestic uses.

Sylt labour camp Camp administration and inmates Like the other main camps on Alderney, Sylt was initially set up as a labour camp under the control of the OT. This camp existed in the southwest corner of the island, close to the airport (Figure  3.1, 1). Its largest group of inmates comprised 100–150 Spaniards, Frenchmen, women and German OT personnel.83 Around 40–50 Eastern European workers from Russia, Ukraine and Poland were also sent there in the summer of 1942. Polish national Cyprian Lipinski was housed in the camp for four months after arriving on 11 August 1942. He came with a group of Poles from his village totalling 25–30 people.84 Even in this early period, Sylt appears to have been a punishment camp for OT labourers already on the island. At least some of the Eastern European inmates had been sent to Sylt from Helgoland and Norderney and were housed in a separate hut ‘as punishment for theft of food, loitering and similar misdemeanours’.85 The number of inmates housed in the camp between August 1942 until February 1943 was 200 according to reports by British investigators after liberation.86 This was notably less than in Norderney, Helgoland and Borkum, and would thus make Sylt the smallest of the camps during the first period of its operations. However, former inmate Ivan Kalganov suggested that there were 500 inmates in the camp by February 1943 (discussed later in this chapter).87 The Camp Commandant was initially OT Haupttruppführer Johann Hoffmann who, as already noted, would go on to be the Commandant of Helgoland from January 1943. As in the other camps, Kapos helped with guarding and were ordered to treat the prisoners harshly.88

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Camp construction and layout Comparisons between LiDAR survey data (which took the form of a digital terrain model (DTM) of Sylt’s contemporary landscape), drone-based photogrammetry (which provided high-resolution aerial images of the area as it existed in 2017), Allied reconnaissance photographs, maps, witness testimonies and in-field observations (facilitated by the clearance of vegetation) has allowed a detailed picture of the architecture of Sylt labour camp to be derived.89 Based on this, it was confirmed that the camp comprised of only a small number of barracks during this early period. Sylt was operational in August 1942 and five barracks (one still under construction) had been built there at this time (Figures 3.10 and 3.11).90 The southern boundary of the camp was defined by an existing road. Only a simple barbed wire fence demarcated the area. Although it has previously been assumed that Sylt was expanded in preparation for, and after, the arrival of the SS on the island, the number of buildings had in fact risen to thirteen by the end of September 1942 (Figures  3.10 and 3.11).91 It was at this time that the camp acquired a central roll call square and the beginnings of separate compounds for prisoners and the camp administration. The expansion of the camp immediately followed the arrival of thousands of Eastern European workers to Alderney in July and August 1942 and, although most of these men were sent to Norderney and Helgoland, it seems more inmates were sent to Sylt than was recorded by British investigators after the war (consistent with Kalganov’s testimony; Profile 14). By way of comparison, Helgoland camp had twenty-two buildings (including several small storage buildings) and housed up to 1,500 inmates at its peak. In the absence of documentary evidence, the exact number of inmates in the camp remains an open question. What is known is that this general plan of the camp was then retained and expanded on when the SS arrived in March 1943 (Chapter 4). Some traces of the original labour camp structures still survive today in the area of scrubland that the site occupies, although all are covered in obstructive vegetation and were only made visible via the use of LiDAR (Figure 3.12).

Treatment of inmates A British military investigation team examined the remnants of Sylt following the liberation of Alderney, but their investigations predominantly focused on the SS-era of the camp’s operations and the role that the ­structures played during that period (Chapter 4). Likewise, few testimonies exist that describe life within the camp during this labour camp phase. However, the resources that are available paint a picture of a brutal place.

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Figure 3.10  Plans of Sylt labour camp derived from aerial photographs showing how it developed from July 1942 until January 1943

During his fourteen months on Alderney Kondakov reported that, of all the camps, ‘Sylt was the most terrible’ during the OT period.92 This had a lot to do with its architecture: it was poorly built and windy due to its position on a hill, and the barracks were simple wooden buildings.93 The living conditions and its status as a punishment camp meant that among the general labourer population of Alderney, ‘everybody was afraid of this camp’.94 In addition to being badly built, Cyprian Lipinski (who was in Sylt for four months) stated that the inmates were poorly fed and only had the clothes they arrived with. They were forced to make trousers from old blankets and, when their boots wore out, they had to wear wooden clogs, even when undertaking heavy construction work.95 The rations in the camp consisted of coffee without milk or sugar for breakfast, thin soup (containing only small pieces of cabbage or perhaps tomato) for lunch and a loaf of bread between five men, slightly thicker soup and 20 g of butter for dinner.

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Figure 3.11  3D reconstructions of Sylt in: A) 1942, B) 1943, C) 1944, and D) overlaid onto a 2017 satellite image

Upon arrival, some inmates had to clean and ‘put it in order e.g. the internal hut fittings etc’.96 They were then assigned to companies for whom they would undertake forced and slave labour lasting up to fourteen hours in poor conditions. Lipinski worked for the Sager and Wörner firm and reported that the beatings received during this work exceeded those meted out by the OT guards and police (although they too were still very active in this regard): we were beaten with everything they could lay their hands on, with sticks, spades, pick-axes. STEFAN … gave an order to cut ten sticks on which they later put rubber-tubes. Then we were beaten with them. Very often we were beaten without any reason: sometimes we were accused of laziness, but mostly we were beaten out of hatred – they called us ‘Communist swine, bloody Poles’ a.s.o. Very often the men were beaten so long that they fell down from sheer weakness. Most of these beaten people died of wounds they had received. We were beaten every day.97

Similarly, Kalganov (Profile 14) described how ‘it was a constant struggle to find food’ and how he was attacked by dogs owned by his overseers when he took vegetable peelings from a scrap heap at his place of work to supplement his meagre diet.98 As there was no doctor in Sylt, medical treatment was not administered there. Those who could walk were sent to the hospital at Norderney, providing the Camp Commandant permitted this.99 In mid-December 1942, Johann Burbach reports seeing an NSKK car drive to Sylt and take two emaciated corpses away. He was told by the Kapos that these inmates had

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Figure 3.12  LiDAR survey data showing the surviving traces of Sylt camp that existed beneath the vegetation in 2017

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Profile 14  Ivan Kalganov Ivan Kalganov100 was an inmate of Sylt labour camp who worked for the Neumayer firm (Figure 3.13). He was born in 1926 in Gorodische in Russia and attended a craft school where he trained to be a fitter. He worked in the same munition’s factory in Orel as Georgi Kondakov, another Soviet OT labourer whose story has been well documented in published literature. When the Germans arrived in 1941, he fled but in July 1942 – after spending some time working on a collective farm in his village – he was selected for forced labour elsewhere in the Reich by the Germans. In his testimony (delivered to journalist Madeleine Bunting in the late 1980s), he recalled the moment he was deported: ‘I was allowed home to say goodbye to my family, and I remember vividly my three-year-old-brother running after me, waving goodbye’.101 He was sent with a group of men from the Orel region to Frankfurt am Main and then to Alderney via St Malo. His first impression of Alderney centred on the ‘barbed wire and signs saying, “Beware of the mines”’.102 Kalganov was housed in Sylt labour camp from July 1942 until March 1943. Of the camp, he recalled: ‘Sylt was terrible, terrible. If they caught you in the rubbish heap, you would be beaten. Dogs were used against us in Sylt.’103 During his time there, Kalganov suffered with boils (for which he received no medical treatment) and he was always wet and exhausted due to the hard labour he was forced to carry out. He was assigned to work at Westbatterie, one of the most notorious places on the island where the mortality rate was high because of the harsh conditions (Chapter 2). He never washed during his time in the camp and his lice-ridden clothes were those that he brought with him from home. In addition to the poor rations, the rats and the constant presence of dead bodies in the camp, these conditions led Kalganov to believe that he had little chance of survival. Only clandestine food given to him by a German soldier at Westbatterie helped save his life. He witnessed how his fellow inmates were shot, crucified for stealing and  beaten in the camp and at work. In March 1943, Kalganov was moved to Helgoland after the arrival of the SS in Sylt. When he finally reached the mainland, he was housed in a French labour camp. He reportedly joined the French resistance in Paris, although it is difficult to evaluate the extent to which he engaged in their activities since many Soviet citizens claimed to have been members of resistance groups in order to demonstrate to the Soviet authorities that they had not collaborated with the Nazis.104 After an arduous journey to Ukraine, he worked in a coal



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Profile 14 (Continued)

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mine in Donbas before he served two years of a six-year prison sentence issued by the Stalinist regime (Chapter 10). Like many former inmates, Kalganov suffered from flashbacks and n ­ightmares about his time on Alderney.

Figure 3.13  Photograph of Ivan Kalganov (first left) in 1983 at a reunion with fellow Alderney labourers Georgi Kondakov, Nikolai Agoshkov and Kirill Nevrov

probably been too ill to work so they had received no food or medical treatment, resulting in malnutrition.105 Kalganov describes how the dead were ever-present in the camp: when I got up in the morning I saw dead bodies in the neighbouring bunks. Sometimes I saw that their lips, nose and ears had been eaten by rats … There was a special hut in Sylt where the dead corpses were piled in the morning. Later they were taken away, and I saw corpses being loaded onto trucks. Other prisoners told me that they were dumped in the sea.106

He also recalled how a man was crucified and hung by his hands in a barrack where the dead were stored.107 Another prisoner named Onuckowski was reportedly beaten for not keeping up with the pace of work: ‘his face was covered with red weals and when we later brought his body into the camp and undressed it, we could see distinctly the weals and blotches on his body’.108

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Between mid-August and December 1942, Lipinski stated that around forty inmates of Sylt died, while Kalganov suggested that 300 perished between August 1942 and March 1943.109 Although it seemingly had a lower prisoner population than the other camps on Alderney during this early period, the ill-treatment of inmates at Sylt was widespread and the mortality rate was, proportionally, very high; according to Lipinski at least 20 per cent of inmates reportedly perished but Kalganov’s figure suggests this it could be as high as 60 per cent. These figures are discussed further in Chapter 9. Various forms of evidence demonstrate that Sylt was an oppressive and dangerous camp long before the SS arrived and, like the other OT camps on Alderney, it formed part of an indisputable landscape of violence. In March 1943, this violence evolved – as did the camp itself – with the arrival of the SS, a shift that is discussed in detail in Chapter 4.

Conclusions The various OT camps located on Alderney were each unique in terms of their inmate demographic, appearance and operations. While Borkum offered better living and working conditions, this contrasted starkly with the experiences of inmates elsewhere. Helgoland and Sylt labour camps – although different in terms of size – both facilitated harsh living conditions and punishments for the workers sent to Alderney. Violence, meted out by the OT administration and prisoner Kapos was part of everyday life in both camps. Poor sanitation and badly constructed barracks were exacerbated by the nominal rations and lack of medical treatment provided to inmates. Conditions in Helgoland worsened to such an extent by December 1942, that a German commission from Berlin was sent to investigate and enforce changes.110 However, these changes failed to materialise and, as in Sylt labour camp, both the architecture of the site and the beatings that the guards inflicted continued to result in the ill health and death of inmates. Both camps illustrate that life on Alderney was incredibly difficult for labourers under the OT even before the SS arrived. Men were deliberately injured and killed in both camps throughout their periods of operation. The failure to acknowledge the severity of the treatment of forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers at both sites – and the fact that this information has often been overshadowed by stories of SS brutality – means that the importance of Helgoland and Sylt has rarely been recognised. Helgoland was demolished and the area turned into a housing estate. The labour camp buildings at Sylt were subsumed into the concentration camp landscape, a terrain which itself was reused and then fell into disrepair after the war (Chapter 4). Historical and archaeological analysis provides important



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information about what it was like to live in these camps and their evolution over time, confirming the dual role that they played in the Nazi labour programme and persecution of those caught up in it.

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Notes 1 The existence of the four main camps is well documented in the literature. 2 The camps were briefly described by Major Pantcheff in his book: T.X.H. Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island (Sussex: Phillimore, 1981) and other authors writing about the occupation have similarly only provided basic overviews concerning how they functioned. More detailed accounts of Norderney can be found in B. Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny (La Hague: Editions Eurocibles, 2010); Helgoland and Norderney are described in B. Bonnard, The Island of Dread in the Channel: Story of Georgi Ivanovitch Kondakov (Stroud: Amberley Publishing Limited, 1991) in the context of witness accounts. 3 For more information on sensory archaeology, see Chapter 2 in this volume and N.J. Saunders and P. Cornish (eds), Modern Conflict and the Senses (London: Routledge, 2017). 4 P. Jaskot, ‘Architecture of the Holocaust’, Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Annual Lecture (Washington DC: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2017), p. 4, https://archive.org/details/bib256889_001_001/page/n9/mode/2up (accessed 20 November 2018). 5 TNA, WO311/13 ‘Statement by St. Feldw, Kurt Busse’, 22 May 1945. 6 Ibid. 7 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Frank Robert Oselton’, 24 May 1945. 8 TNA, WO311/13 ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. 9 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 19. 10 Ibid.; Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, pp.  61–65; IA, AQ875/03 ‘Testimony of Hans Schenk’, 21 May 1945. 11 Albert Porthugine, in M. Bunting, The Model Occupation – The Channel Islands under German Rule 1940–1945 (London: HarperCollins, 1995), pp. 172–174. 12 Ibid.; Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 65. 13 TNA, WO311/13 ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. 14 Ibid. 15 Ibid. 16 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 9. 17 ITS, 2.2.3.0/82360574, ‘Lagerstärkmeldung’, 1 November 1943; ITS, 2.2.3.0/82360572, ‘Lagerstärkmeldung’, 15 November 1943. 18 IA, AQ875/03 ‘Testimony of Hans Schenk’, 21 May 1945; TNA, WO199/2090A: Military Intelligence Reports, July 1943–August 1944.

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19 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944. 20 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Frank Robert Oselton’, 24 May 1945. 21 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945; TNA, WO311/13 ‘Statement by St. Feldw, Kurt Busse’, 22 May 1945. Busse stated that Hoffman took over in October/November 1942, but this predates the Commission. 22 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Robert Hemschemeier’, 28 May 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Frank Robert Oselton’, 24 May 1945; TNA, WO311/12 ‘Statement of Erwin Sonnenberg’, 26 May 1945. 23 Ibid. 24 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 36. 25 NCAP, ACIU MF C0890, 14 May 1942; NCAP ACIU MF C0979, 20 July 1942. 26 Ibid.; NCAP ACIU MF C1479, 12 August 1943. 27 M. Ginns, The Organisation Todt and the Fortress Engineers in the Channel Islands. Archive Book No. 8 (Jersey: Channel Islands Occupation Society, 1994), p. 85. 28 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. 29 Ibid. 30 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 32. 31 Ibid. 32 Johann Hoffmann reportedly reduced the number of men in a barrack to 80 in 1943, whereas it had between 90–100 in 1942; Georgi Kondakov in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p.32. 33 Georgi Kondakov’, in Bonnard The Island of Dread, pp. 51–52. 34 Ibid. 35 Ibid., p. 65. 36 Georgi Kondakov, ‘Alderney Island (Great Britain) and France’, p. 279. 37 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 37. 38 TNA, CRES35/1768, ‘Committee of Inquiry on Alderney’, Privy Council Committee, 11 July 1945; T. Des Pres, The Survivor: An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps (Oxford: Oxford University, 1976), p. 57. 39 ITS, 2.2.3.0./82361077, ‘Statement of Vitali Bogdanow’, 15 February 1944. 40 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 38. 41 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. 42 The piggery existed at what is now Farm Court Guest House, opposite Alderney Pottery. Kondakov managed to escape Helgoland by cutting the wire with pincers. He went via Ladysmith to get to the Piggery but someone else was shot trying to get there. See Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, pp. 47–48. 43 Ibid., p. 28.

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44 Bonnard, The Island of Dread in the Channel, p. 28. Some of the photographs of prisoners registered in Helgoland survive in IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, ‘Anton Yezel’, 7 August 1942 and IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, ‘Alexander Rodine’, 7 August 1942. 45 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945; TNA, WO311/13 ‘Statement by St. Feldw, Kurt Busse’, 22 May 1945. 46 Ibid. 47 J. Chapoutot, The Law of Blood: Thinking and Acting Like a Nazi (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), p. 270. 48 K.C. Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine under Nazi Rule (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004), p. 90. 49 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Josef Kranzer’, 1 June 1945; The harbour was seen as one of the better locations to work on the island, yet labourers still reportedly looked ill. See Profile 12 in Chapter 2. 50 TNA, WO311/13 ‘Statement by St. Feldw, Kurt Busse’, 22 May 1945; GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Statement of Vladimir Sajenko’, 10 June 1945. 51 Ibid. 52 ‘Kondakov and Rodine’, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, pp. 56–57; Eugenii is also discussed in Chapter 9 because he remains a missing person since he had no known grave on Alderney. 53 TNA, WO311/13 ‘Statement by St. Feldw, Kurt Busse’, 22 May 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. This Commission is also discussed in Chapter 5 in the context of Norderney and Chapter 8 in relation to the cemeteries of the labourers. 54 Ibid. 55 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 56. 56 TNA, WO311/13 ‘Statement by St. Feldw, Kurt Busse’, 22 May 1945. 57 Ibid. 58 This profile is derived from IA, AQ875/03, ‘Testimonies Made by Vladimir Sajenko, aged 22, from the Town of Sumy’, 10 June 1945/GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Vladimir Sajenko’, 10 June 1945 unless otherwise stated. 59 Ibid.; TNA, KV4/78, ‘Report on Alderney’, June 1945. 60 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945; GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Statement of Vladimir Sajenko’, 10 June 1945. 61 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. 62 G. Kondakov, ‘Alderney Island (Great Britain) and France’, p. 84. 63 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Robert Hemschemeier’, 28 May 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Frank Robert Oselton’, 24 May 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Josef Kranzer’, 1 June 1945. There was also a separate window in the canteen at Helgoland for Russians to get food. Kondakov also describes how a black man bashed in a man’s head with a ladle because he believed he went up twice for soup. Once Tietz was removed, then the black

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man was reportedly shot by the Germans: see Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 35. 64 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Frank Robert Oselton’, 24 May 1945. 65 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 66 Ibid. 67 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island. p.  9; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945; ITS, 2.2.3.0/82360572, ‘Lagerstärkmeldung’, 15 November 1943. 68 NCAP, ACIU MF C1978, 20 April 1944. 69 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Robert Hemschemeier’, 28 May 1945; TNA, WO311/12 ‘Statement of Josef Welkerling’, 19 May 1945. 70 NCAP, ACIU MF C4025, 2 March 1945. 71 IWM, MISC 2826 189/2, Nr. 4402, ‘Interview with Bunny Pantcheff’, undated. 72 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimonies made by Emil Shulikovsky’, 10 June 1945. 73 TNA, WO211/12, ‘Statement by Anton Buddy’, 28 July 1945. 74 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Translation of Statement by PW KP 256520 Grenadier Walter Schüller’, 10 July 1945. 75 ITS, 2.2.3.0/82360574, ‘Lagerstärkmeldung’, 1 November 1943; TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further Interrogation of Informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944. 76 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Otto Heinrich Arnold’, 26 May 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Translation of statement by PW KP 256520 Grenadier Walter Schüller’, 10 July 1945. 77 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 21 May 1945; NCAP, ACIU MF C0890, 14 May 1942. 78 T. Davenport, Festung Alderney (Jersey: Barnes Publishing Limited, 2003), p. 66. 79 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944. 80 Ibid., p. 66. 81 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 21 May 1945; NCAP, ACIU MF C0890, 14 May 1942. 82 B. Bonnard, Alderney at War 1939–49 (Stroud: The History Press, 2009), p. 138. 83 Ibid. 84 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Civ. Cyprian Lipinski’, 28 July 1945. 85 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement of Johann Burbach’, 28 May 1945. 86 Pantcheff, Alderney: Fortress Island, p. 8. 87 Ivan Kalganov, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 168. 88 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement of Johann Burbach’, 28 May 1945. 89 TNA, WO311/13 ‘Statement by St. Feldw, Kurt Busse’, 22 May 1945.

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90 NCAP, ACIU MF C0979, 20 July 1942; NCAP, ACIU MF C1042, 23 August 1942. 91 NCAP, ACIU R0827_0015, 30 September 1943; TNA, DEFE 2/1374, ‘Martian Trace’, September 1942; NCAP, ACIU C0879 5023, 23 January 1943. 92 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 50. 93 Ivan Kalganov, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 168. 94 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 50. 95 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Civ. Cyprian Lipinski’, 28 July 1945. 96 Ibid. 97 Ibid. 98 Ivan Kalganov in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 168. 99 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Civ. Cyprian Lipinski’, 28 July 1945. 100 Unless otherwise stated, the details in this profile were derived from Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, pp.  13–14 and 50, and Ivan Kalganov in Bunting, The Model Occupation, pp. 168, 269 and 273. 101 Ivan Kalganov in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 168. 102 Ibid. 103 Ivan Kalganov in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 168. 104 N. Tumarkin, The Living and the Dead: The Rise and Fall of the Cult of World War II in Russia (New York: Basic Books, 1994), p. 76. 105 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement of Johann Burbach’, 28 May 1945. 106 Ivan Kalganov in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 168. 107 Ibid. 108 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement of Johann Burbach’, 28 May 1945; He is also discussed in Chapter 7. 109 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Civ. Cyprian Lipinski’, 28 July 1945; Ivan Kalganov in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 168. 110 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by St. Feldw, Kurt Busse’, 22 May 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945.

4

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Architecture and experience in Sylt concentration camp

With contributions from Janos Kerti Shortly after the arrival of the British military at Alderney on 16 May 1945, a team tasked with investigating the German occupation encountered the remains of Sylt concentration camp.1 What they observed was a partially demolished complex of buildings – the materials from which had supposedly been reused for ‘constructional purposes’.2 Here, witnesses confirmed terrible brutality had been levied against the inmates.3 Under the leadership of Captain Pantcheff, the investigative team created a map of the camp and took photographs, recording the purported uses of its buildings based on the statements of those who were housed there and those who visited.4 These materials, and their accompanying reports, provide an important resource regarding the extent and nature of the camp, in particular, because they were not published in full after the war ended. Only one publication based on these findings (by Pantcheff in 1981) sought to describe the camp, but this provided a somewhat sanitised version of events and described its architecture at only one moment in its history.5 Since that time, responses to the existence of an SS camp on British soil have ranged from sensationalist to negationist and everything in between. Discussions about a ‘little Auschwitz’ on British territory have vied for attention with efforts to avoid promoting the site’s history.6 As a result, and because few obvious remnants survive above the ground (due to its partial demolition by the Germans, post-war clearance and neglect), little attention has been paid to any physical evidence that might remain at the site in the decades after the war.7 In fact, many writings subsequently claimed that all such evidence must have been destroyed.8 Therefore, several questions remained about the evolution of the concentration camp, its architecture and its daily operations, all of which had direct bearing upon the lives of the inmates housed there. As historian Nikolaus Wachsmann argues, ‘there was no typical concentration camp in the Third Reich’ but certain underlying characteristics defined the camps and subcamps within this network, making them

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­ iscernible from others built by the Nazi regime.9 Based on a study of thoud sands of examples, White has highlighted ‘permanent camps, outside legal supervision, unsparing brutality towards inmates, and tortuous labor’ with defined systems of camp governance.10 Building on the so-called ‘Dachau Model’, they often featured architectural elements which were purposefully designed to ensure total control over inmates, although they may look quite different depending on local circumstances.11 Whatever their specifics, the architecture of the concentration camps directly influenced personal and collective experiences. By examining the overall layout and individual structures at Sylt using archaeological surveying methods, and through comparison with aerial photographs, documents and testimonies, it is possible to comment on how space and place affected the lives – and deaths – of the prisoners housed there.12 It is also possible to examine the experiences and conduct of the camp guards to draw conclusions about how this also contributed to inmate experiences and in order to consider if and how Sylt conformed to trends noted within the wider concentration camp system.

Camp administration and inmates Between January and February 1943, Sylt labour camp was ‘cleared of inmates’, leaving behind a reduced contingent of its original OT labour force.13 According to OT Haupttruppführer Johann Hoffmann, between 100 and 120 men were split equally between two other camps – Helgoland and Norderney.14 These departures marked the start of a new phase in Sylt’s development – as an SS concentration camp. As described in Chapter  1, on 3 March 1943, 532 people were transported to Alderney on a boat called Robert Müller 8 and the remaining 495 were sent two days later, on 5 March, thus bringing the total number of SS prisoners to 1,027 (Figure 4.1).15 According to the captain, two SS officers, twenty soldiers and six dogs were also transferred to the island during these sailings. Following a cramped crossing in the hold of the ship, the prisoners were forced to clean it when it arrived in port.16 The arrival of SS  BB1 on Alderney – identifiable by their ‘striped pyjamas’ – was noted by many inmates from the OT camps who gave their testimonies after liberation.17 Like concentration camp prisoners elsewhere in Europe, inmates were forced to wear triangles on their uniforms indicating their prisoner classification, something which provided further detail about their supposed misdemeanours; red for political prisoners, green for serious criminal offences, black for ‘workshy’ individuals and purple for conscientious objectors (commonly including Jehovah’s Witnesses).18 As a

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Figure 4.1  Testimony of the captain of the ship ‘Robert Müller 8’, Karl Hinrichson, concerning the transportation of SS Baubrigade 1 prisoners to Alderney

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detailed overview of the labourer demographic from this initial group has already been provided in Chapter 1, this is not repeated here. However, it should be noted that the prisoner population in Sylt and SS  BB1 was far from static. Several transports to and from Alderney, coupled with the deaths that occurred, meant that the total number of inmates fluctuated between early March 1943 and the final evacuation of the camp in June 1944. The deaths of Sylt inmates on Alderney are discussed at length in Chapter 7 but a summary is provided here to demonstrate how the prisoner population evolved. In July 1943, at least 157 prisoners deemed ‘unfit for work’ were transported from Sylt to its parent camp at Neuengamme in Germany.19 According to List and Klebeck, these prisoners were suffering from tuberculosis, sores and dysentery, and were ‘thus useless’ as they could not work.20 Marian Hawling, who was part of this group, recalled how the prisoners were mostly bloated from malnutrition and that this was the reason that their health deteriorated.21 List observed that: in some cases, it has happened that inmates, who were complaining about more than 1,000 afflictions, were asked whether they would prefer to work or die. I remember that two prisoners replied that they would rather die than work. This question was not meant to be serious but a joke. Afterwards it was laughed about. It may be that some of the inmates thought they would be killed after their return to Neuengamme.22

Of the initial transport, fifty men reportedly died before they left Cherbourg on 6 July 1943.23 Some inmates were able to escape from the train after departure by cutting a hole in the floor.24 Of the prisoners who made it to Neuengamme, Buggeln has identified nineteen who died in the main camp – approximately half in the first four months after arrival, the remainder in 1944.25 Therefore, although they were apparently told by their German overseers that they were being sent to Neuengamme’s crematorium, the men in this transport were not instantly killed upon arrival. Instead, they joined the main Neuengamme camp population and their fate depended on whether they could survive the harsh conditions there. In August 1943, around 700 SS  BB1 prisoners reportedly remained on Alderney under the control of the SS.26 Yet in November 1943, a German report sent to the OT headquarters in Cherbourg referred to 1,000 (although it is possible that the OT administration were not aware of the changing demographic of SS inmates).27 On 17 December 1943, the biggest disruption to the population occurred when the entire group was sent to Cherbourg to take part in the construction of V2 rocket launching ramps in St Omer upon the orders of the Chief Construction Office located there.28 After complaints by General Marcks, commander of the LXXXIV

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Armeekorps, and intervention by Franz Xaver Dorsch, Chief Engineer of the OT, the group left for Alderney on 7 January 1944.29 An SS report on construction activities states that 656 men made up SS BB1 by 14 February 1944, although the accuracy of the SS reports is not assured, especially as deceased prisoners’ numbers were given to new prisoners arriving from one of the OT camps on Alderney.30 By the time the SS evacuated the prisoners on 24 and 25 June 1944, BB1 reportedly comprised 636 men.31 While the reduction in prisoner population can be attributed in part to transports off the island, prisoner deaths also contributed to this. According to official German records, 103 men housed in Sylt died on Alderney. However, as discussed in Chapter 9, this number is likely higher. Although the initial purpose of Sylt was to house SS BB1 prisoners, the camp also became a workers’ education camp (Arbeitserziehungslager) for OT forced labourers arrested on Alderney. This arrangement stemmed from an agreement made by OT Hauptbauleiter Cardinal in France and Camp Commandant List.32 Additionally, Pantcheff reported: ‘as Bauleiter, Dr Panzer, had been given written authority by the OT to punish recurrent offenders among his forced labour with up to three weeks’ corrective imprisonment.’33 Witnesses reported that the SS used to go into the OT labour camps and round up prisoners who would be taken to Sylt.34 Because of the lack of a ‘normal German penal establishment’ on Alderney, Sylt took on the role of a prison.35 Prisoners were issued with a maximum three-month sentence, but the SS commonly failed to adhere to this term and kept them for longer, sometimes eight months or more, until the OT Bauleiter Leo Ackermann protested.36 The crimes for which individuals could receive this punishment varied in severity. Gordon Prigent was one of the prisoners reprimanded and transferred to Sylt from the OT farm; his crime was listening to the radio.37 Helgoland’s Commandant Hoffmann, stated that seventy to seventy-five prisoners were transferred to Sylt in spring 1943, and from May to August 1943, sixty prisoners were also sent there from Norderney.38 These prisoners were reportedly housed in a separate hut to the SS prisoners. When they were released in December 1943, they were ‘terribly emaciated’ and ten to fifteen of the Helgoland prisoners died. Ackermann testified that ‘the corresponding documents were so incomplete that it was impossible to ascertain the exact number of men thus sentenced’.39 It is likely that some of the Jews in Sylt probably found their way to the camp from elsewhere on Alderney as a result of these round-ups. That said, in October 1943, when the largest contingents of Jews arrived in Alderney, non-Jewish OT workers were moved to Sylt from Norderney to free up accommodation. They remained in Sylt after the SS Baubrigade prisoners were temporarily transported back to France in December 1943.40

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SS  BB1 inmates were placed under the strict guard of the SS Death’s Head Unit (SS-Totenkopfverbände).41 The SS Death’s Head Units were created before the start of WW2 and their ‘primary function […] was to guard the camp inmates and serve as perimeter sentries on work details outside the protective custody camp’.42 As the war progressed, the leaders of these units were replaced with long-serving SS officers because younger soldiers were needed on the front line. As historian Karin Orth argues, these men were mostly of an age whereby they experienced hardship in the aftermath of WW1; they were often the hardest hit by the poor economic and social environment in Germany, and had usually been wounded or deemed  unfit for battle.43 Thus, they were usually career SS men, who harboured intense resentment for ‘the enemy’, which included anyone who refused to comply with the rules of the Third Reich. Many of these men were trained in what historian Marc Buggeln has termed a ‘school of violence’, drawing on the Dachau system developed in the first Nazi concentration camp in 1934, which combined brutal drills with training about how to beat and torture inmates.44 Initially, twenty-two men were sent to guard Sylt concentration camp, but this later increased to between seventy and eighty SS guards. Half were SS men from Alsace, the Sudetenland, Poland, Croatia and Slovakia, while the remainder were ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche).45 This overall number is considerably higher than the normal allocation of guards to an SS Baubrigade, which was usually around thirty men, sometimes supported by local police or Wehrmacht soldiers.46 Hence, the security of SS concentration camp Sylt, and the prisoners therein, was considerable and extended far beyond that afforded to some of the larger Nazi concentration camps elsewhere in Europe. SS  BB1 and Sylt were overseen by a senior SS officer who reported directly to Himmler.47 The first camp commandant of Sylt and head of BB1 was SS Untersturmführer Maximillian List (Figure  4.2), who, along with his deputy, SS Untersturmführer Kurt Klebeck (Figure  4.3), was a longserving SS officer. Both men had led SS  BB1 in Düsseldorf and Duisburg before their arrival on Alderney.48 List was an architect by training and a decorated soldier following his services in Russia in 1941.49 He had been an SS member since 1930 and spent time working in Neuengamme concentration camp. SS prisoner Leonid Winogradow described how List was ‘always drunk’ while stationed on Alderney.50 Klebeck joined the Nazi Party and SS in 1933.51 Before taking on his role with SS BB1, he was a protective detention camp leader for working parties in Sachsenhausen concentration camp and he spent time in Belarus where, after the war, he was accused of being part of a ‘shooting campaign’ against Jews.52 In Alderney, he organised an operation to steal food that should have been given to the concentration camp prisoners and was known for his distaste towards inmates.53

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Figure 4.2  SS Untersturmführer Maximillian List, the first Camp Commandant of Sylt and head of SS Baubrigade 1

Many of the other guards were also long-serving SS members. For example, SS Scharführer Kleinenbrocker, was awarded ‘a gold badge of the Nazi party’ for his loyalty.54 SS Obersturmführer Georg Braun, who replaced List as Camp Commandant in March 1944, had been a frontline soldier in Poland and France, and had worked for various government departments, including as an adjutant for Hans Kammler, head of the WHVA.55 He was described as ‘a fanatical Nazi to the end’ who was unstable, drunk and ‘brutal to excess’.56 Former prisoners and witnesses described the unique ways in which each SS guard treated the camp inmates. For example, List ‘ordered the security to treat the prisoners harshly’, while his successor Braun ‘ordered guards to shoot prisoners on the spot if they tried to “break file” during marching’.57 Post-liberation investigative files reported of SS Scharführer Högelow (who was second in command of the SS guard after Klebeck) that ‘for every five prisoners killed he gave 14 days holiday, and additional food and wine’.58 In a confession Högelow made in 1945, he stated that three days’ leave and twenty-five cigarettes were actually the standard reward for

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Figure 4.3  SS Untersturmführer Kurt Klebeck, the first Deputy Camp Commandant of Sylt

shooting one prisoner.59 The guards under his command were renowned for competing to gain this leave, for example by encouraging prisoners to pick up cigarettes or food that they threw on the ground and then shooting them as punishment.60 Following an epidemic in March 1943, Högelow reported that sick prisoners were ‘taken over the line of sentries and shot there on SS Oberscharführer Puhr’s order’.61 Other guards were known for their ‘­specialities’ – the specific way or weapon they used to beat prisoners, steal food from them or kill them.62 After the evacuation of SS  BB1 from Alderney, many of these guards went on to have similar roles in other concentration camps in mainland Europe. Many were also notorious there for the violence they inflicted upon inmates.63 For example, Peter Bikar was tried in Germany for his brutality towards prisoners on Alderney and during deportation back to Europe; he reportedly took his rifle butt to several prisoners and was involved in the shooting of thirty-three inmates in one night.64 Although not universal, the ethnic German guards generally seemed to have treated the inmates better than the career SS men.65 The tight security in Sylt was also influenced by the use of Kapos or ‘gangers’ – prisoners specially selected to preside over their fellow inmates.66 These prisoners were allowed, and often encouraged, to issue punishments ‘as long as beatings were brutal enough’.67 These men received preferential

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treatment, such as their own well-furnished rooms in the barracks, so long as they carried out their duties to the satisfaction of the SS.68 If the failed in their tasks or took advantage of their position, they faced execution.69 One particularly notorious Kapo was Gustav Adolf Fehrenbacher, who reportedly hung a Sylt prisoner that he had an altercation with while stationed in Duisburg. He terrorised prisoners in Alderney and during their transfer to Sollstedt, a subcamp of Buchenwald concentration camp.70

Expansion When the administration of Sylt was transferred to the SS at the beginning of March 1943 and the number of prisoners increased, the camp consequently evolved architecturally and operationally. Figures 4.4, 4.5, and

Figure 4.4  2D plans showing the development of Sylt in: A) 1942, B) 1943, and C) 1944, based on aerial photographs

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Figure 4.4  (Continued)

Figure  3.11 show this development based on the results of non-invasive archaeological investigations at the site and archival research, which included topographic survey (using LiDAR, drone photogrammetry, DGPS and Total Station) as well as Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and resistance survey. As discussed in Chapter 3, thirteen buildings already existed at the site at the end of 1942, but new structures were immediately required. The transition to a fully operational and architecturally complete concentration camp took some months and the SS BB1 prisoners were transported to Sylt long before this work was complete. Jan Wojtas, a Polish survivor of the camp, described how only three or four barracks existed when the first prisoners arrived on the island in early March 1943.71 Using aerial imagery and information about the functions of the buildings that already existed in January 1943, it can be determined that Wojtas must have been referring to three or four barracks which prisoners could live in, rather than the total number of buildings present (Figure 4.4). This is confirmed by Sylwester Kukuła who stated that there were only four barracks for prisoners when he arrived, while another two were used by the SS and a kitchen, food store and clothes store occupied another.72 Some prisoners recalled how they had to sleep outside in the open air for two months because the camp was still under construction at this time.73 Others, it seems, may have been temporarily housed elsewhere.

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Figure 4.5  2D plans of Sylt concentration camp showing: A) the function of each structure, and B) remnants recorded during archaeological investigations

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Marian Hawling was transported from Sachsenhausen to Alderney, but he was then sent back to Neuengamme due to illness after two months. In an interview with the authors, he stated that the group of prisoners to which he belonged never went to a camp upon arrival but rather they slept in large, high barns elsewhere on the island.74 Some of the newly arrived SS  BB1 prisoners were immediately put to work building additional structures and fences – as Wilhelm Wernegau put it, in order to ‘build our own prison’.75 Kukuła suggested that this work was completed in the evenings, after inmates had already worked for up to twelve hours on heavy construction projects elsewhere on the island.76 By the time the concentration camp was complete, the architecture of the site had changed dramatically, increasing the number of buildings fivefold from its original size (Figure 4.5). In making this transition from a labour to a concentration camp, Sylt joined a group of camps across Europe whose operations and architecture were modified to account for their revised function in 1943 and 1944.77

Borders, boundaries and escape attempts At Sylt, the architectural changes to the camp were designed to allow the SS to control, punish and torture individuals en masse. Many of these changes had the hallmarks of other SS concentration camps in Europe. Others were tailored to (or made use of) the local geography of Alderney as additional means to exert further influence over the prisoners and provide a more practical solution for the camp’s operations. What is evident is that several locales within the built and natural environment became sites of violence and oppression. Starting with the overall layout of the camp: when the SS arrived, high barbed-wire fences were erected to enclose Sylt and divide it into different zones. Witnesses report that the SS prisoners had to cover the internal camp wall with stones and this was confirmed during archaeological investigations at the site (Figure  4.6A).78 Strategically positioned sentry posts and guard positions for SS men provided the means to monitor movement in and out of the entire compound (Figure  4.6B). An outer electrified fence prevented unwanted entry or exit.79 The creation of this sealed barrier was as much psychological as it was physical, acting as a constant reminder to the prisoners that they could not leave the camp. In other camps in Europe – some of which held Sylt inmates prior to their arrival on Alderney – it was occasionally possible to trade goods and information with the outside world.80 However, the absence of a local population on Alderney precluded such a possibility; hence the fence represented only a

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means of confinement. This was compounded by the fact that the fence was comparatively quite small but heavily guarded, so escape attempts could not go unnoticed. Ackermann reported that ‘several attempts to escape by concentration camp prisoners’ were made during his time on the island, resulting in them being shot by the SS (Chapter 9).81 Guards received ‘honourable recognition’ for killing prisoners who tried to escape.82 Ironically, as well as being a no-go zone, the fence became somewhere that prisoners were often encouraged to venture by the guards so that they could (justifiably in the eyes of the SS) be shot or beaten for trying to escape.83 Sometimes bread or other foodstuffs were thrown over a ‘forbidden line’ by the guards and those who went to get it were shot or had dogs set upon them.84 This approach was commonly used by SS guards at other concentration camps in Europe.85 Death records held in Neuengamme confirm that ‘shot trying to escape’ was listed as a cause of death for thirteen inmates of Sylt and further deaths of this nature were likely not recorded.86 This is discussed further in Chapter 9. The fence around the concentration camp was also used as a place of punishment. Otto Tauber, a German soldier who was arrested and sent to Sylt, recalls how he witnessed four men being tied to the barbed wire fence and whipped as punishment for stealing a lamb and eating it.87 Despite these conditions, two inmates did manage to escape. The first – Hermann Julius Wilhelm (Willi) Everts – was hunted down by the SS before being beaten with iron bars and shot (Chapter 7).88 Ted Misiewicz, an OT labourer sent to Sylt as punishment, ‘threw some blankets on the wire and simply rolled over and walked back to the Norderney camp’, when the SS men were feeding their dogs.89 This escape took place in mid-December 1943, after the removal of the SS BB1 prisoners to France, which probably explains the temporary lapse in security measures.90 In his seminal study on Nazi concentration camps, Wolfgang Sofsky has argued that these places followed an ‘ideal plan’, based around the appearance of the first concentration camp at Dachau, and their construction ‘paid no heed to historical or natural conditions’.91 However, this was not the case at Sylt where the natural and built environment was used to define the camp boundaries, giving it a unique shape (Figure  4.5). Natural borders existed to the south and the east due to the steep change in topography in these areas. The original road that ran south of the camp before it was expanded became part of the inner compound, while a new coastal road was added that cut a deep gully through the land to the south of the camp and formed an exterior boundary. Beyond this, to the south of the road was steep gully face and then a 300  m trench system, minefields, barbed wire and an army coastal artillery post, while the Camp Commandant’s house and a resistance nest existed to the east.92 Beyond this, was the sea.

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Thus, even if prisoners did manage to escape, there was ultimately nowhere for them to go and death was highly likely. To the north, proximity to the airport dictated how far the camp could spread and, to the west, existing roads were extended and guarded to provide an access point into the camp. The extent of protection afforded to the camp by the landscape does beg the question of why was it so heavily guarded if the prisoners had nowhere to go. Perhaps the SS wanted to definitively demonstrate to the prisoners that escape was not possible, as a deterrent against such action. Undoubtedly, as in other camps, the interior boundaries were a measure to limit contact with the prisoners, as they were seen as disease-ridden and filthy by the SS.93 They likely also helped the SS guards avoid the recovery of escaped prisoners who might otherwise make it to the hazardous area beyond. Perhaps the SS leadership were also simply conforming to an architectural and guarding model well tested in the camps elsewhere in Europe; thus, the nature of the topography in Alderney was an additional advantage, rather than a substitute for, traditional means of enclosing the camp. Certainly, genuine (as opposed to encouraged) escape attempts were something to be avoided at all costs. If an attack by the Allies should occur, Himmler had approved the shooting of prisoners trying to escape. In a letter to List, he stated that ‘in the event of an attack, if there are prisoners who give the slightest signs of making difficulties, you are immediately to intervene and shoot the guilty parties. If this does not quell the disturbance, then you are to shoot all the prisoners without hesitation.’94 This was also stressed in a document entitled ‘Special Arrangements’, issued in May 1944, which stated that ‘the concentration camp prisoners are immediately summoned to the Sylt camp at the point of siege and are under the strictest surveillance by the SS. Outbreaks and escape attempts are impossible. Under no circumstances may prisoners fall into the hands of the opponents.’95

Official entrances/exits As well as restrictions on getting out, entering into the camp was also closely monitored by the SS. A sign at the main entrance stated that access was only allowed if permission was provided by the Camp Commandant, and if he was present.96 Likewise, prisoners could not escape via this route, owing to the heavily guarded interior and exterior gates (Figure 4.6C). The gateposts bore the words ‘SS-Lager Sylt’.97 When Sylt was expanded, two zones were created, segregating the prisoners from the SS living space. Between the two zones – presumably to obscure the view – the fence was made higher by a stone-wall base (Figure 4.6A). Additional fences separated different parts of the SS area, acting as further

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Figure 4.6 Photograph showing (A) the stones added to the interior boundary at Sylt, (B) one of the sentry posts, (C) the interior camp gateposts (D) stone steps leading to the external fence, possible second entrance/exit

security against contact with prisoners as they passed to leave the camp via the main gate. Entering and exiting the prisoner area was enabled through a second gateway between the inner and outer compound. These gateposts survive today, demonstrating that this entrance comprised a smaller pedestrian access gate and a larger gate through which wider columns of prisoners, vehicles and horses (housed in the adjacent stables) could pass (Figures 4.6C and 4.7D). Like the fences, camp gates had more than just a practical function in terms of controlling movement in and out of the camp. Francisco Font recalls: while doing jobs in Alderney … we were near Sylt one day where we saw a Russian strung up on the main gate. On his chest he had a sign on which was written: ‘for stealing bread’. His body was left hanging like this for four days.98

A British intelligence report provides further examples of how the gates were used as places of punishment, torture and death:

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any Russian defaulter was liable to transfer to this camp. One such was crucified on the camp gate, naked and in midwinter. The German guards threw buckets of cold water over him all night until he was dead. Another was caught by bloodhounds when attempting to stow away to the mainland. He was hanged and crucified on the same gate. His body was left hanging on the gate for 5 days as a warning.99

These are not the only examples. According to Russian forced labourer Georgi Kondakov, a man called Abdullah – presumably one of the North African workers who must have been sent to Sylt as a form of punishment – was also crucified on the camp gate after he tried to escape.100 This strategy of displaying both the living and the dead as a ‘spectacular form of communication, to express the Germans’ ability to discipline those who resisted’, was commonly used in camps throughout the Third Reich.101 Wernegau also witnessed the shooting of three ‘extremely sick Russians’ who, after being ‘left to lie in the camp for several days’ without food, were killed by the main gate.102 A second potential entrance/exit was observed during an archaeological survey in the prisoner compound in 2013. Steps that led to and allowed access out of the northern boundary were uncovered and mapped following the clearance of vegetation. As this boundary was part of the perimeter fence, it would have provided a route in and out of the camp that bypassed the inner and outer gates (Figure 4.6D). The width of the access point suggests that it could not have been used by large groups of prisoners (except in single file). Its position close to a sentry post means that it perhaps provided access for the nearby guard should they need to gain entry to the prisoner area quickly (e.g. in the case of unrest). Another possible use is alluded to in the testimony of Dr Krijger, a Dutch inmate who worked in the sickbay: I was confronted with the full facts of ‘an escape’ a few weeks after the first casualties. One evening I suddenly heard a noise behind the barracks and had a look. What I saw there will stay in my memory forever. Four fellow inmates were dragged outside the camp through a small gate in the barbed wire fence. They were thrown to the ground and shot dead cold-bloodedly one by one.103

Daily life in the prisoner compound The buildings that formed part of the original Sylt labour camp – which included a kitchen, stables, storerooms, ablution blocks, a construction office and prisoners’ barracks – were incorporated into the heavily guarded prisoner compound when the SS arrived. Additional buildings were then

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constructed to house the increased prisoner population. All but one of the aforementioned sentry posts were built around the edge of the prisoner compound.

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Living accommodation, hygiene and health During the SS period, a total of ten prisoner barracks existed in the camp alongside a sickbay, toilets and bathhouse. If the reports of some guards who visited Sylt are to be believed, then ‘the concentration camp prisoners’ barracks were noticeably clean and comfortable’ (Figure 4.5, 7).104 In fact, Karl Hoffman, the former Island Commander, reported that Sylt was ‘in sanitary respects as well as from a technical point of view the best of all the working camps I have seen during the war; clean, good blankets, sheets, flowers and military order’.105 It should be noted, however, that these guards made these observations during organised visits to the camp when the SS may have been trying to profess the superiority of their camp compared to others on the island. Also, these witnesses were likely referring to the separate rooms inhabited by the Kapos within the barracks in which ‘the beds had nets, there was clean bedding and comfortable furniture’.106

Figure 4.7 Structural remnants within the prisoner compound at Sylt: (A) the toilet block, (B) prisoner kitchen, (C) cellar and (D) stable block

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The architecture of the camp, and the recollections of the prisoners who lived in it, differ considerably from this idealistic impression. Sofsky has argued that, ‘in the concentration camp, the principle that holds sway is that of the condensed and segmented mass’ and this was certainly true at Sylt.107 As Wernegau describes: in my barrack there were around one hundred and fifty men, or perhaps a few more. There were approximately this many in every hut. We prisoners slept on two tiers, one above the other. We had straw blankets and throughout the time on Alderney we suffered terribly from lice. In the end we became so phlegmatic about it that we didn’t even care.108

It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, that an outbreak of typhus occurred in Sylt during the SS period.109 Post-liberation photographs show that the prisoner barracks were wooden huts with corrugated roofs, consistent with the huts in the other camps on the island and many other camps in mainland Europe (Figure  4.8). Camouflage patterns were painted onto their wooden exteriors.110 Airborne LiDAR survey has demonstrated that the foundations of at least six of

Figure 4.8  A photograph of Sylt concentration camp taken in 1945

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these buildings survive beneath the vegetation that now covers the site (Figure 3.12). This data has shown that the barracks measured 28 × 8 m and, as demonstrated by Sturdy Colls et al., there would only have been ‘a maximum of only 1.49 m² of space per person; maximum because of the large, private room that existed for the Kapo who resided in each building’.111 This analysis also confirmed that some of the barracks were built into the ground to offer some protection from the wind but they remained susceptible to aerial assault and the weather due to their location in the more exposed area of the camp.112 The efforts to dig them into the ground were also not as comprehensive as in the SS area. Two separate toilet blocks existed within the prisoner compound, and the foundations of one of these was cleared of vegetation during the archaeological survey of the site (Figure 4.7A). In this building, which is situated on the east side of the camp, toilets and the bathhouse were in the  same building. The toilets consisted of a concrete tank over which ‘wooden seats with holes’ were built, providing places for sixteen persons. Similar examples survive at Auschwitz-Birkenau (Figure  4.9). Overall, these facilities would have been inadequate for the number of inmates housed in the camp (1,000+) and were highly unsanitary due to the common problem of waste overflowing from the concrete tank.113 As in the other camps, inmates were

Figure 4.9 The toilet block uncovered at Sylt concentration camp in 2013 during an archaeological survey (left) and a surviving example of a toilet block that retains its original seating at Auschwitz-Birkenau

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therefore confronted by excrement on a daily basis.114 Some objects associated with personal hygiene can be seen through the holes in the foundations of the toilet block, indicating that at least some inmates had access to some basic provisions. Their excavation and analysis would allow for a more detailed interpretation of daily life in the camp to be created, particularly as the role of ablutions in the deposition (including hiding) of materials in the camps has been well-documented at other sites of i­nternment.115 Unfortunately, although permission to undertake excavations was granted by a private landowner who now owns part of the former camp area, these works were opposed by Alderney’s local government (the States of Alderney) in 2017 and so no such works have been carried out to date.116 When camp inmates fell ill or suffered an injury at Sylt, they could theoretically be sent to a sickbay (Figure 4.5, 9). This building was located at the northern end of the prisoner compound. However, it was simply another wooden barrack (rather than a well-insulated building), prisoner-run and poorly stocked, meaning that the standard of care received was minimal.117 On average fifty to sixty inmates were in the sickbay each day, suffering from everything from infectious diseases, and injuries sustained at work, to the effects of poisonous plants and exhaustion.118 Former inmate Helmut Knöller described how this building became so full that many sick people had to stay outside until they could be seen or, more commonly, until they died.119 One of the doctors, Gommert Krijger, recalled how he was not allowed to admit inmates who had been beaten by the guards; doing so was tantamount to a death sentence for him and his colleagues.120 Other buildings in the camp offered some hope of salvation for prisoners. For example, according to witness accounts, the laundry offered the possibility of a safer working environment for some prisoners and they might also receive rewards for satisfactorily preparing the SS men’s clothing.121 Working within other buildings in the SS area – such as the barber shop – also offered the potential opportunity to obtain additional information and food for some inmates.122 However, roles in this area were reserved for prisoners deemed ‘trusty’ by the SS (most often German inmates).123

Rations and malnutrition For the prisoners in Sylt, food was ever-present psychologically but physically scarce. The kitchen within the prisoner compound was where their meagre rations were prepared. Traces of the kitchen still survive today, although the above-ground structure was partially demolished by the Germans and then removed completely after liberation (Figure 4.7B).124 A cellar used for food storage survives, complete with fixtures for hanging meat and other

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foodstuffs (Figure 4.7C). The kitchen measured approximately 19.5 × 6 m and reportedly housed a clothing store. Thus, it was much smaller than the kitchen for the SS (which measured at least 22.48 × 12.19 m), despite the fact that food for c.1,000 people was being prepared here (compared to a maximum of eighty in the SS area).125 The cellar was likewise minimal. The small size of these buildings echoes the equally inadequate rations that the prisoners were given. Otto Spehr reported that breakfast was not always given to everyone and lunch consisted of ‘watery soup with a bit of cabbage, pieces of turnips or similar, a bit of speck [ham] and some potatoes’.126 Dinner was one slice of bread, 10 g of margarine and a slice of sausage or cheese, and they received ‘a beverage, which they [the SS] called coffee’. Hence, the minimal amount of food that prisoners received was compounded by its blandness and this diet was certainly not sufficient for men who were forced to work an average of twelve hours a day on heavy construction projects.127 As in many SS subcamps elsewhere in Europe, malnutrition was a common cause of death and illness at Sylt.128 Tauber described how he saw bodies that ‘were so thin that on some of them the ribs could clearly be seen sticking out’.129 Marian Hawling described how he was transported back to Neuengamme after only a few months as part of a large group deemed unfit to work.130 Most were in that condition due to malnutrition and this was evident, Hawling reports, from their swollen bellies. Starvation in the camp was worsened by the fact that the prisoners did not receive their full ration quota. The SS guards reportedly took the rations either for themselves, Wehrmacht soldiers that came to the camp to socialise or to the SS shop where they were sold.131 After two months, each of the SS soldiers in the camp received 100 marks in cash as a reward for their confiscation efforts.132 Inmate Wojtas suggested in his testimony that some of the food was also sent in boxes to Germany, although it has to be assumed that this could only relate to non-perishable items, given the length of such a journey.133 Ackermann suggested that the SS guards would not admit to such practices. Instead, they claimed that the prisoners’ emaciated appearance was because they exchanged their food for cigarettes on the black market.134 Some post-liberation accounts also confirm that – although prisoners were able to receive Red Cross parcels – some were stolen and sold in France by the SS guards.135 Evidence contained within British investigative files demonstrate that punishments for inmates trying to acquire extra food were particularly harsh. If a prisoner was found to be hiding food, the guards were reportedly allowed to shoot them in the hands.136 Another prisoner who stole a lamb was tied to the main gates of Sylt by their hands and beaten for ten minutes (Figure 4.6C).137 Dogs were used as a deterrent to prevent p ­ risoners

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hunting for food in refuse areas and elsewhere.138 Other sources provide similar evidence. Wernegau states that ‘there was a young Russian, he was killed because he ran away twice. He told the SS that all he wanted was to try and get some food and they replied that in that case he would be better off dead’.139 Knöller stated that punishment by death also occurred: ‘most inmates were very hungry. Many tried to find potato peels at night on the rubbish heap outside the barbed wire, for which they were beaten or ‘“shot while trying to escape”’.140 The cook who worked in the prisoner kitchen was also reportedly killed: ‘the cook was also strangled. He had said that he was a good cook, so the SS said he must cook for them and not for the prisoners, but they did not like the way he cooked, so he was killed.’141 Hence, many areas in the camp became sites of interpersonal violence as prisoners tried to survive these harsh conditions.

Liminal spaces and punishment Various liminal spaces were also sites of control, violence and punishment at Sylt during the SS period. As in many concentration and labour camps elsewhere in Europe, prisoners were forced to stand naked in the cold outside their huts and long roll calls were held in the large open space in the centre of the prisoner area (Figure  4.5).142 Violence was woven into the fabric of daily life and countless other examples exist of beatings that occurred for various perceived misdemeanours in several locations within the camp.143 Sentences for perceived insubordination at work – which could be issued for something as simple as taking a few steps away from the ­workplace – were sometimes administered in the form of lashes back at the camp in the evening.144 A minimum of twenty-five lashes was standard. Attacks by dogs,145 pistol whipping146 and hangings147 also occurred, although official causes of death were not attributed to these forms of illtreatment within German records (the deaths of the prisoners because of this treatment are discussed further in Chapters 7 and 9). These experiences were characteristic of SS practice in many other concentration and labour camps across Europe.

The stables Finally, within the inmate living compound, the SS built a stable block, the foundations and concrete trough of which were cleared of vegetation during an archaeological survey in 2013 (Figure 4.7D). While the fact that the stable block was better built than the prisoner barracks is not unique to Sylt labour camp (for example, the same was shown to be true at Treblinka labour camp when examined archaeologically by the authors), its position



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within the prisoner area of the camp is. Given the value placed upon the SS men’s horses and the possibility that they could be attacked or stolen by prisoners, it is unclear why the SS would build the stables in this location as opposed to the SS area. One possible explanation is to avoid more prisoners having to work in the SS area in order to limit both SS-prisoner interactions and chances of escape.

The SS area The outer compound, closest to the main camp gate, was the location of newly built structures to house the SS. Information about the structures in the SS area and their uses primarily comes from photographs, documents and a map created by Pantcheff following investigations by the British government immediately after liberation, as well as recent archaeological investigations.148 Unlike the prisoner barracks, most of the SS buildings had not been demolished by the Germans before the British arrived. In relation to the inner camp gate, the SS quarters and an ablution block were to the north-west (Figure 4.5, 5). An SS Orderly Room, bunker, garage/workshop and other underground structures whose purpose is not known were located to the south-west (Figure 4.10). A canteen and a concrete guardroom were built immediately south of the main camp gate, along with another sentry post (Figure 4.5, 1 and 2). The barracks for the SS guards were, somewhat unsurprisingly, more architecturally varied, and better protected from inclement weather and air raids. Deep foundations were lined with stone and mortar to create stable sides around several of these structures (Figure  4.5). The higher  standard of the construction methods used has meant that the concrete and stone elements of all these structures still survive in the landscape today (Figure  4.10). Earth also appears to have been banked up around some of the structures to provide additional protection, as evidenced by postliberation photographs. Various facilities were provided for the SS guards to make their lives in the camp more comfortable and the buildings in this area could also be enjoyed by German military personnel who were permitted to visit (Figure 4.5, 4). A barber shop, which most likely operated out of the SS Orderly Room, was open to members of the German garrison stationed elsewhere on Alderney under the strict condition that they were not allowed to enter other parts of the camp or have contact with prisoners.149 Despite this ruling, many Germans describe the information they were able to obtain during these visits. For example, Franz Dokter was able to speak to SS officer Usher Gessner who told him that from March 1943 to November  1943,

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Figure 4.10 Surviving evidence in the SS area of Sylt. A bunker (top left), underground storage unit (top right), sunken building platform (bottom left) with soil and stone revetted walls (bottom right)

140 prisoners from Sylt died.150 He was also told that if the Allies should land on the island, the SS should murder all of the prisoners, consistent with instructions in official German documents.151 The SS area of the camp was also a place where socialising took place and both the German military and OT personnel stationed elsewhere on the island were regular visitors. Wojtas recalled how: except when the Commanders of the S.S. were on holiday in France and Germany, daily orgies were held in the ‘pubs’ situated close to the prisoners’ barracks, in the canteen or in the Commandant’s Villa. The Harbour Master (also called Seekommandant) and various other officers, Battery Commanders and so on were generally invited to these orgies.152

The SS shop and Schnapps distillery, which was built between October and December 1943, was presumably the location for the distillation of the ‘thousands of litres of wine … distilled into spirit and prepared as “Calvados”’, that fuelled these parties.153 The evenings were enhanced by the presence of rations stolen from the concentration camp prisoners.154 The complex relationship between Nazism and alcohol – and in particular the role that

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drink played in the camp system and the enactment of mass violence – has been described at length by Edward Westermann.155 On the one hand, ‘abstinence from alcohol’ was one of the ‘nine virtues of the SS man’ according to Himmler.156 On the other, so-called ‘fellowship evenings’ like those held in Sylt, where vast amounts of alcohol were consumed, were encouraged to ‘take the men to the beautiful realm of German spirit and inner life’ and ‘“wipe away” (verwischen) the effects of daily duties associated with mass murder’.157 As in the concentration camps throughout Europe, the SS at Sylt, fuelled by and hung over from these parties, regularly inflicted punishments on the prisoners they oversaw.

The Commandant’s house When Alderney was liberated, British investigators observed a wooden chalet-style house and accompanying terrace that survived on the southeast side of Sylt outside the camp boundaries (Figure 4.5, 14).158 This was the house of the Camp Commandant and it was reportedly built to model Berghof – Adolf Hitler’s home in the Bavarian Alps.159 To ensure a good view of the sea, a gorge was dug through the landscape to the south. At the rear of the house was the entrance to the tunnel, which went under the southern camp boundary before terminating at a subterranean room and a set of stairs leading up to the bathhouse and ablution block within the prisoner area. Although the house has long since been removed to Longy Common (where it has been extended and changed beyond recognition) the subterranean room, tunnel and terrace survive today. These were mapped using photogrammetry to record their layout, identify the tunnel’s purpose and to understand the relationship between these different camp structures (Figure 4.11).160 The reason for the existence of this tunnel has been much debated in the years since the war. Some say List had it constructed so that he could enter the camp quickly and undetected (although why exactly he might wish to do this remains unclear). Others have argued that his predecessor Hoffman had it built (during the labour camp phase) so that he could bring women from the camp through to his house. Another theory that has been proposed is that the tunnel and accompanying subterranean room were intended to be used as an air-raid shelter. Colonel Arnold, one of the British liberators, stated that the tunnel terminated at the bathhouse which also functioned as a laundry, although this does not provide any clarity as to why the tunnel itself would be needed.161 Aerial photographs do show building activity in the area that would later become the Commandant’s house, as well as a track leading to it during Sylt’s time as a labour camp

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Figure 4.11 Photogrammetry of the tunnel and subterranean room which connected the Commandant’s house to the camp

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(before March  1943).162 However, given the subterranean nature of the tunnel, it is not visible from the air and its exact date of creation cannot be determined. The above-ground structure to which it led must have been built sometime between February and August 1943 since it does not appear in the aerial images dating to January 1943.163 Recent analysis of the tunnel using photogrammetry and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies has revealed that the subterranean room attached to the tunnel has space for a furnace, a chute from the building above, evidence of pre-existing pipework and ventilation holes – consistent with it being some sort of boiler room. If the room above was a bathhouse or laundry, then the subterranean room could have provided heat for this building, the nearby kitchen, the Commandant’s villa or all three.164 This analysis has also shown that regularly spaced light fittings exist along the tunnel, suggesting that whatever its function, it was used frequently.165 The existence of the tunnel is particularly interesting given List’s apparent concerns over the safety of the camp and the seemingly extreme security measures in place throughout. His worries were grounded in the belief that there were an inadequate number of SS guards at Sylt given the number of  prisoners housed there; List even wrote to his superiors to express his concerns over this ratio.166 Even if the tunnel was well defended in architectural terms when it was closed (due to the presence of heavy-set doors, now  removed), it is unclear how the safe passage of the Commandant into the camp could be guaranteed or how access by prisoners could be  restricted at the time the tunnel was open, unless the Commandant issued a prior warning that he was coming - something which contravenes the idea that he wanted to pass unnoticed. In the absence of testimony or documents proving its purpose, it will likely remain impossible to determine the exact reason why the tunnel was built and any other uses it might have taken on. However, perhaps what it does do is demonstrate the apparent conflict that sometimes arose between official SS strategy and local decision making.

Closure of the camp The Allied landing in Normandy and the fall of Cherbourg in early June 1944 led to the decision to evacuate the SS prisoners from Sylt and close the camp.167 The German leadership both on and off the island had already expressed that no prisoners should fall into enemy hands or escape, both of which appeared more likely after these military actions.168 The inmates were told in no uncertain terms by the Camp Commandant that ‘before we die, you have to die’.169

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On the night of 24/25 June, a contingent of 280 inmates was evacuated by boat on the Gerfried, followed by two further groups comprising 354 people aboard the Schwalbe and Franka.170 As discussed in Chapter 10, several accounts document the ill-treatment of prisoners during the evacuation process and during the lengthy journey that followed. As for the camp, prior to the evacuation, some of the buildings were damaged – mostly in the prisoner area – although a good number remained when the island was liberated. Photographs taken by the British investigators reveal that some of the structures were intact while others (like the kitchen in the prisoners’ area) were almost destroyed (Figure  4.7).171 After the British residents of Alderney returned to the island in December 1945, the camp buildings were sold off or used for firewood. One surviving hut remained until 1970 when a fire destroyed it.172 The site was then incorporated into Alderney’s airport in the 1980s and a direction-finding tower was built. When the airport boundaries were later redefined, the former site of Sylt was sold to multiple private landowners and became overgrown. Only a plaque erected by former camp inmate Kukuła in 2008 and the few concrete traces visible through the vegetation provide an indication of the crimes perpetrated there (Figure 4.12) (discussed further in Chapter 11).173 Many of these surviving buildings were uncovered by vegetation clearance works undertaken as part of archaeological surveys at the site in 2013 and 2015. As already discussed, the non-invasive survey has shown that many traces also remain beneath vegetation and below ground, contrary to the belief that the site was destroyed post-war (Figures 4.7 and 4.10).

Conclusions The transformation of Sylt from a labour to a concentration camp brought administrative changes that impacted not only the newly arrived slave and less-than-slave labourers but also the labourers already residing on Alderney. Although it may have looked somewhat different – and although it operated in a remote location – SS concentration camp Sylt exhibited many of the features of other concentration camps across Nazi-occupied Europe, both in terms of its architecture and operations. The camp was conceived to facilitate the exploitation of so-called enemies of the Reich and to issue them with a wide range of punishments. Governed by hard-line SS men, Sylt became notorious in Alderney and beyond as a place where prisoners were tightly controlled. The camp was designed and policed in such a way that inmates were constantly subject to harsh treatment, tight security and fear.

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Figure 4.12  The plaque located on one of surviving gateposts at Sylt

Undersized and over-occupied buildings combined with the harsh weather, poor hygiene provisions and depleted rations guaranteed that individuals housed within it were mentally and physically damaged. The local geography was utilised, alongside guard posts and fences to prevent escape attempts and a variety of spaces became places where punishments

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were enacted. Meanwhile, the SS guards ensured that their own lives were made comfortable with the construction of more permanent structures and the provision of good rations and varied social lives (often at the prisoners’ expense). The initial contingent of prisoners increased and decreased between March 1943 and June 1944 as new prisoners arrived, were transported to Neuengamme or died. As in many Nazi concentration camps, the SS walked a thin line between extracting useful labour, indifference to human life and the deliberate creation of conditions that would result in the deaths of individuals under their control.174

Notes 1 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 2 Ibid. 3 There are many secondary sources that include witness testimonies relating to Sylt. Many primary resources can be found in TNA, WO311/11, WO311/12 and WO311/13, ‘German occupation of Channel Islands: death and ill treatment of slave labour and transportation of civilians to Germany’, May 1945–June 1948; TNA, WO208/3629, ‘Prisoners of War Interrogation Section (Home) Kempton Park: Interrogation Reports, K.P. 643–718’, 1 April 1945–30 November 1945; AG-NG, Testimony Collection; Sylvester Kukuła, in J. Boot, ‘Alderney and Sylt Camp – The Memoirs of Sylvester Kukuła’, Channel Islands Occupation Review 32 (2014), 11. 4 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Appendix “H” Comprising Section V Extracted from Report LDC477, Relating to Report on Concentration Camp at Alderney’, 27 June 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Appendix J’, 27 June 1945. 5 A book based partly on the reports was published by Major Pantcheff in 1981 (T.X.H. Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island (Sussex: Phillimore, 1981)). However, this book omitted much of the original nuance and detail of the original reports. This is discussed more fully in C. Sturdy Colls, J. Kerti and K.  Colls, ‘Tormented Alderney: Archaeological Investigations of the Nazi Labour and Concentration Camp of Sylt’, Antiquity 94:374 (2020), 512–532. 6 R. Philpott, ‘In Nazi-Occupied Britain, Graves at Alderney’s “Little Auschwitz” may be Defiled’, www.timesofisrael.com/in-nazi-occupied-britaingraves-at-alderneys-little-auschwitz-may-be-defiled/ (accessed 16 October 2017); T. Freeman-Keel, From Auschwitz to Alderney and Beyond. (Malvern Wells: Seek Publishing, 1996); BBC, ‘Should Alderney make its wartime camps tourist attractions?’, www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-guernsey-40940531 (accessed 20 October 2017). 7 Photographs of the remnants of Sylt were included in W.G. Ramsey, The War in the Channel Islands: Then and Now (London: Battle of Britain Prints International Limited, 1981).

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8 For examples see: S. Kelly, ‘Official Report of the States of the Island of Alderney. The Court House, Alderney, Wednesday, 18th March 2015’, www. alderney.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=95454&p=0 (accessed 3 March 2018); Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p.  36; P. Sanders, The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation 1940–45 (Jersey: Jersey Heritage Trust, 2005), p.  205; B. Bonnard, Alderney at War (Stroud: Alan Sutton, 1993), p. 72. 9 N. Wachsmann, KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camp (London: Little, Brown, 2010), p. 17. 10 J.R. White, ‘Introduction to the Early Camps’, in G. Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945. Volume 1: Early Camps, Youth Camps, and Concentration Camps and Subcamps under the SS-Business Administration Main Office (WHVA) (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2009), p. 7. 11 Dachau was the first concentration camp/Konzentrationslager built in Nazi Germany and in terms of its operations and architecture, it became the model for many other camps throughout the concentration camp network. See Wachsmann, KL, p.  52; See also works by the following authors for additional information about the operational realities of the concentration camps: E. Kogon, The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006); J. Caplan and N. Wachsmann, Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany: The New Histories (London: Routledge, 2014). 12 A detailed review of the archaeological work undertaken at Sylt was first published in C. Sturdy Colls, J. Kerti and K. Colls, ‘Tormented Alderney’, pp.  512–532 and J. Kerti, ‘The Application of Non-Invasive Archaeological Techniques to Record, Map and Decipher Lager Sylt Concentration Camp’ (undergraduate dissertation, Staffordshire University 2013). 13 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement of Johann Burbach’, 28 May 1945; Ivan Kolchanov and Alexei Pjanov stated that they remained in the camp along with other labourers in a separate section to the SS inmates. They were cited in B. Bonnard, The Island of Dread in the Channel: Story of Georgi Ivanovitch Kondakov (Stroud: Amberley Publishing Limited, 1991), p. 76. 14 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. 15 IA-G, AQ875/03, ‘Testimony of the K. Hinrichsen, Captain of the Ship “Robert Muller 8”’, 15 June 1945. 16 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Ernst Krause’, 29 May 1945. 17 For example, see Bonnard. The Island of Dread in the Channel, pp.  73–74; Francisco Font in S. Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp (London: Granada, 1982), p. 76. 18 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Copy of report to IO I9B HQ Force from Sjt Bennet, Alderney’, 23 May 1945. 19 AG-NG, ‘Personalverfügung SS Hauptsturmführer Maximillian List’, 25 February 1944; AG-NG, 484, ‘Anatolij Nikitisch Korschikow’, undated;

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M. Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014), Appendix 3. 20 AG-NG, ‘Personalverfügung SS Hauptsturmführer Maximillian List’, 25 February 1944. 21 Private Collection of Caroline Sturdy Colls, ‘Interview with Marian Hawling’. 22 AG-NG, ‘Personalverfügung SS Hauptsturmführer Maximillian List’, 25 February 1944. 23 Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps, pp. 85–86. 24 AG-NG, ‘Personalverfügung SS Hauptsturmführer Maximillian List: Order Regarding List and Klebeck, 5 October 1943. 25 Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps, p. 86. 26 Ibid. This is also confirmed in TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945. 27 ITS, 2.2.3.0/82360572, ‘Lagerstärkmeldung’, 15 November 1943 and ITS, 2.2.3.0/82360574, ‘Lagerstärkmeldung’, 1 November 1943. 28 ITS, 1.1.30/82132691, ‘Report of Curt Hille Former Prisoner of the Flying Squad (Baubrigade I) attached to CC Neuengamme’, 10 March 1950; ITS, 1.1.0.2/82342175, ‘Bericht Nr. 6’, 14 February 1944. 29 ITS, 1.1.30/82132691, ‘Report of Curt Hille former prisoner of the flying squad (Baubrigade I) attached to CC Neuengamme’, 10 March 1950; ITS, 1.1.0.2/82342175, ‘Bericht Nr. 6’, 14 February 1944. 30 ITS, 1.1.0.2/82342175, ‘Bericht Nr. 6’, 14 February 1944. 31 ITS, 1.1.30/82132691, ‘Report of Curt Hille Former Prisoner of the flying Squad (Baubrigade I) attached to CC Neuengamme’, 10 March 1950; K. Fings, ‘Alderney (Kanalinsel) (SS -BB1)’, in Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, p. 1362. 32 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945. 33 Pantcheff, Alderney: Fortress Island, p. 32. 34 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 83. 35 Pantcheff, Alderney: Fortress Island, p. 32. 36 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945. 37 IWM, MISC 2826 189/2, Nr. 4390, Interview with Gordon Prigent, undated. 38 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffman’, 1 August 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by PW KP/256658 Gefr. Johann Burbach’, 10 July 1945. These round-ups are also described by Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 82. 39 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945. 40 Ted Misiewicz escaped from Sylt in mid-December 1943. He had been in the camp since October 1943 when he was moved from Norderney after large groups of Jewish prisoners arrived. See IWM, MISC 2826 – 189/2, Nr. 3376, ‘Interview with Ted Misiewicz’, undated. 41 K. Fings, Krieg, Gesellschaft und KZ: Himmler’s SS-Baubrigaden (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2005), pp. 197–214. 42 K. Orth, ‘The Concentration Camp Personnel’, in Caplan and Wachsmann (eds), Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany, p. 46.

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43 Ibid., p. 47. 44 Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps, p. 4. 45 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Appendix “H” Comprising Section V Extracted from Report LDC477, Relating to Report on Concentration Camp at Alderney’, 27 June 1945; Fings, ‘Alderney (Kanalinsel) (SS BB1)’, p. 1361. 46 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Testimony of the K. Hinrichsen, Captain of the Ship “Robert Muller 8”’, 15 June 1945; K. Fings, ‘SS-Baubrigaden and SS-Eisenbahnbaubrigaden’, in Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, p. 1354. 47 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Appendix “H” Comprising Section V Extracted from Report LDC477, Relating to Report on Concentration Camp at Alderney’, 27 June 1945. 48 Ibid. 49 TNA, WO199/3303, ‘Document Relating to Wanted Persons in Connection with Alderney’, 8 June 1945; P. Sanders, The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation (Jersey, Jersey Heritage Trust, 2005), p. 196. 50 TNA, WO199/3303, ‘Report on the Interrogation of PW KP 176829 Civilian Winogradow, Leonid. SS Bau Brig. 1’, 14 November 1944. 51 TNA, WO235/348, ‘Defendant: Kurt Klebeck’, April to July 1947; TNA, WO235/718, ‘Defendant: Kurt Klebeck’, 1947. 52 Ibid. 53 Ibid.; ‘Kurt Klebeck’, http://media.offenes-archiv.de/kurtklebeck.pdf (accessed 12 June 2017). 54 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Appendix “H” Comprising Section V Extracted from Report LDC477, Relating to Report on Concentration Camp at Alderney’, 27 June 1945. 55 BA-B, ‘SS Officer File of Georg Braun’, Misc. dates. 56 Ibid.; Fings, Krieg, Gesellschaft und KZ, p. 207. 57 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Appendix “H” Comprising Section V Extracted from Report LDC477, Relating to Report on Concentration Camp at Alderney’, 27 June 1945. 58 Ibid. 59 AG-NG, 13_7_5_5_1_SS_Baubrigade 1, ‘Geständnis des SS-H.Scharf, Högelow, Lagerführer einer Baubrigarde eines Koz. Lager’, May 1945. 60 Ibid.; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Appendix “H” Comprising Section V Extracted from Report LDC477, Relating to Report on Concentration Camp at Alderney’, 27 June 1945. 61 AG-NG, 13_7_5_5_1_SS_Baubrigade 1, ‘Geständnis des SS-H.Scharf, Högelow, Lagerführer einer Baubrigarde eines Koz. Lager’, May 1945; ITS, 1.1.38.0/82150564, ‘Liste der SS-Angörigen, die im Konzentrationslager Sachsenhausen als Blockführer und Werkmesiter in den Jahren 1940–45 Dienst getan haben’, undated. 62 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Appendix “H” Comprising Section V Extracted from Report LDC477, Relating to Report on Concentration Camp at Alderney’, 27 June 1945.

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63 For an example, see a discussion of the behaviour of Högelow and Fehrenbacher at Sollstedt, in K. Fings, ‘Sollstedt (Mittelbau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen) (SS-BB1)’, in Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, p. 1395. 64 USHMM, RG-14.068*97, ‘Trial Records of Peter Bikar’, 1948–1949. 65 AG-NG, VT 1996/3084, ‘Interview with Contemporary Witness Otto Spehr’, 25 July 1990. 66 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Frank Robert Oselton’, 25 May 1945. 67 Pantcheff, Alderney: Fortress Island, p.  33; Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps, p. 203. 68 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945. 69 Fings, Krieg, Gesellschaft und KZ, p. 209. 70 Fings, ‘Sollstedt (Mittelbau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen) (SS-BB1)’, p. 1395. 71 StA-HH, IV AR 404–4 57/67, ‘Testimony of Jan Wojtas’, 1 May 1945. 72 Sylvester Kukuła in J. Boot, ‘Alderney and Sylt Camp – The Memoirs of Sylvester Kukuła’, Channel Islands Occupation Review 32 (2014), 11; AZ, Interview za199, Kukuła, Sylwester, 7 November 2005, https://archiv.zwangsarbeitarchiv.de. Former inmate Pianov also stated that only nine buildings were occupied during this period. See G. Kondakov (ed. T. Chernakova), ‘Alderney Island (Great Britain) and France’, in N. Komolova (ed.), Soviet People in the European Resistance (Memoirs and documents). Part II (Moscow: Institute of World History at Soviet Academy of Science, 1991), p. 293 (Original language title: Кондаков Г.И. Остров Олдерни (Великобритания) и Франция/Публ.Т. А.Чернаковой // Комолова Н.П. (Отв. ред.). Советские люди в Европейском сопротивлении. (Воспоминания и документы). Часть II. М., 1991. —С. 293). 73 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 175. 74 Private Collection of Caroline Sturdy Colls, ‘Interview with Marian Hawling’. 75 Wilhelm Wernegau in S. Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp (London: Granada, 1982), p. 75. 76 AZ, Interview za199, Kukuła, Sylwester, 7 November 2005, https://archiv. zwangsarbeit-archiv.de. 77 For other examples, see D. Pohl, ‘Krakau-Plaszow Main Camp’, in Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, pp.  862–867 and Radom Szkolna Street, in E. Zegenhagen, ‘Radom (AKA Radom Szkolna Street)’, in Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, pp. 892–893. 78 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 76. 79 Fings, ‘Alderney (Kanalinsel) (SS BB1)’, p. 1361. 80 For examples see: ‘F. Pingel, ‘Social Life in an Unsocial Environment’, in Caplan and Wachsmann (eds), Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany, pp.  58–81; Wachsmann, KL, p. 211; W. Sofsky, The Order of Terror: The Concentration Camp (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), p. 161. 81 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945.

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82 AG-NG, 13_7_5_5_1_SS_Baubrigade 1, ‘Geständnis des SS-H.Scharf, Högelow, Lagerführer einer Baubrigarde eines Koz. Lager’, May 1945; ITS, 1.1.38.0/82150564, ‘Liste der SS-Angörigen, die im Konzentrationslager Sachsenhausen als Blockführer und Werkmeister in den Jahren 1940–45 Dienst getan haben’, undated. 83 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/704 on Alderney Atrocities No.  2’, 18 July 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Werner Trautvetter’, 1945. 84 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/704 on Alderney Atrocities No.  2’, 18 July 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Werner Trautvetter’, 1945. 85 Examples of prisoners being shot trying to escape in other Nazi slave labour camps are included in Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps, pp. 208–209. 86 AG-NG, ‘Totenbuch’, Misc. dates. 87 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Statement of Otto Tauber’, 7 June 1945. 88 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Unteroffizier Rudolf Kupfer’, 25 June 1945; TNA, WO199/2–090B, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.)/2253. Report: Channel Islands, Alderney’, 5 July 1944; USHMM, RG.14–101M, ‘Dr Baldewein, Helmut’, 3 February 1966. 89 IWM, MISC 2826 – 189/2, Nr. 3376, ‘Interview with Ted Misiewicz’, undated. 90 ITS, 1.1.30/82132691, ‘Report of Curt Hille former prisoner of the flying squad (Baubrigade I) attached to CC Neuengamme’, 10 March 1950; ITS, 1.1.0.2/82342175, ‘Bericht Nr. 6’, 14 February 1944. 91 Sofsky, The Order of Terror, p. 48. 92 T. Davenport, Festung Alderney (Alderney: Alderney Museum and Society, 2003), p. 51. 93 N. Wachsmann, ‘Being in Auschwitz: Lived experience and the Holocaust’, www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/being-in-auschwitz-nikolaus-wachsmann/ (accessed 27 January 2020). 94 Private Collection of Ian Sayer and ‘RFSS, Tgb. Nr 1722/43, 19 August 1943’, cited in T.X.H. Pantcheff, ‘Britain’s Only SS-Concentration Camp’, WWII-I (May 1988), p. 35. 95 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Besondere Anordnungen Nr. 4’, 10 May 1944. 96 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report on Alderney by Oberstlt D.R. Schwalm’, 20 July 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Report from Sjt Francis Bennett to 10-I(B) HQ Force 135. Alderney’, 23 May 1945. 97 S. Kukuła, ‘Moja wojenna tułaczka’. www.mojewojennedziecinstwo.pl/ pdf/12_kukula_mojawojenna.pdf (accessed 21 January 2020). 98 JA, L/D/25/L/65, ‘Francisco Font’, undated. 99 TNA, WO106/5248B, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2253, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 5 July 1944. 100 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 81. 101 M. McConnell, ‘Lands of Unkultur: Mass Violence, Corpses, and the Nazi Imagination of the East’, in É Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus (eds), Destruction

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and Human Remains: Disposal and Concealment in Genocide and Mass Violence (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014), p. 77; Sofsky, The Order of Terror, pp. 220–222; For an example at Treblinka labour camp, see C. Sturdy Colls (forthcoming), Finding Treblinka. 102 Wilhelm Wernegau in Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp, p. 78. 103 G. Krijger cited in L. Vanaker (ed.), ‘The Striped at Alderney’ (unpublished manuscript, 2008), p. 14. Originally published in Dutch in G. Krijger and J.  Wojtas, Duitschlands folterkampen!: Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen, Amersfoort, Duisburg, Dusseldorf en eiland Alderney (W.K., 1945). 104 TNA, WO311/106, Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann, 8 June 1945. 105 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by Karl Hoffman’, 2 September 1945. 106 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945. 107 Sofsky, The Order of Terror, p. 61. 108 Wilhelm Wernegau in Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp, p. 75. 109 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Alderney Concentration Camp’, 24 March 1947. 110 AGK, 19396, ‘Sylt camp’, undated. 111 C. Sturdy Colls, J. Kerti and K. Colls, ‘Tormented Alderney’, p. 527. 112 Sylvester Kukuła in Boot, ‘Alderney and Sylt Camp’, p. 12. 113 TNA, CRES35/1768, ‘Committee of Inquiry on Alderney’, 11 July 1945. 114 T. Des Pres, The Survivor: An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976) (pp. 55–80). 115 For an example, see A. Myers, ‘Portable Material Culture and Death Factory Auschwitz’, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 19 (2007), 57–69. 116 Smithsonian, Adolf Island, First aired in the UK on 16 June 2019. 117 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of PW B167457 St, Arzt Hans J. Hodeige’, 7 August 1945; Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 33. 118 G. Krijger, cited in Vanaker, T’he Striped at Alderney’, p. 15. 119 AG-NG, 1274, ‘Helmut Knöller’, 27 October 1944. 120 G. Krijger, cited in Vanaker, ‘The Striped at Alderney’, p. 15. 121 AZ, Interview za199, Kukuła, Sylwester, 7 November 2005, https://archiv. zwangsarbeit-archiv.de. 122 AG-NG, 1274, ‘Helmut Knöller’, 27 October 1944. 123 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 31. 124 RAF Museum, PC98/173/6057/6. 125 C. Sturdy Colls, J. Kerti and K. Colls, ‘Tormented Alderney’, p. 527. 126 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1, Tap. 4496, ‘Testimony of Otto Spehr’, undated. 127 IA, AQ875/03, Regular Report about the Crimes on the Island of Alderney’, 27 July 1945. 128 Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps, p. 86. 129 IA, AQ875/03, Statement of Otto Tauber, 7 June 1945. 130 Private Collection of Caroline Sturdy Colls, ‘Interview with Marian Hawling’; The transport to which Mr Hawling refers is described in AG-NG, ‘Personalverfügung SS Hauptsturmführer Maximillian List’, 25 February 1944 and AG-NG, 484 ‘Anatolij Nikitisch Korschikow’, undated.

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131 StA-HH, IV AR 404–4 57/67, ‘Testimony of Jan Wojtas’, 1 May 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/704 on Alderney Atrocities No. 2’, 18 July 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Franz Dokter’, 19 May 1945; IA, AQ875/03, ‘Statement of Otto Tauber’, 7 June 1945; AG-NG, 13_7_5_5_1_ SS_Baubrigade 1, ‘Geständnis des SS-H.Scharf, Högelow, Lagerführer einer Baubrigarde eines Koz. Lager’, May 1945. 132 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 133 StA-HH, IV AR 404–4 57/67, ‘Testimony of Jan Wojtas’, 1 May 1945. 134 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945. 135 Pantcheff, Alderney: Fortress Island, p.  31; AZ, Interview za199, Kukuła, Sylwester, 7 November 2005, https://archiv.zwangsarbeit-archiv.de. 136 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Josef Mersteiner’, 20 May 1945. 137 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Statement of Otto Tauber’, 7 June 1945. 138 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/704 on Alderney Atrocities No. 2’, 18 July 1945; Six guard dogs were transported to Alderney along with the SS BB1 in March 1943 as outlined by the captain of the ship that did so. See IA, AQ875/03, ‘Testimony of the K. Hinrichsen, Captain of the Ship “Robert Muller 8”’, 15 June 1945. 139 JA, ‘Forced Worker Testimonies: Wilhelm Wernegau’ (accessed 15 January 2010). 140 AG-NG, 1274, ‘Helmut Knöller’, 27 October 1944; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Fritz Walter Prill’, 24 May 1945. 141 JA, ‘Forced Worker Testimonies: Wilhelm Wernegau’ (accessed 15 January 2010). See also AG-NG, Thematische Sammlung, KZ Neuengamme Aussenlager. I. SS-Baubrigade Alderney (Mannerlager), ‘Bericht von Alfons Kupka Sproetze’, 8 September 1947. 142 For examples, see TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Werner Hohne’, 21 May 1945; Ivan Kalgan in M. Bunting, The Model Occupation; The Channel Islands under German Rule 1940–1945 (London, Harper Collins, 1995), pp. 167–170; IWM, MISC 2826 189/1, Tap. 4496, ‘Testimony of Otto Spehr’, undated. 143 Multiple examples exist within TNA, WO311/11–13; IA, AQ875/03 and AG-NG’s testimony collection. 144 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1, Tap. 4496, ‘Testimony of Otto Spehr’, undated. 145 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of Lorenz Gmeinder’, 20 May 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of Wilfred Henry Dupont’, 1945; TNA, IA, AQ875/03, ‘Testimony Given by Doctor Helmut Jordan’, 3 June 1945. 146 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Testimony of Frederik Hausman’, undated. 147 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1, Tap.  4496, ‘Testimony of Otto Spehr’, undated; AG-NG, 13_7_5_5_1_SS_Baubrigade 1, ‘Geständnis des SS-H.Scharf, Högelow, Lagerführer einer Baubrigarde eines Koz. Lager’, May 1945. 148 RAF Museum, PC98/173/320/2 and PC98/173/6057/6; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Appendix “H” comprising section V extracted from report LDC477, relating to report on concentration camp at Alderney’, 27 June 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Appendix J’, 27 June 1945. The most accessible version of the map produced

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can be found in Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p.  28. See also AMA, ALNYM:1974/152.2 and 152.3. 149 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report on Alderney by Oberstlt D.R. Schwalm’, 2 July 1945; TNA, WO 311/12, ‘Statement of Ferdinand Waas’, 25 May 1945. 150 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Franz Dokter’, 19 May 1945. 151 Private Collection of Ian Sayer; ‘RFSS, Tgb. Nr 1722/43, 19 August 1943’ cited in Pantcheff, ‘Britain’s Only SS- Concentration Camp’, p.  35; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Besondere Anordnungen Nr. 4’, 10 May 1944. 152 StA-HH, IV AR 404–4 57/67, ‘Testimony of Jan Wojtas’, 1 May 1945. 153 Ibid.; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Franz Dokter’, 19 May 1945. 154 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Franz Dokter’, 19 May 1945; IWM, MISC 2826 189/1, Tape. 4496, ‘Testimony of Otto Spehr’, undated. 155 E.B. Westermann, ‘Stone-Cold Killers or Drunk with Murder? Alcohol and Atrocity during the Holocaust’, Holocaust and Genocide Studies 30:1 (2016), 1–19. 156 Ibid., p. 4. 157 Ibid., p.  5; R. Breitman. The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991), pp. 173–174. 158 JA, L/D/25/A/4, ‘The Alderney Story by Col Arnold’, 1945–1948; AMA, 91/85, undated. 159 StA-HH, IV AR 404–4 57/67, ‘Testimony of Jan Wojtas’, 1 May 1945. 160 C. Sturdy Colls, J. Kerti and K. Colls, ‘Tormented Alderney’, pp. 527–529. 161 JA, L/D/25/A/4, ‘The Alderney Story’, 1945–1948. 162 NCAP, ACIU C0879 5023, 23 January 1943. 163 Ibid. 164 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 28. 165 C. Sturdy Colls, J. Kerti and K. Colls, ‘Tormented Alderney’, p. 529. 166 AG-NG, ‘Personalverfügung SS Hauptsturmführer Maximillian List’, 25 February 1944. 167 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1, Tap. 4496, ‘Testimony of Otto Spehr’, undated. 168 Private Collection of Ian Sayer; ‘RFSS, Tgb. Nr 1722/43, 19 August 1943’, cited in Pantcheff, ‘Britain’s Only SS- Concentration Camp’, p.  35; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Besondere Anordnungen Nr. 4’, 10 May 1944. 169 AG-NG, 13_7_5_5_1_SS_Baubrigade 1, ‘Geständnis des SS-H.Scharf, Högelow, Lagerführer einer Baubrigarde eines Koz. Lager’, May 1945. 170 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Extract from the Cargo Log of the ship “Gerfried”’, 15 June 1945; BA-B, NS19/14, ‘Situation Report’, 7 August 1944 states that the remaining 354 people were transported aboard the Franka, bringing the total number of prisoners to 634. 171 RAF, PC98/173/6057/6 and PC98/173/320/02, ‘The Remains of Lager Sylt, Alderney’, May 1945. 172 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 72. 173 L. Vanaker (ed.), ‘The Striped at Alderney’ (unpublished manuscript, 2008). 174 Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps, ch. 1.

5

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Norderney: into the ‘tunnel of death’

Although Sylt is regularly referred to as the only SS concentration camp on British soil, the SS took control of another of Alderney’s camps in 1943.1 Originally conceived as a housing complex for volunteer labourers and then as an OT camp, by March 1942 Norderney was the largest of the four main camps on the island.2 The camp and the landscape that surrounded it ­facilitated the imprisonment of thousands of people, coming from around thirty countries, and it was here that the island’s largest contingent of Jewish prisoners was housed.3 The significance of Norderney as a place of incarceration and mass violence has generally been overlooked, not least because some historians have mistakenly presented primary source material relating to it as evidence of Sylt’s operations.4 The camp itself was demolished by the Germans well before liberation and the landscape was bulldozed in an attempt to remove the traces of its existence.5 Today, the area of the former camp is a holiday camping ground and no memorials or information boards indicate its former function (Figures 5.1 and 5.2). Therefore, this chapter examines the historical and archaeological evidence relating to both the OT and SS periods of Norderney’s existence, in order to demonstrate how the living conditions of the inmates and the camp administration were impacted over time. As discussed, of all the camps on Alderney, Norderney provides the best example of how the natural environment was used to ensure that control was maintained over the inmates; hence, a detailed analysis of the topography of this camp is provided as a gateway through which the experiences of the labourers can be further analysed.

Camp demographic and administration Before the architecture and archaeological evidence relating to Norderney are considered, it is important to provide a more detailed review of the three

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Figure 5.1  The location of Norderney

phases of the camp’s operations. During each period, the demographic of the individuals housed in the camp and its leadership varied considerably.

Phase 1: a camp for voluntary workers When Norderney first opened in 1941, it was used to house voluntary workers. The first were French employees of the Munich-based firm Sager and Wörner, including a number of French women who were employed as cooks.6 In this early period, these workers were supposedly ‘not badly treated’.7 That said, there are many accounts indicating that French, Belgian and Portuguese women who came to the camp at various stages during the occupation were treated as prostitutes.8 Norbert Beernaert reported that ‘it was like a cattle market the morning after they arrived when the German officers looked them over. If they “stayed” with an officer, all they had to do was clean his room, make his bed and sleep in it. If they refused to do that, they ended up working in the camp kitchen, peeling potatoes.’9

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Figure 5.2  The former location of Norderney labour and concentration camp and now the current holiday campsite

Phase 2: an OT camp Norderney became an OT labour camp in early 1942.10 A group of at least thirty-one Spanish prisoners arrived on 22 February and they were employed by the Deubau-Neumeyer firm undertaking construction works (Chapter 1).11 These labourers were so-called Spanish Republicans who had fled the civil war and who had previously been working for the OT in Brest (Profile 1 in Chapter 1).12 Further transports arrived in the summer. Many of the Spaniards sent to Alderney were sent back to mainland Europe in the summer of 1942 but some remained until June 1944.13 Between June and August 1942, three transports of Eastern European workers arrived, totalling 2,800 men – mostly Ukrainians, but also Poles, Russians and men from Belarus, Georgia and the Crimea – of which more than a third were sent to Norderney (Profile 15).14 These workers were employed by a number of firms to do heavy construction works across the island, including Wolfer and Göbel, Fuchs and Sager and Wörner.15 A small number of German OT workers were also in the camp until the end of 1942, after which they were transferred to Borkum.16 By January 1943, the number of Norderney inmates reportedly stood at 900 and in February it increased again when prisoners housed in Sylt labour camp were transferred there due to the impending arrival of the SS (Chapter 4).17

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Profil 15  Emil Sulikowski (also spelt Emil Shulikovsky) Emil Sulikowski was born in Rovno (Rivne in Ukraine from September 1939 onwards).18 Sulikowski was forced to join the German labour programme. He was sent to Alderney in July 1942, aged just 16, along with around 1,000 OT workers from Poland, Ukraine and Russia. He was housed in Norderney until November/December 1942. During his time in the camp, he recalled how Karl Dietz made beating inmates a ‘daily habit’ for misdemeanours such as not standing to attention or not making the bed correctly. He also described how his assistant Heinrich would beat inmates ‘until the person who was being beaten had fallen to the ground with a bloody face’. Sulikowski suggested that several hundred people likely died in Norderney while he was there and he saw the bodies of around ten inmates himself between October and December 1942: in the camp, on the road and at work. He suggested that his fellow inmates ‘arrived at the island in excellent physical health and only infinite beatings and hunger brought death to them’. Sulikowski initially worked on building air-raid shelters, reinforcing concrete construction works and road construction, working between thirteen to fourteen hours a day with only a ten-minute lunch break.19 He never saw a doctor during his stay in the camp because only ‘if the weakness was so bad that any further work was physically impossible’ was this permitted. Sulikowski was still on Alderney when the British military arrived in May 1945 and he was able to provide his testimony. In part at least, this was because he was transferred to the Soldatenheim canteen in January 1943 and later a farm, where the working and living conditions were less severe. British investigators described him as ‘illiterate (never went to school) but intelligent’.20

Once Norderney was taken over by the OT, it was governed in ­accordance with the hierarchy described in Chapter 1, whereby the camp overseers were directly answerable to higher authorities in France and ultimately Germany. Some inmates report that the first camp commandant was a man named Becker, others that OT-Haupttruppführer Paul Orgis or a man named Hans with a surname ‘pronounced like NONSPHRIRUMM’ was initially in charge.21 The first guard contingent of the camp was very small – six men in total – reflecting the small number of workers that were initially sent there. After the arrival of Eastern European inmates in the summer of 1942, OT Truppführer Karl Dietz (sometimes spelt Tietz) took over for a period of three months until January 1943. Having previously been the

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commandant of labour camp Sylt (Chapter 3) and then the adjutant to the previous commandant in Norderney, Dietz was described by Pantcheff as the ‘most notorious beater of forced labourers on the island’ as he made a daily effort to assault prisoners for misdemeanours.22 Witnesses report how he beat inmates of Norderney mercilessly with the help of his Black-African assistant.23 On one occasion, this assistant reportedly ‘smashed a Russian’s skull with a blow of his ladle’ while serving soup in the labourers’ kitchen.24 The number of regular guards increased under Dietz’s governance, meaning that the inmates were under constant surveillance during this period. In April 1943, Dietz was court-martialled and sentenced to hard labour because he had profited from Dutch inmates of Norderney via blackmarket activities.25 After he left, his assistant was reportedly beaten by the German guards and, following this altercation which resulted in several of their deaths, this assistant was reportedly shot.26 Dietz was replaced by Theo Konetz until he was promoted to OT-Bauleiter and assistant to OT-Hauptbauleiter Leo Ackermann.27 In addition, some prisoners were given privileged positions within the camp. However, this came with the expectation that they would assault their fellow inmates. Polish labourer Ted Misiewicz initially worked as an interpreter in Norderney when he arrived in Alderney in June 1942, but resigned after realising that he was expected to beat people.28 Others maintained these positions for much longer and were seemingly more comfortable with meting out punishments to camp inmates. One of the policemen in the camp – Anatoli (Tolik) Kosoi – was particularly notorious for the way that he would ‘strike people in the face’, sometimes relying on a chair to do this because of his restricted height.29

Phase 3: the SS arrive According to Gordon Prigent, who was sent there as punishment for disobeying orders, Norderney did not officially become a concentration camp until 1944.30 However, many sources suggest that it effectively functioned in accordance with the definition of an SS camp with SS leadership for around a year before.31 In February 1943, SS Untersturmführer and OT Haupttruppführer Adam Adler was appointed to the role of Camp Commandant.32 Adler liked to wear his SS uniform around the camp and was known for his drunken behaviour and violent tendencies.33 Although he was not a member of the SS Death’s Head Unit that oversaw concentration camps, Adler was directly reportable to SS men who were.34 He was accompanied by fellow Nazi Party member, OT Truppführer Heinrich Evers and four other guards.35 Kapos continued to assist with maintaining control over the inmates.

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During this phase of Norderney’s operations, its inmate demographic changed dramatically. In August, September and October 1943, more than 800 individuals were sent to the camp.36 This included French citizens and individuals from other countries who were arrested in France, including a group of North African prisoners (from Morocco, Tunisia and especially Algeria) (Chapter 1).37 Benoit Luc provides a comprehensive review of the French prisoners sent to Norderney in his book Les Déportes de France vers Aurigny: 1942–1944 and has demonstrated that the majority of Frenchmen sent to Norderney were Jews (at least 590 in total), most of whom arrived on 12 August and 11 October 1943.38 Many had escaped extermination in favour of being exploited for labour because they had married Aryan women (and were thus classed as ‘conjoint d’aryennes’) or because they were so-called ‘half-Jews’ (Chapter 1).39 A letter in the ITS archive also demonstrates that at least one additional transport of Jews to Alderney from Cherbourg was planned after 26 October 1943, consisting of ‘32 French and 69 non-French Jews’.40 Most likely they too were sent to Norderney, although this is not confirmed in the document. Several were spared the fate that awaited their families in camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen because they were selected for work, while others like Jacob (Jacques) Ben Hamou escaped from extermination transports headed to Sobibor (Profiles 16–18).41

Profile 16  Haim Parsimento Born on 15 August 1905 in Smyrna (now Izmir) in Turkey, Haim Parsimento moved to Paris (likely shortly after the Great Fire in his home city) and became a shoemaker (Figure 5.3).42 When the war broke out in 1939, he and his wife Sarah had three daughters: Violette aged 14, Jeanine aged 5 and Louise aged 3.43 Parsimento was arrested and sent to Drancy before being sent to Alderney on 11 October 1943, where he was housed in Norderney.44 Taking advantage of the chaos that ensued as the Allies advanced into German-held territory in mid1944, Parsimento was able to escape.45 He was liberated in Samer in the Pas-de-Calais region of France on 2 September 1944.46 Although Parsimento survived the war, his entire family perished during the Holocaust: his wife Sarah and two of his daughters (Louise and Jeanine) in Auschwitz-Birkenau, and his eldest daughter Violette in BergenBelsen shortly after it was liberated by the British.47

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Figure 5.3  Portrait of Haim Parsimento, an inmate of Norderney, taken with his wife Sarah and daughter Violette in Paris, France in 1942

Profile 17  Dr Ernest Morand (also known as Ernest Friedman) Dr Ernest Morand was born Ernest Friedman on 15 June 1905 in Vaduliu in Romania.48 He was of Hungarian descent. Having trained as a doctor, in 1933 Dr Morand published research into the treatment of postpartum intrauterine infections caused by the Streptococcus bacteria.49 He married Marguerite née Morans-Amaka and they had two children.50 During WW2, the family lived in Le Gond-Pontrouve near Angoulême in France. Dr Morand was rounded up along with 2,000 others during the night of 9/10 October 1942 on account of his Jewish heritage and was sent to Drancy.51 His family were not arrested because his wife was ‘considered Aryan’.52 He was photographed in the camp in 1942 (Figure 5.4). He was sent to Alderney on convoy 641 on 11 October 1943 and housed in Norderney.53 After several months of incarceration, he was able to escape in 1944.54 He was eventually ­liberated on 24 August 1944 in Boulogne-sur-Mer in France.55

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Figure 5.4  Dr Ernest Morand (centre) with other inmates of Drancy camp in 1942

Figure 5.5  Portrait of Théodore Haenel



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Profile 18  Théodore Haenel Théodore Haenel was born on 31 December 1922 in Weiterswiller in the Lower Rhine to a Jewish family (Figure 5.5).56 After moving to Alsace and experiencing antisemitic attitudes and Nazi propaganda, he and his family moved to Gérardmer in the Vosges, France. Between November and December 1940, when he was seventeen years old, he worked in a garage next to their apartment. In mid-1943, Haenel was summoned to the nearby commune of Epinal and transported to Querqueville via Paris. While in Paris, Haenel removed his Star of David and he was reported to the authorities by a waiter. After spending the night in a wooden hut without food or water, he was sent on to a camp in Querqueville. He spent just over a month there. In one of his post-war testimonies, Haenel recalled how the Lagerführer of Norderney SS Untersturmführer Adam Adler came to the camp and informed them that they were to be deported to Alderney. They were told that anyone who resisted would be shot. On 11 October 1943, he arrived at Norderney camp along with 244 of his fellow prisoners. The first night, they were not given any food or water but were simply locked in a barrack. He recalled seeing Adler and his deputy OT Truppführer Heinrich Evers the next day. Haenel described at length the poor conditions he experienced in Norderney: the rats, the lice, the lack of food and the brutality of the guards (including the Kapos) in the camp and the terrible working conditions. He went to work at Westbatterie, one of the most notorious worksites on the island where he was subjected to 10–14 hours of intense labour, preceded and followed by a long walk back to Norderney, which is on the other side of the island.57 Following his evacuation from Alderney on 6/7 May 1944 and the tento thirteen-day cattle wagon journey that followed, Haenel was eventually sent to the Gneisenau camp in Camiers (Figure 10.1).58 He worked on numerous construction sites and participated in the excavation of unexploded bombs in Etaples. In August 1944, a convoy of labourers was gathered up with a view to sending them to Neuengamme. It was at this time that Haenel managed to escape from Gneisenau camp and hid in a house for three days before he finally met the Canadian army.59 On 1 October 1944, he joined the French army.60 His father and older sister had been killed in the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau but he was reunited with his mother.

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With these arrivals, Norderney became the main camp for Jewish inmates on the island and a ‘Jewish camp’ was created by fencing off eight barracks in the northern part of the camp’s terrain.61 Evers was put in charge of this area and became known as the ‘chief torturer of Jews’ because of the way that he treated the inmates.62 Both Evers and Adler were tried in France at the Tribunal Militaire Permanent de Paris at Caserne de Reuilly in September 1949 for their treatment of French Jews, with specific reference being made to how they subjected them to violence and ‘superhuman work’, and how they deprived them of medical treatment and contact with their families.63 Other SS men from Sylt concentration camp oversaw Norderney prisoners at various worksites and so they also experienced ill-treatment outside the camp.64 Jewish inmates report that, prior to their arrival, they ‘spoke with fright and fear of Alderney’.65 In addition to the Frenchmen, approximately 150 German OT workers and Dutch workers (working for the Dutch firm Bosland and De Wolf) were reportedly housed in Norderney in September 1943.66 The following month, 150 civilian resistance prisoners were sent to the camp. Along with 250 of the aforementioned Jewish labourers, they made up for the loss of Russian labour when Helgoland was disbanded.67 These workers were reportedly imprisoned because they had been ‘accused of crimes’.68 A contingent of Austrian workers was also photographed in the camp in 1944, while around thirty Bas-Normands were sent from Cherbourg prison on 17 May 1944.69 The prisoner population was dynamic and around 1,500 people were housed in Norderney at any one time.70

Construction and layout The evolution of Norderney’s landscape was strongly influenced by these phases of the camp’s development. The use and construction of new and existing buildings, the conditions within these structures and security were all affected by who was housed in the camp and the behaviour of the guards that oversaw them. By overlaying aerial photographs taken at different times throughout the camp’s period of operation within a geographic information system (GIS), it was possible to chart these developments in detail.

Utilising the landscape Like many of the camps, the appearance and operational reality of Norderney was connected to the geography of both the region in which it was built and the island as a whole. Sand dunes, gullies, hills, roads, pre-war structures and existing infrastructure all provided opportunities

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for development, defence, camouflage and/or segregation. The effectiveness of the security and the experiences of the inmates were closely ­connected to the spatial, topographic and aesthetic traits of the camp. The site chosen for Norderney was a sheltered spot immediately south of Saye Bay, in the north-east corner of Alderney, where a farmhouse and outbuildings were used to house voluntary labourers (during Phase 1) before they were incorporated into the camp proper (during Phase 2) (Figures 5.1 and 5.6).71 The well-built farmhouse was eventually used as the Camp Commandant’s living quarters and other outbuildings operated as a labourers’ kitchen and cookhouse. Many of the German additions to these structures, such as enclosing walls, are still visible in the landscape today. One former inmate referred to the camp as ‘Chateau’, possibly because Château L’Etoc was visible nearby.72 In 1941, Beernaert worked in the kitchen and participated in construction works within the camp.73 At this stage, Norderney must have been limited to the existing structures and the area immediately around them. Aerial photographs reveal that the main, enlarged camp complex was not constructed until early 1942 and the building process was ongoing in March that year.74

Figure 5.6  The former guards’ area in Norderney camp showing the former Commandant’s House still present today and surviving steps which led to one of the barracks for guards

Figure 5.7  The evolution of Norderney labour and concentration camp

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Figure 5.7  (Continued)

It developed throughout 1942, as more and more workers arrived, although the camp retained a consistent overall form from early 1942 onwards. By August 1942, it comprised twenty-six huts and, by October 1943, thirty-six structures were present, more than a third of which were living accommodation for forced and slave labourers. This made it by far the largest camp on Alderney. Figure 5.7 shows how the layout evolved, while Figure 5.8

Life

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Figure 5.8  A plan of Norderney labour and concentration camp showing the functions of the buildings (where known)



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shows the functions of the buildings where these are known. It should be noted that some of these are speculative (as indicated in the figure key) as only a limited number of testimonies and one plan drawn by a witness detail how the structures were used during this period.

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Borders, boundaries and escape attempts The borders of the camp utilised the natural topography and man-made features of the area. The sand dunes and a raised plateau on the north coast formed one part of the camp boundary, while the remainder comprised existing roads to the south and east (Figures 5.9 and 5.10). The construction of a road on the west side of the camp, coupled with the steep topography around Fort Albert, provided the final boundary. It also acted as an access route to Bibette Head (Strongpoint Biberkopf) where workers from Norderney were employed in extensive construction works from mid-1942 onwards (Figure 5.1).75 Initially, the camp did not have a substantial fence, that is, with barbed wire, guard towers and sentry positions, because the natural and man-made boundaries probably offered adequate deterrents to escape attempts (Figure 5.7). Inmates recalled how they were terrified of the sea (which bordered the north and east of the camp) to the point of considering suicide, particularly during bad weather.76 As time progressed, more substantive security measures were employed. Barbed wire and mined areas reportedly existed during the OT camp period (Phase 2; Figure 5.7).77 Kirill Nevrov, one of the Soviet labourers who arrived in late 1942, described how the fence was damaged in bad weather, allowing inmates to go down to the sea to wash lice from their bodies.78 By January 1943, the camp had a more substantial fence and gate (Figure 5.7). After the arrival of Adler and considering the pending arrival of Jewish labourers, the fences were developed further (Figure 5.7 and 5.8), as revealed in aerial photographs. Forensic investigations of bunkers and machine gun positions around the camp periphery also demonstrate that weapons could potentially have been used to guard the camp in order to prevent prisoner escapes.79 One machine gun position was located within the main area used to house inmates (Figure 5.8). The almost U-shaped, flat plateau of land enclosed by natural and artificial landscape features provided a suitable terrain on which to construct further buildings, while the existence of pre-war structures offered the opportunity to separate the prisoners from the guards. The camp was essentially divided in two by an internal road that ran between the labourer area to the west and guard area to the east (Figure 5.8). A series of smaller pathways are visible in aerial images of the camp, thus illustrating common

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Figure 5.9 Reconstructions of Norderney labour and concentration camp showing its relationship to the landscape

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Figure 5.10 Topographic model and reconstruction of Norderney labour and concentration camp showing the interactions between the camp and the landscape

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Figure 5.11  An aerial image of Norderney labour camp showing the different areas of the camp and pathways which illustrate common walking routes taken by inmates and staff

walking routes within the compounds (Figure 5.11). Once the exterior boundaries and camp structures were put in place, the camp retained the same general layout for the duration of the occupation. In the second phase of the camp’s operations, witnesses also report that North African inmates, Spaniards and French women were housed in separate barracks from the inmates from Eastern Europe.80 Misiewicz ­suggests that the barracks for these inmates were in the north-east corner of the prisoner area.81 Regarding the area for the camp guards, their barracks were built to the north-east of the Commandant’s quarters. The surviving foundations, steps and other architectural elements that existed alongside the now-removed wooden buildings of which they comprised, demonstrate that these buildings were of sturdier construction than the labourers’ barracks. The guards’ area also included a kitchen, canteen and other amenities (Figure 5.8, marked 1–4). New internal boundaries emerged over time as inmates were segregated. Fences within the main compound are evident in aerial images throughout

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1943 and 1944, and inmates would have limited movement between one area of the camp and another (Figures 5.7 and 5.8). This geographical shift appears to reflect the increased control that the new SS administration wanted to have over the inmates. As previously mentioned, witnesses also reported a separate compound within Norderney – known as Norderney II – which housed Jewish prisoners after the arrival of three large transports in the autumn of 1943. Nevrov recalled how ‘a few huts were separated from the rest by barbed wire. Special gates were made. It was a camp within a camp, designed specifically for the Jews.’82 The Jewish prisoners housed here had a yellow patch on their backs and a white stripe down each trouser leg to distinguish them from other inmates.83 These were repainted by the compound gate when they wore off.84 The location of the Jewish camp barracks is likely to have been adjacent to the sand dunes on the northern side of the camp. Here eight barracks existed, consistent with the testimony of an anonymous Jewish inmate who was housed there, and an apparent internal boundary is visible in aerial images surrounding these structures (Figure 5.8).85 Also, a Star of David was recorded, engraved into the concrete of one of the bunkers adjacent to the most westerly of these barracks.86 This segregation is consistent with the treatment of Jewish inmates in thousands of camps across Europe during WW2, as was the harsh treatment they received at the hands of their guards.87 Analysis of aerial photographs and a walkover survey at Norderney demonstrated that the camp landscape also consisted of several liminal spaces which were positioned outside its boundaries. For example, two barracks located by the nearby quarry were likely used as temporary housing for inmates and/or storage for quarrying equipment (Figure 5.8). Nearby construction pits and fortifications also attest to some of the labour carried out by inmates in the vicinity of the camp. There was also a shooting range nearby, something which warrants archaeological investigation in the future to determine its purpose, not least because other Nazi concentration and labour camps are known to have used such features to execute inmates.88

Official entrances and exits No camp gateposts survive at Norderney today. However, aerial images reveal that the gate was situated north of the junction between the main road and the internal camp road (Figure 5.8). According to Misiewicz, a police guardhouse was located adjacent to the entrance, to monitor movement in and out of the camp (Figure 5.8, 6).89 Former inmate Theodore Haénel described sentry posts close to the entrance near to Evers’ accommodation.90 The first building that inmates seem to have encountered when they entered the camp was the commandant’s office and this served as a registration point. Reuven Freidman, a French Jew from Lille, described

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how ‘we arrived in the middle of the night and we didn’t know where we were. We were transferred to the officer of the camp. First of all the officer of the camp took out his submachine gun, put it on the table – he had a clerk who registered us – and began to read out the camp r­ egulations.’91 Similarly, Albert Eblagon confirmed that his night time arrival was ­preceded by a long march to the camp, during which he and his fellow inmates were stabbed in the back by bayonets.92 Prisoners received a number but the records relating to the registration process appear to have been destroyed when the Germans realised that an Allied invasion was possible. Prisoners had their belongings taken from them and were left with only ‘one blanket, one shirt, one pair of trousers and shoes’ before being sent to their barracks.93

Daily life in the prisoner compound Living accommodation and hygiene The prisoners in Norderney, as in the other main camps, were accommodated in basic wooden barracks supplied by the Belgium firm De Cuhn.94 Unlike some of the other camps, the barracks here were not dug deep into the ground. This was likely due to the belief that the northern sand dunes would afford them protection and because these buildings were some of the first camp structures to be built on Alderney. However, Nevrov reported that the waves breached the sand dunes and flooded one of the barracks that was ‘parallel to the sea-shore’ (Figure 5.8).95 From July 1942 onwards, the barracks were overcrowded and unsanitary, and inmates had to contend with lice and disease.96 Some prisoners had three-tier bunk beds, others simply slept on pallets.97 Beds were close together in two rows, separated by a central corridor (Figure 5.12). Straw was often used instead of blankets. Nevrov described the conditions in his barrack: our huts were about thirty metres long, with men sleeping on either side on two levels of planks. At first it was one blanket per person, but after people began to die, they gave us more blankets … There was a passageway about one and half metres wide down the middle. At either end there were doors. There was a rail along the ceiling which the guards would beat with a hammer to wake everyone up. The last to leave the hut was beaten by the guards.98

This was followed by a morning sick parade where it was decided if inmates were fit to work.99 Inmates were often beaten if they had not made their beds properly or if they did not stand to attention during this process.100 Jewish prisoner David Trat described life in the Jewish section of the camp in late 1943: ‘we were put into a barracks where we slept on

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­ ea-infested mattresses. There were fleas and lice everywhere, in your hair fl even in your eyebrows. We tried to kill the insects when we could, before we went to bed, but we were exhausted.’101 Rats were also prevalent.102 Jewish inmates reportedly tried to find solace in prayer in their barracks, despite the risk of punishment this carried. Former member of the Spanish Republican Army Francisco Font witnessed how ‘when the barrack Kapo went to another hut to be together with the other Kapos, two men would stand at the doors at both sides of the hut. Then they would pray. Always, there were tears on their faces when they prayed.’103 Inside the barracks, in the centre, was a small heating stove, but there were no toilet facilities (Figure 5.12).104 Instead, toilets were located in a separate building, the concrete foundations of which were recorded during archaeological investigations at the site (Figure 5.8, 14 and Figure 5.13). These were wholly inadequate given the number of inmates (c.1,500 at any one time). Some witnesses report that this building also housed showers and baths, while others state that there were no washing facilities inside.105 A description of the toilet blocks was provided by the British Ministry of Health shortly after liberation: the sanitary arrangements are worthy of detailed description, as they are standard throughout all German camps in the Islands. They consist of a central hut built over a concrete pit some five feet deep. Inside the hut and over this pit are built wooden seats with holes – that is all. The excreta piles up until the pit is full and then overflows to the outside. If the overflow was into a field the Germans left it. If the overflow was into the camp then a slave worker pumped out the excess. The stench was to be sampled to be truly appreciated. No measures whatever were taken to prevent access by flies.106

A bathhouse existed in the main camp area (Figure 5.8, 5) and men sometimes paid the guards in cigarettes to gain access so they could spy on the female workers.107 In 1943, water was reportedly brought in so that

Figure 5.12  Illustration of the interior of a barrack used to house forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers in Norderney camp

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Figure 5.13 Surviving traces of the probable toilet block at Norderney camp

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inmates in the Jewish zone could wash daily, suggesting that Jewish inmates did not have access to the bathhouse.108 Washing facilities instead took the form of a primitive ‘shower place’, without running water. The situation worsened especially after the invasion of France by the Allies in June 1944 because the transportation of water no longer took place.109 There was no access to running water in the labourers’ area of the camp for drinking. A water tank did exist in the vicinity which was presumably used to store the boiled water. The main water source was reportedly a pond in the bottom of the nearby quarry, from which the water had to be boiled. Inmates even resorted to sucking blades of grass to quench their thirst.110 Dysentery was a common cause of death among inmates in the camp, likely because of these conditions (Chapter 7). A storehouse, the subterranean remains of which were found during archaeological investigations at the site in 2010, also existed within the inmate area and witnesses report this may have been used to store benzine (Figure 5.8, 10).111

Rations and malnutrition Norderney had separate kitchens in two different buildings: one where food for the guards was prepared and another where the labourers’ food was prepared and consumed (Figure 5.8, 4 and 8). The labourers’ cook lived in a separate building adjacent to the labourers’ kitchen. Rations in Norderney for the unprivileged labourers were poor. Gordon Prigent reported that inmates had to queue up for a morning roll call, at which they would receive a ladle of coffee. Lunch and dinner both consisted of ‘a ladle of hot water, cabbage leaf and one slice of bread’, even though inmates were often forced to work for sixteen hours a day.112 Nevrov described his experience of acquiring food in the camp: we went to the canteen for breakfast, which was only a cup of herb tea that tasted of copper. There was about thirty minutes for lunch, which was cabbage soup; it only took a few minutes to drink it. Supper was more soup and bread. There was a one-kilogram loaf to share between seven people. The flour had been mixed with bone meal and sawdust, so it wasn't like proper bread, and it was as hard as a brick.113

Ramon Santamaria, a Spanish prisoner in the camp, stated that the rations were the same for Spaniards and Russians.114 However, Russian prisoners report that they were given smaller rations which were served from a different window within the canteen.115 There is some debate among former inmates about whether Jewish inmates were treated better, although they certainly only received watery soup upon arrival.116 The rations for all of the labourers were wholly inadequate bearing in mind the work they

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were required to do.117 Therefore, starvation was a common problem, resulting in many deaths (Chapter 7). Alternatively, prisoners were shipped back to the mainland and ultimately to camps in Germany.118 Inmates tried to supplement their rations by foraging for food wherever they could find it, something that was undertaken at great risk given the harsh punishments they faced if they were caught. In late December 1942/January 1943, following a dysentery outbreak and complaints over poor rations, an inspection was carried out at Norderney.119 The investigative team examined the rations and medical treatment that the prisoners received.120 Improvements to the camp were reportedly made following this inspection, although this situation did not last long as reports of poor treatment continued throughout 1943 and 1944.

Brutality Throughout the occupation of Alderney, Norderney was a landscape of violence as inmates were regularly beaten and many died within its grounds. Beernaert reported that as many as ‘ten people were dying in Norderney daily’ at the beginning of 1943 as a result of the ill-treatment, which consisted of beatings, poor medical treatment, starvation and disease.121 Emil Sulikowski was not alone when he described seeing prisoners being beaten so badly that their bodies were carried away; pickaxe handles and other blunt instruments, used for beatings, were reportedly the weapons of choice for some of the guards.122 Other prisoners report seeing skeleton-like corpses being taken away for burial because they were so malnourished. Executions were also described by some witnesses. For example, Wilfred Henry Dupont saw two Frenchmen being shot outside their barracks in Norderney because they did not take shelter from bombings that were occurring in June 1944.123 The Commandant’s house also seemingly became a site of violence. Misiewicz recalled cleaning up blood from the floor, spilt by inmates that had been beaten.124 Rubber hoses, soup ladles and other weapons were used by Camp Commandant Dietz’s assistant to maim and even kill inmates on a number of occasions.125 As already described, the SS men that arrived in 1943 were particularly notorious for beating inmates. Owing to poor medical treatment, inmates died, sometimes from afflictions that could easily have been cured if treated. The deaths of Norderney prisoners are discussed more fully in Chapters 7–9 but it is important to highlight here that violence formed a part of the everyday lives of the prisoners throughout all periods of the camp’s operations. Prigent reported that prisoners had a life expectancy of around nine months in Norderney, although many did not survive that long.126 Almost all prisoners who survived the camp experienced violence (in the form of beatings) and verbal abuse by their captors.



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Once Sylt began operating as an SS concentration camp, workers from the other camps on Alderney – including Norderney – could also be sent there as punishment for real or perceived crimes (Chapter 4). Approximately sixty workers from Norderney were transferred to Sylt between May and August 1943, several of whom did not return.127 Others remained in Norderney and experienced brutality at the hands of their OT and SS overseers.

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The hospital Medical treatment in the OT camps was especially poor. If inmates were deemed to be ‘stretcher cases’, or they were permitted to receive medical treatment for other reasons, they might be sent to the hospital barrack in Norderney.128 This applied to prisoners who fell ill in the other camps or who sustained injuries at work. Two possible locations have been suggested for the hospital barrack: the first in the west corner of the camp (Figure 5.8, 13) and the second in the southern part of the labourers’ area (Figure 5.8, 11).129 Witnesses report that this barrack contained twenty to thirty beds and that it was reserved for serious cases of illness; thus, it was by no means guaranteed that treatment would be received.130 In fact, many inmates were refused medical treatment by the camp guards who made an assessment on whether they thought an individual was ill enough to receive assistance.131 A Jewish doctor named Rosenfeld was working in the hospital for a time and reportedly saved many lives by providing basic medication and carrying out operations, despite the primitive facilities.132 Kondakov reports how a German and a Russian doctor as well as one or two Russian nurses worked there for a time.133 A British i­ ntelligence report describes a strange occurrence in the sickbay in late 1942. Informants suggested that the building was visited by a Madame Krylatova and a Greek Orthodox priest who, along with a ‘Russian troupe’ sent from Paris to Alderney in the months prior, encouraged people to join the Russian Liberation Army.134 They also reportedly brought food and clothing for the prisoners, a service for which Madame Krylatova had to pay the Germans, and they carried out a service for the dead in the camp. If witnesses are to be believed, then Krylatova also arranged for a representative of the relief organisation named Tzadek – a 22-year-old born in China – to be placed in the camp in order to arrange special privileges for the ‘Russian’ inmates and for several men to be sent to Paris for a ‘holiday’ in France where they were supposed to be cared for by so-called ‘godmothers’.135 An official record of the death toll in the hospital was reportedly kept by OT.136 However, this list appears to have been destroyed when the camp closed. Hence, estimating the number of deaths that occurred in Norderney is difficult (discussed further in Chapter 9). Thomas Lobins, who arrived on

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Alderney in 1943, described how ‘two or three Russians were brought into the hospital every day. They were wearing neither boots nor stockings and looked thoroughly starved.’137 He also noted that forty-one people died in the hospital during the seven weeks he was there.

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Working areas Norderney featured workshops where some of the inmates were employed. A shoemakers’ shop was described by two Spanish inmates Luis Lorenzo Cobos and Jacinto Caballero and also featured in photographs of the camp taken in 1944 (Figure 5.14).138 A watchmakers’ shop also existed within the Camp Commandant’s house (Saye farmhouse) and a barber’s shop was nearby.139 Again, Spanish workers appear to have been the main employees, while the Eastern European workers were sent to undertake construction works outside the prisoner compound. Working in the camp offered certain opportunities for inmates that could save their lives. For example, Misiewicz’s job cleaning the house of the Camp Commandant (Dietz) allowed him to acquire additional food left on the plates of the German guards who ate there.140 Later, a job in the bathhouse also offered him temporary reprieve from harsher work outside the camp. On Sundays, all inmates had to do work in the camp, scrubbing the barrack floors or undertaking gardening works around the fences or in the Commandant’s garden.141

Figure 5.14  Photograph of Norderney camp taken in 1944



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The ‘tunnel of death’ One very important architectural element of Norderney’s landscape survives in the form of the so-called ‘tunnel of death’, located in the north-east corner of the camp. This stone-built tunnel was already in existence when the camp was built, and it provided access from Saye Bay to the beach in Corblets Bay; hence it existed both within and outside the camp boundaries (Figures 5.8 and 5.15). Inmates of Norderney were forced to repair it, the purpose of which was to ensure that it could be used as a place to kill inmates should the Allies invade or bomb the island.142 According to witnesses and official documents, the upper echelons of the Nazi administration feared the Allies would discover how the Germans had treated forced labourers in Alderney should any be left behind to testify in the event of an invasion. A Jewish inmate referred to as E.F, suggested that the use of the ‘tunnel of death’ to eradicate inmates was an initiative of the SS and that they intended to kill all prisoners under SS control there.143 Prigent describes how ‘if there had been a landing, we were told at roll call there would be an alarm and we would have to get into this tunnel, and if you weren’t into this tunnel by two minutes you were shot on site’.144 Several practice runs took place to prepare prisoners for such an action. Dr Bloch, a French doctor, reported that: they put us into the tunnel and hermetically sealed the doors and air vents. This tunnel was about 20 m long and 5 m wide. Eight hundred of us were forced into it. In front of the entrance to the tunnel, a German sat manning a machine gun. It is certain that had we been kept inside for a few hours, most of us would have died. We were kept there for 15 or 20 minutes and many became ill.145

Dr Uzan, another French doctor, also reported that ‘Evers told us that we were being put in the tunnel for our own safety because the Allies had mounted a sea-borne invasion on Alderney. But the machine gun at the entrance to the tunnel was not aimed towards the sea against the socalled  aggressor. It was aimed at us’.146 The tunnel survives in the  landscape today (Figure 5.15). A machine gun position adjacent to the tunnel, along with a concrete bunker, was identified during an archaeological investigation of the terrain of Norderney in 2010, further confirming ­ that military installations existed within the camp to guard (and potentially kill)  the prisoners rather than to protect the camp from outside interventions.147

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Figure 5.15  The ‘tunnel of death’ at Norderney camp where the Germans reportedly planned to kill labourers in the event of an Allied invasion

Closure of the camp Thankfully, the tunnel was never knowingly used for the purpose of carrying out executions, since Norderney was evacuated and gradually closed after the spring of 1944. Aerial photographs reveal that the Germans began to demolish some of the huts north of the farmhouse in March 1944 and then several of the buildings in the main compound were torn down by May.148 This was several months earlier than indicated in the postliberation reports by British investigators, demonstrating that the D-Day landings were not the initial motivation for deportations.149 In January and March 1944, 200 inmates were evacuated and 800 more left between 6 and 8 May, most of whom were Jewish.150 It was the intention of the Germans that the May transports would be sent to Neuengamme – something which further supports the notion that Norderney became part of the SS concentration camp system – although they never actually reached Germany (discussed further in Chapter 10).151 By July 1944, all other non-German OT workers had been evacuated from Norderney.152 The SS Minotaure was used to transport the remaining labourers in the Channel Islands back

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to St Malo by sea. Most of the labourers on board were Jewish prisoners who had been housed on Alderney (and thus were likely from Norderney camp) but workers of other nationalities included female workers from the neighbouring island of Jersey, and France.153 Around 250 people were killed when the ship was sunk by the British navy between St Helier and St Malo.154 Some of Norderney’s camp structures remained when the British military investigators arrived on Alderney in May 1945 following the liberation of the island. These included the pre-war buildings but also some of the prisoner huts. The foundations of others were still visible, the barracks themselves having been removed. According to one British report, ‘the timber from it [Norderney camp] was used during Nov–Dec 1944 to supplement the fuel in the island according to German authorities. Whether this was true, or whether there has been a deliberate attempt to destroy evidence I can’t say.’155 Unlike Sylt concentration camp, Norderney was not recorded spatially, most likely in the belief that it was just another labour camp ran by OT. Although some of the brutal acts perpetrated there were documented by British investigators, the full extent of these were not widely communicated to the public. Several camp structures survive above the ground today, but many were levelled after the war and the terrain itself was flattened, possibly using a bulldozer (Figures 5.2 and 5.6). Although archaeological works have shown that several structures and building foundations survive beneath the ground, the landscape at Norderney reveals little of its former function. While a nearby memorial commemorates the foreign labourers who died on Alderney, it does not make specific reference to the existence of the nearby camp (Figure 11.8). Hence, the full extent of the suffering of those forced to live and work in Norderney is not evident.

Conclusions Of all the camps built on Alderney, Norderney housed the most diverse inmate population and had the largest capacity. Because it was officially an OT labour camp, the role it played in the Germans’ maiming and, in many cases, the killing of forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers has often been overlooked. Throughout its entire period of operation, the labourers housed here consistently suffered brutal treatment. This occurred at the hands of the OT guards, whose lack of experience and discipline meant that they were unable to maintain the balance between controlling the inmates and inflicting serious bodily harm, and later their SS overseers, who sought to implement tighter measures consistent with those employed in other Nazi concentration camps.

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Norderney was also the main camp for Jewish prisoners on Alderney and these inmates, as well as Eastern European workers, were treated particularly harshly. Beatings and other forms of interpersonal violence were a daily occurrence, while the threat of mass killings lingered over inmates because of the ‘tunnel of death’ situated at its periphery. The landscape of Norderney was utilised by the guards, perhaps more so than at any other camp, in order to control the camp inmates and limit the chances of escape, while its architecture facilitated segregation and led to poor hygiene. Although Norderney was the location of an OT labourer hospital (where inmates from other camps were also sent), most labourers who spent time at the camp experienced illness, cruelty and even death. The site’s current appearance and use does little to recognise the suffering that occurred in this landscape or to acknowledge Norderney’s significance in the persecution of forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers on Alderney.

Notes 1 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/704 on Alderney Atrocities No. 2’, 18 July 1945. 2 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 21 May 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Report from Sjt Francis Bennett to 10-I(B) HQ Force 135’, 23 May 1945; C. Sturdy Colls and K. Colls, ‘Reconstructing a Painful Past: A Non-Invasive Approach to Reconstructing Lager Norderney in Alderney, the Channel Islands’, in E. Ch’ng, V. Gaffney and H. Chapman (eds), Visual Heritage in the Digital Age (New York: Springer, 2014), pp. 119–146. 3 B. Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny (La Hague: Editions Eurocibles, 2010); TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 4 For example, Fings has referred to GMA, R136/2, ‘Interview with E.F.’, 26 November 1991 and AG-NG, 1515, ‘E.F. Anonymised Interview’, undated as evidence that Jewish inmates were housed in Sylt camp. However, Norderney II (which is referred to in the interviews) is actually the subcamp for Jews in Norderney that was created after large transports of Jews arrived in Alderney from August 1943 onwards. Descriptions of Sylt, discernible from descriptions of Norderney II, are present in these interviews, confirming that they were two different camps. 5 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Copy of report to IO I9B HQ Force from Sjt Bennet, Alderney’, 23 May 1945. 6 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 21 May 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Report from Sjt Francis Bennett to 10-I(B) HQ Force 135’, 23 May 1945. 7 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Rudolf Groner’, 30 May 1945.

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8 G. Nebel. Bei den nordlichen Hesperiden (Wuppertal: Wuppertal im MaréesVerlag oJ, 1948); Ted Misiewicz, in M. Bunting, The Model Occupation: The Channel Islands Under German Rule, 1940–1945 (London: HarperCollins, 1995), pp. 175–179, and Norbert Beermart in Bunting, The Model Occupation, pp. 179–181. 9 Norbert Beermart in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p.181. 10 B. Bonnard, Alderney at War (Stroud: The History Press, 1993). 11 Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 15; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Translation of statement by PW KP 256520 Grenadier Walter Schüller’, 10 July 1945. 12 Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 33. 13 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Comin, Julio’, 10 August 1945; T.X.H. Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island (Sussex: Phillimore, 1981), p. 8. 14 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 8; WO311/13, ‘German occupation of Channel Islands: death and ill treatment of slave labour and transportation of civilians to Germany’. 10 July 1945. 15 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Translation of Statement by PW KP 256520 Grenadier Walter Schüller’, 10 July 1945; IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates. 16 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Translation of Statement by PW KP 256520 Grenadier Walter Schüller’, 10 July 1945. 17 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 8; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 18 Much of this account of Emil Sulikowski’s life is based on his testimony in GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimonies made by Emil Shulikovsky’, 10 June 1945 unless otherwise stated. 19 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Report on Alderney’, June 1945, p. 9. 20 Ibid. 21 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Comin, Julio’, 10 August 1945. 22 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, pp. 7 and 13. 23 Fjodor Nozdrin in B. Bonnard, The Island of Dread in the Channel: Story of Georgi Ivanovitch Kondakov (Stroud: Amberley Publishing Limited, 1991), pp. 97–98. Also see Profile 1 in Chapter 1. 24 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 35. 25 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by Mayorga Francisco’, 10 July 1945.; Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 14. 26 Ivan Dolgov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 35. 27 D. Wingeate Pike, Spaniards in the Holocaust: Mauthausen, the Horror on the Danube (London: Routledge, 2000), pp. 6–7. 28 Ted Misiewicz, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, pp. 175–179. 29 Ivan Dolgov and Kirill Nevrov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 35. 30 Ibid.; Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Mr Prigent’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/ resources/pdf/prigent.pdf (accessed 14 April 2009); F. Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands during the German Occupation 1940–45 (Jersey and London: Jersey Museums Service, 2000), pp. 143–146.

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31 As described in Chapter 4, SS concentration camps were characterised by the fact that they were ‘permanent camps, outside legal supervision’ with ‘unsparing brutality towards inmates, and tortuous labor’, and with defined systems of camp governance; See J.R. White, ‘Introduction to the Early Camps’, in G. Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2009), p. 7 and N. Wachsmann, KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camp (London: Little, Brown, 2010). 32 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/704 on Alderney Atrocities No. 2’, 18 July 1945 states that Adler took up his post in February 1943. Other sources have suggested that he arrived later in August 1943. See Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 73. 33 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/704 on Alderney Atrocities No. 2’, 18 July 1945; Adler appears to have also sometimes worn an OT uniform. 34 Wingeate Pike, Spaniards in the Holocaust, p. 7. From March 1944, Adler had to report to SS-Obersturmführer Georg Braun, the Commandant of Sylt concentration camp. It is unclear whether he had to report to his predecessor List prior to this. 35 TNA, WO106/5248B, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2253, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 5 July 1944. 36 Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny; S. Klarsfeld, Le Calendrier de la persecution des Juifs de France 1940–1944 (Paris: The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1993). 37 Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, pp. 16 and 247. 38 Ibid., pp. 44–53 and Annex 7. 39 S. Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp (London: Granada, 1982), p. 26. 40 ITS, 2.2.3/83261200, ‘Überstellung von jüdischen Arbeitskräften nach Alderney’, 26 October 1943. 41 CDJC, ‘Jacob Benhamou’, http://ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/notice. php?q=fulltext%3A%28benhamou%29%20AND%20id_pers%3A%28%2 A%29&spec_expand=1&start=15 (accessed 12 May 2019); Encyclopaedia Britannica, ‘Maghnia’, http://ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/notice.php? q=biographies_tous%3A%28aurigny%29%20AND%20id_pers%3A%28 %2A%29&start=16&rows=1&fq=diffusion%3A%28%5B4%20TO%20 4%5D%29&from=resultat&sort_define=&sort_order=&rows= (accessed 12 May 2019); USHMM, HSVD ‘Jacob Benhamou’, www.ushmm.org/online/ hsv/person_view.php?PersonId=5383748 (accessed 12 May 2019); Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 248. 42 The Great Fire occurred on 13 September 1922, four days after Turkish forces regained control of the city, marking the end of the Greco-Turkish War. G. Milton. Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922: The Destruction of Islam’s City of Tolerance (New York: Basic Books, 2008). 43 CDJC, ‘Haim Parsimento’, http://ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/notice. php?q=biographies_tous%3A%28aurigny%29%20AND%20id_

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pers%3A%28%2A%29&spec_expand=1&sort_define=tri_nom&sort_ order=1&rows=100&start=54 (accessed 16 April 2020). 44 Ibid. 45 Benoit Luc, pers. comm. 46 Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, Annex 7. 47 CDJC, ‘Haim Parsimento’, http://ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/notice. php?q=biographies_tous%3A%28aurigny%29%20AND%20id_ pers%3A%28%2A%29&spec_expand=1&sort_define=tri_nom&sort_ order=1&rows=100&start=54 (accessed 16 April 2020). 48 MDLS, CCXLV_256, ‘Internés juifs au camp de Drancy (Seine-Saint-Denis). France, 1942’, 1942. 49 US Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Index Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon General’s Office: National Library of Medicine. 5 Series, Volume 1 (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1959), p. 349. 50 MDLS, CCXLV_256, ‘Internés juifs au camp de Drancy (Seine-Saint-Denis). France, 1942’, 1942. 51 Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 49. 52 MDLS, ‘Ernest Morand’, http://ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/notice.php? q=fulltext%3A%28ernest%20morand%29%20AND%20id_pers%3A%28 %2A%29&spec_expand=1&start=0 (accessed 16 April 2020). 53 Ibid. 54 B. Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, Annex 7. 55 Ibid. 56 Unless otherwise stated, this biography is a summary of an interview with Haenel, in Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, pp. 157–165, produced with permission. 57 Westbatterie was discussed further in Chapter 2. 58 Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands, p. 26. 59 ‘Haenel Théodore’, http://judaisme.sdv.fr/histoire/shh/htrhin/HaenelTheodore. html (accessed 16 April 2020). 60 Ibid. 61 WO311/34, ‘Letter from Pantcheff to SIO PWIS (Norway)’, 13 August 1945; YV 3687663, O.51/ file 226, ‘The War of 1939–1945. Historical Facts on Alderney (Channel Islands) – written by Colin Partridge with assistance from members of Amicale Anciens Déportés de I’lle anglo-normande d’Aurigny (Alderney)’, Paris, undated. 62 TNA, WO106/5248B, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2253, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 5 July 1944. 63 Bunting, The Model Occupation, pp. 293–294. 64 GMA, R136/2, ‘Interview with E.F’, 26 November 1991; AG-NG, 1515, ‘E.F. Anonymised Interview’, undated. 65 P. Hirtz in Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 63. 66 TNA, HO 144/22237, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2122, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 12 April 1944; Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Testimony of Reuven Freidman’, www.

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jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/pdf/freidman.pdf (accessed 5 December 2008). 67 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 9; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945; TNA, WO106/5248B, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2253, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 5 July 1944. 68 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945. 69 AMA, 77/107/10, June 1944; Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 16. 70 Two German documents from November 1943 refer to the number of people in the camp but the text is difficult to read. It likely states either 1,500 or 1,600 inmates were housed in the camp. See ITS, 2.2.3.0/82360574, ‘Lagerstärkmeldung’, 1 November 1943; ITS, 2.2.3.0/82360572, ‘Lagerstärkmeldung’, 15 November 1943. 71 Sturdy Colls and Colls, ‘Reconstructing a Painful Past’, p. 131. 72 ITS, 2.2.3.0/82361077, ‘Bogdanow, Vitali’, 15 February 1944. 73 Norbert Beermart in Bunting, The Model Occupation, pp. 179–181. 74 Although Bonnard argued that the camp was built in 1941, an analysis of aerial photographs described in Sturdy Colls and Colls, ‘Reconstructing a Painful Past’ revealed that there were no structures in this area at this time, with the exception of the buildings that already existed at the site (e.g. the farmhouse and outbuilding); Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 35; Sturdy Colls and Colls, ‘Reconstructing a Painful Past’, p. 131; NCAP, ACIU, MF C0766, 23 December 1941; NCAP, ACIU MF C0809, 14 March 1942. 75 AMA, 00/122/10; NCAP, ACIU MF C0792, 15 February 1942. 76 Kirill Nevrov, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, pp. 164–167; Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p 86. 77 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Mr Prigent’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/ pdf/prigent.pdf (accessed 14 April 2009). 78 Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 99. 79 C. Sturdy Colls, ‘Holocaust Archaeology: Archaeological Approaches to Landscapes of Nazi Genocide and Persecution’ (PhD dissertation, University of Birmingham, 2012). 80 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Testimony of Reuven Freidman’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/pdf/freidman.pdf (accessed 5 December 2008); ‘Plan by Ted Misiewicz’, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 159. 81 ‘Plan by Ted Misiewicz’, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 159. 82 Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 111. 83 AG-NG, 1515, ‘E.F. Anonymised Interview’, undated. 84 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Testimony of Reuven Freidman’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/pdf/freidman.pdf (accessed 5 December 2008). 85 GMA, R136/2, ‘Interview with E.F.’, 26 November 1991; AG-NG, 1515, ‘E.F. Anonymised Interview’, undated. 86 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, fig. 17. 87 For examples, see Wachsmann, KL and Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). 88 For an example, see Hebertshausen shooting range at Dachau.

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89 Ted Misiewicz, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 159. 90 Theodore Haénel, in B. Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 160. 91 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Testimony of Reuven Freidman’, www.jerseyherita getrust.org/edu/resources/pdf/freidman.pdf (accessed 5 December 2008). 92 Albert Eblagon, in Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp, p. 93. 93 ‘Uzan Testimony’, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 183. 94 Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands, p. 134. 95 Kirill Nevrov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, pp 86; G. Kondakov (ed. T. Chernakova), ‘Alderney Island (Great Britain) and France’, in N. Komolova (ed.). Soviet People in the European resi,stance (Memoirs and documents). Part II (Moscow: Institute of World History at Soviet Academy of Science, 1991) p.  293 (Original language title: Кондаков Г.И. Остров Олдерни (Великобритания) и Франция/Публ.Т. А.Чернаковой // Комолова Н.П. (Отв. ред.). Советские люди в Европейском сопротивлении. (Воспоминания и документы). Часть II. М., 1991. —С. 293). 96 David Trat, in Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands, p. 134. 97 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Mr Prigent’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/ pdf/prigent.pdf (accessed 14 April 2009); Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Testimony of Reuven Freidman’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/pdf/freidman. pdf (accessed 5 December 2008). 98 Kirill Nevrov, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 166. 99 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Comin, Julio’, 10 August 1945. 100 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 13. 101 David Trat, in Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands, p. 134; Klarsfeld, Le Calendrier de la persecution des Juifs de France, p. 846. 102 Theodore Haénel, in B. Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny, p. 161. 103 Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp, p. 87. 104 ‘Plan by Ted Misiewicz’, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 159. 105 TNA, WO199/2090A, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2298, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 27 July 1944. 106 TNA, CRES35/1768, ‘Committee of Inquiry on Alderney’, 11 July 1945. 107 Ted Misiewicz, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, pp. 175–179; Norbert Beermart in Bunting, The Model Occupation, pp. 179–181. 108 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Testimony of Reuven Freidman’, www.jerseyherita getrust.org/edu/resources/pdf/freidman.pdf (accessed 5 December 2008). 109 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Mr Prigent’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/ pdf/prigent.pdf (accessed 14 April 2009). 110 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Comin, Julio’, 10 August 1945. TNA, HO 144/22237, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2122, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 12 April 1944. 111 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944; Sturdy Colls and Colls, ‘Reconstructing a Painful Past’, p. 137. 112 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Mr Prigent’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/ pdf/prigent.pdf (accessed 14 April 2009).

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113 Kirill Nevrov, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 166. 114 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement by Santamaria, Ramon’, 10 August 1945. 115 Bonnard, The Island of Dread in the Channel, p. 34. 116 Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 183. 117 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Testimony of Reuven Freidman’, www.jerseyherita getrust.org/edu/resources/pdf/freidman.pdf (accessed 5 December 2008). 118 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Mr Prigent’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/ pdf/prigent.pdf (accessed 14 April 2009). 119 TNA, WO311/13 ‘Statement by St. Feldw, Kurt Busse’, 22 May 1945; IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates; 10 July 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. 120 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/704 on Alderney Atrocities No. 2’, 18 July 1945; TNA, WO311/677, ‘Alleged Atrocities on the Island of Alderney. From S.O.P. 2 PS to Force Commander Force 135’, 30 May 1945; TNA, WO199/3303, ‘Report on Interrogation of PW KP 253797 HPTM Horst Schmidt-Walkhoff’, 30 May 1945. 121 Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 182. 122 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimonies made by Emil Shulikovsky’, 10 June 1945; See also: TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Peter Lempkin’, 19 May 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 123 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of Wilfred Henry Dupont’, 1945. 124 Ted Misiewicz, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, pp. 175–179. 125 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Comin, Julio’, 10 August 1945; Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 98. 126 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Mr Prigent’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/ pdf/prigent.pdf (accessed 14 April 2009). 127 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffman’, 1 August 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by PW KP/256658 Gefr. Johann Burbach’, 10 July 1945. 128 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Frank Alfred Bullock’, 1945. 129 Ted Misiewicz, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, pp. 175–179. 130 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/704 on Alderney Atrocities No. 2’, 18 July 1945. 131 IWM, MISC 2826, 189/2, Nr. 3376, ‘Interview with Ted Misiewicz’, undated. 132 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Testimony of Reuven Freidman’, www.jerseyherita getrust.org/edu/resources/pdf/freidman.pdf (accessed 5 December 2008). 133 G. Kondakov (ed. T. Chernakova), ‘Alderney Island (Great Britain) and France’, p. 293. 134 TNA, WO199/2090A, ‘Secret M.I.19 (RPS) 2280. Report. France. Tsarist Intrigues in Paris’, 17 July 1944. 135 Ibid. 136 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. 137 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of Thomas Lobins/Robins’, 1945.

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138 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Francisco Mayorga’, 10 August 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement by Caballero, Jacinto’, 10 August 1945. 139 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Comin, Julio’, 10 August 1945. 140 Ted Misiewicz in Bunting, The Model Occupation, pp. 175–179. 141 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Mr Prigent’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/ pdf/prigent.pdf (accessed 14 April 2009). 142 JA, L/C/24/B/1, ‘TMP de Paris. Caserne de Reuilly. Acte d’accusation dans l’affaire Heinrich Evers et Adam Adler, inculpés de coups et blessures volontaires et de vol’, 20 September 1949; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Besondere Anordnungen Nr. 4’, 10 May 1944. 143 GMA, R136/2, ‘Interview with E.F’, 26 November 1991; AG-NG, 1515, ‘E.F. Anonymised Interview’, undated. 144 IWM, MISC 2826 189/2, Nr. 4390 and 4391, ‘Interview with Gordon Prigent’, undated. 145 Jersey Heritage Trust. ‘Forced Worker’s Testimonies: Dr Bloch’, 2009, www. jerseyheritagetrust.org/occupation_memorial/pdfs/forcedworkertestimony.pdf (accessed 5 December 2008). 146 Jersey Heritage Trust. 'Forced Worker’s Testimonies: Dr Uzan’, 2009, www. jerseyheritagetrust.org/occupation_memorial/pdfs/forcedworkertestimony.pdf (accessed 5 December 2008). The tunnel is also described in AG-NG, 1515, ‘E.F. Anonymised Interview’, undated. 147 Sturdy Colls and Colls, ‘Reconstructing a Painful Past’, p. 136. 148 NCAP, ACIU MF C1978, 20 March 1944; NCAP, ACIU MF C2208, 10 May 1944. 149 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 10. 150 A total of 479 were transported on 8 May 1944 as evidenced in ITS, 2.2.3.0./82360564, ‘Uberstellung von 479 jüdischen Arbeiten von Adolf nach Hatzebruck’, 8 May 1944; YV 3687663, O.51/ file 226, ‘The War of 1939–1945’; Historical Facts on Alderney (Channel Islands) – written by Colin Partridge with assistance from members of ‘Amicale Anciens Déportés de I’lle anglo-normande d’Aurigny (Alderney)’, Paris, undated. 151 Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands, p. 144; P. Sanders, The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation 1940–45 (Jersey: Jersey Heritage Trust, 2005), p. 221. 152 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 10. 153 Mervyn Froome, pers. comm. 154 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 93. 155 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Copy of report to IO I9B HQ Force from Sjt Bennet, Alderney’, 23 May 1945.

6

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A landscape of internment

In 2010, following extensive research in the UK National Archives, a map produced by British Military Intelligence Division MI19 was located by the authors (see map in front matter).1 This map and accompanying interviews with former inmates provide a detailed insight into the nature of the German fortification programme on Alderney. Crucially, these sources also indicate that several other camps and internment sites (beyond the main camps of Borkum, Helgoland, Sylt and Norderney) littered Alderney’s landscape, very few of which have been referred to in post-war publications. The presence of a camp named Citadella has also been referred to, initially by Alfred Herzka who identified this site in materials collated by the International Red Cross.2 However, its precise location had never been confirmed. Evidence that further camp and internment sites existed during the occupation raises several important questions and highlights the fact that an absence of information about these locations equates to a considerable gap in knowledge about the experiences of the forced, slave and less-thanslave labourers on Alderney. Who were the people housed in these camps and prisons, and what was life was like for them? What survives of these sites in the landscape today and can such traces assist our understanding of the labourers’ lives and the German occupation of Alderney? Given that Alderney is only three and a half miles long and one and a half miles wide, the existence of so many camps and internment sites also gives us cause to reflect on why the Germans required so many separate facilities and how each of these functioned. To answer these questions, and to confirm the existence of these sites, further historical research was followed by a comprehensive programme of archaeological investigations across Alderney. Comparisons were made between maps, aerial images, the MI19 documentation and physical remains observed during walkover surveys within a geographic information system (GIS), contributing towards our understanding of the extent and nature of the camps and internment sites.3 This process was particularly important as few witness testimonies exist that describe the sites in



A landscape of internment 209

more detail. This chapter presents the findings of these investigations and concludes with a discussion of the unique and normative aspects of the Alderney camp system.

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Small camps and billets for labourers Analysis of the MI19 reports and archaeological fieldwork confirmed that there were at least nine camps on Alderney in addition to the four main camps described in the previous chapters (Figure 6.1).4 A number of smaller billets – most comprising one or two buildings – were also identified as sites where forced labourers were housed. A review of historical documentation suggests that the functions of these camps and billets (like the main camps that were built later) were closely related to the logistical demands of the construction programme and the personal characteristics of the prisoners and labourers. Which camp individuals were housed in depended (in part) upon their race, religion or the crimes they were perceived to have committed. Unlike the main camps, most were intended to be temporary and were created in response to specific building projects or the arrival of groups of workers. In terms of organisation, most were overseen by just a few military or OT personnel.5 When labourers were first shipped to Alderney in late 1941 and early 1942, some of the first camps made use of existing buildings – most often the houses of the evacuated islanders – which were sometimes surrounded by a fence. Gateposts were occasionally built to mark the entrance to their compounds. For example, an MI19 intelligence report suggests that Moroccan prisoners were housed in St Anne in a series of houses off Hauteville (Figure 6.1, 10) and that they remained there until early 1944.6 Traces of this camp still exist today, the buildings having been re-inhabited following the return of the local population to Alderney in December 1945. The MI19 map also recorded that thirty political prisoners were held in two houses on Longy Road.7 These houses still exist and several concrete structures, contemporary to the German occupation, survive to the rear of these properties (Figure 6.1, 14). Fenced-off houses in Newtown reportedly provided accommodation for the first contingent of French Jews and German political prisoners sent to Alderney in January 1942 (Figure 6.1, 16). These men worked in the harbour and on nearby construction projects.8 Although local historian Brian Bonnard has suggested that surviving gateposts on what is now the Le Banquage housing estate marked the entrance to this compound, map and aerial photograph overlays in GIS suggest that these gateposts actually marked the entrance to a nearby sawmill complex and associated camp (described in the next section).

Figure 6.1  A map showing the camps and internment sites on Alderney during the German occupation

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Figure 6.2  An aerial image of the political prisoner camp off Clos de Mer

In addition to designated camps, some workers were also housed permanently or temporarily in the structures where they were working, such as in the Soldatenheim canteen/soldiers’ hostel (Figure 6.1, 11; Figure 11.1), in the army cookhouse or on the various farms that existed around the island (Figure 6.1, 9 and 15).9 In 1941, workers were housed in the existing buildings at Saye Bay that would eventually be incorporated into Norderney labour camp (Chapter 5; Figure 6.1, 4). As most of these early camps utilised brick-built structures, the living conditions within them were generally better than in the purpose-built barrack camps that were constructed later. Although their use was predominantly logistical, the decision to house labourers in these buildings also reflected the greater value placed upon certain individuals, such as ‘privileged’ workers from western Europe, in contrast to the Eastern European labourers who the Nazis felt did not deserve the same standard of living.10

Purpose-built camps A few of the smaller camps were purpose-built, using the same style of barracks seen in the main camps but, in most cases, without the same level of architectural planning and security measures. These huts were supplied by Belgium firm De Cuhn and Belgian workers (who were captured and handed over to the Germans by the Vichy government in France) were

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sent to Alderney to construct them.11 Many were hastily constructed, some according to former inmate Jean Vigla, in a matter of hours.12 A number of these smaller camps were in and around the Newtown area. The largest comprised a group of ‘beaverboard huts’ surrounded by barbed wire, just off what is now Clos de Mer (Figure 6.1, 5). Maps and aerial photographs confirm that construction of these buildings had already begun in March 1942 and, by July 1942, the camp consisted of nine structures (Figure 6.2).13 The proximity of the camp to a sawmill run by the Deubau firm (which was also dismantled by March 1944) suggests that its inmates were likely working here (Figure 6.1 and 6.2).14 Informants who testified to MI19 stated that the camps in the Newtown area were also used to house the early transports of French Jews and German political prisoners sent to the island in 1942, so it is likely that a large proportion of this group was held in this camp.15 Unfortunately, in the absence of records, the exact number of people housed there and details of their experiences are unknown. However, the fact that this camp comprised nine buildings suggests that it was intended to house larger groups of workers than the other smaller camps, and designed to be more permanent. In fact, this camp was larger than the initial floorplan of Sylt labour camp (which housed a minimum of 100–200 labourers in autumn 1942) but smaller than that of Helgoland (which housed around 1,500 labourers). That said, estimates based on the number and size of the structures are purely speculative since it is known from other Nazi camps that the numbers of individuals housed in specific buildings varied considerably and it is not clear which of the nine buildings were accommodation barracks for labourers or for how long they were used in this way. The camp was vacated by March 1944 and the buildings were eventually dismantled. Houses now exist in this area (Figure 6.3). Further west on Newtown Road, was a hut surrounded by a barbed wire fence, which reportedly housed another contingent of political prisoners.16 This compound was visible on an aerial photograph dated 23 March 1942.17 Its proximity to the camp of beaverboard huts described above, but its separate nature, suggests a desire to keep the prisoners in the two camps apart. Unfortunately, the reason for this is not evident in historical sources. This area is now open grassland but some structural remnants that appear to relate to the former hut are visible (Figure 6.1, 6). The most ordered and largest complex of huts on the island (aside from the main camps) is a group of twelve buildings, arranged in three rows, in an area of open land just off La Corvée (Figure 6.4). These structures are clearly visible on Allied aerial photographs taken in August 1943, March 1944 and April 1945.18 In 2014, a geophysical survey was undertaken by the authors, in this area, using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), a method that emits continuous electromagnetic signals from a roving

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Figure 6.3  Gateposts which marked the entrance to the sawmill and associated camp complex in Newtown and the modern houses now constructed in this area

antenna and records how they are reflected or attenuated to determine the presence of buried features.19 This led to the successful identification of four of the structures visible in the aerial images, revealing that rectangular (most likely concrete) foundations still survive below the ground. The survey also confirmed that tracks surrounding the huts (which link back to the main roads to the north and south) also remain just below the topsoil. The MI19 intelligence report simply describes these structures as ‘well-dressed lines of low corrugated iron, semi-circular huts, each about 6 ft high. Informants do not know what is in them’.20 During the occupation, access to this area was apparently restricted and gun emplacements protected the road’s entrance. A power station was built by the Germans to the west, so this hut complex could have been connected to this facility. Unfortunately, there are no testimonies that make it possible to confirm whether it was a camp for forced or slave labourers. Further OT camps existed across the island. The first was to the  east of Borkum camp; thus, it was known as ‘Borkumhauser’ by the Germans (Figure 6.1, 18; Figure 6.5). Only four structures existed here in July 1942 (one of which – Longis Villas – remains a private dwelling) but by September, the camp had tripled in size.21 Construction continued to

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Figure 6.4 (top) Aerial photograph of land off Le Corvée taken on 12 August 1943 revealing the presence of structures and (bottom) Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey results overlaid onto this image and a contemporary Google Earth image, revealing that foundations and trackways survive beneath the ground

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Figure 6.5  An aerial image showing the OT camp on Longy Road and the adjacent Borkum OT labour camp on 12 June 1944

the east along Longy Road throughout 1943 and the complex eventually included huts,  bunkers and a dugout shelter.22 The exact purpose of this camp is not known but the MI19 refer to it as the site of the ‘OT Lazarett’ (hospital) and two of the structures appear to have been convalescent huts.23 It was built close to the headquarters of the Construction Superintendent of  the OT Representative (now Devereux House).24 An ammunition storage tunnel built using forced and slave labour also exists to the south-west. Access to this tunnel is extremely difficult, as it is overgrown and partially collapsed. However, internal investigation demonstrated a series of large storage areas in which the tool marks of construction are still visible. The former camp area is now predominantly enclosed by Longy Road to the north and Barrackmaster Lane to the south. Modern b ­ uildings have been built on the footprints of several of the camp structures, but ­underground bunkers and the convalescent huts survive (albeit ­transformed into houses).25 Several concrete foundations and other features relating to the camp can also be found to the rear of the modern properties. Another camp was located at the foot of Essex Hill. Members of the German garrison were stationed here from 1940 in a pre-existing building (now The Old Barn Restaurant) (Figure 6.1, 19).26 Belgian labourer Norbert Beernaert worked for one of the German officers who lived here, collecting wood for his fire and taking him food.27 The site was later used by the National Socialist Motor Corps (Nationalsozialistisches

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Kraftfahrkorps; NSKK) and a considerable number of vehicles are visible in aerial imagery taken throughout 1943.28 José Murillo, a Spanish forced labourer, worked here as a mechanic and one of his tasks involved the transportation of prisoners to/from Sylt concentration camp to the NSKK camp after their arrival in March 1943, suggesting that some of these workers were employed here as well.29 This camp appears to have been frequented by women visiting the German drivers who lived here: MI19 recorded that ‘informants have heard girls say they were going to spend the evening with the NSKK, down Longy way’.30 By March 1944, it appears that use of the site had been scaled back and three months later it seemed deserted, consistent with the withdrawal of part of the German garrison and some labourers from the island.31 In the absence of detailed records, it is not clear how many labourers were housed here in addition to the German personnel but certainly drivers and mechanics worked here from 1942 to 1944.32 Several structures pertaining to the NSKK camp survive. Some are now used by the Alderney Wildlife Trust as accommodation and storage facilities, while others form part of The Old Barn Restaurant and garden centre. Between May 1942 and August 1943, significant construction works had taken place at two locations in the vicinity of Val House, a private residence off Le Val Street in St Anne (Figure 6.1, 7 and Figure 6.6).33 By July 1942, building works to the south of Val House were well underway, which included the construction of two new huts and a significant amount of activity adjacent to the street front.34 By September of the same year, four buildings were complete and four individual areas of covered, piledup material were also present.35 By August 1943, the three largest huts remained and two smaller huts had been constructed close to the southern field boundary.36 In one of the areas the previously stockpiled material was no longer present and the contents of other three had been significantly reduced in volume. The exact purpose of the buildings is not known, but interestingly their erection coincides with the influx of thousands of OT labourers in July and August 1942. In September 1942, construction began on several buildings in a second area immediately to the north of Val House. By August 1943, eight structures were visible in aerial images of the site.37 Although its precise dates of operation are not known, witness testimonies suggest that this area was a camp from at least early 1943 onwards.38 The MI19 map and report defined these structures as: (1) an ‘open ended barn full of German straw’, (2) ‘two German buildings. The one parallel to the road is the new slaughterhouse which is not yet finished. The one at the right angle to the road is the “Marketenderei” (military supply shop)’, and (3) a ‘house taken over by the German officers’ with a sign saying ‘Luftraum’ on the door.39

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There were also underground storage facilities in this area.40 Beernaert testified that from early 1943, the small camp behind the slaughterhouse was for highly specialised labourers; civilians (mostly Germans) who were housed under good conditions.41 Beernaert was a butcher by trade but, after working at Norderney and attending a German cooking school in Guernsey at the request of his overseer, he was appointed as a cook in Le Val camp.42 Obergefreiter Johann Feldmuller, a member of the German garrison on Alderney who lived in a nearby billet, suggested that two of the buildings in this area were used as ‘stores of German bedding, tables and other barrack room furniture’ by early 1943.43 Unfortunately, the functions of the other buildings or the details concerning the n ­ ationalities of the other labourers that may have been held in this camp are not known. The purpose of the Le Val camp has been subject to speculation by other researchers in recent years. Some have claimed that this was the site of a reception camp known as Citadella (discussed in the next section).44 Roberts suggests that the Le Val camp was associated with a complex of nearby tunnels accessed via Water Lane and may have at some point housed workers involved in their construction.45 Roberts and his fellow researchers Kemp and Weigold postulate that these tunnels may originally have been designed to facilitate the building of V1 rockets and the storage of chemical weapons due to their similarities with tunnels in France and unique concrete ceilings.46 In the absence of further information from witnesses or detailed publications by these researchers, the exact purpose of the tunnels remains unclear and, for safety reasons, their investigation was outside the scope of this study. Finally, a purpose-built camp was also located ‘near the newly-built German bakery in Le Vallée’ (Figure 6.1, 8).47 Construction works were underway in this area in May 1942, as evidenced by aerial photographs, and nine structures were recorded here by the time a British Home Forces intelligence map was created in 1943.48 The camp was also marked on the map created by MI19 in March 1944 but was reportedly empty at this time. The canteen of the Deubau firm was located there, suggesting that at least some of the camp’s inhabitants must have been employed by the company; a group of North African prisoners arrived in early 1944 from the Hauteville camp.49 The area is now a holiday chalet park (Figure 6.7). Although the existing huts are reminiscent of those which the camp would have comprised, GIS analysis of aerial imagery and modern satellite data revealed that they are not the original buildings nor are they situated on the foundations of the original camp structures.

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Figure 6.6  The evolution of building works around Val House off Le Val Street in St Anne, showing at least one camp

Figure 6.6  (Continued)

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Figure 6.7  The site of a purpose-built camp in Le Vallée which is now a holiday camp site. The buildings are not original

Citadella? A camp named ‘Citadella’ has been referred to in post-war literature about Alderney’s occupation and its location has been the source of much speculation. A camp with this name was initially described by Alfred Herzka based on his work with materials collected by the International Red Cross in the 1950s.50 However, in the absence of the specific information about its location, establishing exactly where Citadella was, or if it even existed, remained difficult. Local Alderney historian Colin Partridge has previously suggested that this camp was likely situated next to the German slaughterhouse off Le Val (Figure 6.1, 7), while historians Michael Packe and Maurice Dreyfus referred to the camp at Newtown as a possible location.51 Some reports have suggested that Citadella might have housed Moroccan prisoners.52 Therefore, in PhD research undertaken between 2009 and 2011, one of the authors (Caroline Sturdy Colls) suggested that two of the camps described in this chapter present themselves as possible locations for this camp. As already discussed, the first camp for North African prisoners on Alderney existed on Hauteville and functioned from 1942 until 1944 (Figure 6.1, 10).53 As this camp comprised a walled complex of houses within a town, some (albeit tangential) similarities with the architecture of

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some citadels are notable. Thus, if this camp was Citadella, this might offer some explanation concerning the choice of this name. The second possibility is the camp at Le Vallée to which a contingent of North African prisoners housed in Hauteville were moved in 1944 (Figure 6.1, 8). However, more recent research in the ITS archives has revealed a French report dated 1951 (also translated into Dutch and housed in several holdings of various post-war tracing services including the International Red Cross) which may shed some further light on the so-called Citadella camp. This document refers to the existence of four camps on Alderney: ‘Heligoland’ (Helgoland), ‘Le Bochum’ (Borkum), ‘Norderney’ and ‘la citadelle/de citadel’ (the citadel).54 The latter was reportedly ‘occupied by Russians and Germans (politicals, anti-Nazis, conscientious objectors, common law)’, an accurate description of Sylt concentration camp which was not named separately in the document.55 Therefore, it is possible that this description pertains to Sylt, rather than to a fifth camp. This would certainly not be the only example of where alternative names were used to describe the main camps. For example, in a newspaper report published the day after the liberation of Alderney (17 May 1945), one of the first journalists to set foot on the island noted that some prisoners referred to ‘the concentration camp’ (likely Sylt but possibly Norderney) as ‘Cassette’, while a former OT labourer referred to a camp called ‘Chateau’ in his testimony (most likely Norderney).56 Unfortunately, in the absence of further documentary sources, the mystery surrounding ‘Citadella’ remains unsolved but the discovery of new documentation has presented new lines of inquiry for the future.

Alderney’s prisons In addition to the camps, the existing prison – located on QE II Street in St Anne and adjoining the courthouse – was also used as an internment site and became known as Arresthaus Alderney and OT-Gefängnis Alderney (Figure 6.1, 12).57 German military personnel who were prosecuted for crimes on the island and voluntary, forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers who had carried out perceived misdemeanours were imprisoned there. It was overseen first by Oberstleutnant Greve (until March 1945) and then by Oberstleutnant Girbach (until May 1945), both members of the German military.58 The OT also played a role in its administration as OT workers were also sent there. After liberation, Girbach testified that his treatment of prisoners was ‘severe but just and reasonable but in such a manner that an inmate was treated in a manner that did not wound his honour’.59 He reported some issues with temporary cells that were constructed during

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his time in charge of the prison, ventilation issues and some sanitation faults but the latter he blamed on the prisoners’ own actions. The toilet and medical provision, he recalled, were ‘sufficient’ and he claimed that the rations were in line with the island’s general policies. Several German military prisoners recalled their time in the prison after liberation, but their accounts of their treatment vary greatly from the claims made by Girbach. Kurt Yanke recalled how he was sentenced to twenty-one days there for insubordination for the collection of beetroot leaves owing to his ‘terrible hunger’.60 At the time of his incarceration, he reported that there were 40 prisoners in the jail plus 20 forced labourers, all of whom were imprisoned due to so-called ‘hunger crimes’. Oberfeldwebel Genrich Elbracht served a four-month sentence, split into two blocks in December 1944 and February 1945.61 Rations for Germany military members in the prison were reportedly 35 g of bread (reduced to 30 g after March 1945), 20  g of butter and one litre of soup per day; thus they were comparable with the rations of inmates of the camps.62 Medical treatment was not provided to prisoners as a general rule and they had to undertake forced labour (usually agricultural work). At least one German soldier, Erwin Spath, died in the prison as a result of the ill-treatment he experienced there (Chapter 7).63 Aged just 32, Spath was a member of the German navy of the second rank (Gefreiter). He was arrested and reportedly died on 20 January 1945 at a time when the rations were reduced, the heating was turned off, and prisoners were being beaten and ‘knocked about the rooms’.64 Despite collapsing several times the day before his death, he had been told that he was fit to work. Although his official cause of death was listed as starvation, one of the island doctors reported that he suspected that Spath had died of poisoning.65 However, this could not be confirmed due to the lack of postmortem facilities on the island. Whatever his cause of death, the manner of Spath’s demise was certainly due to the harsh treatment he received in the prison. Forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers were housed separately from the Germany military personnel within the prison. Two Russian labourers wrote to the Soviet commission involved in the investigation of crimes in Alderney after liberation, pleading with them to prosecute their captors.66 Their crime was ‘refusal to carry artillery to the guns, and for propaganda’. For this, they were reportedly starved, tortured, and made to live in damp cells for six and ten months respectively.67 Beatings appear to have been common. Ivan Makarenko provided information on his mistreatment which took the form of ‘very little food’ and being regularly ‘beaten by warders’.68 Algerian prisoners were also physically abused.69 At least four men housed in the prison were from the neighbouring Channel Islands – Eric Charles Kibble, Raymond Goasdoué, Douglas Le Cocq and



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Gerald Bird. Their crimes ranged from striking a German officer to being in possession of a radio.70 Some were sent to Alderney as late as 1945 in order to serve out sentences issued in Guernsey, thus demonstrating that the prison continued to operate even in the final stages of the occupation. The dire conditions and poor sanitation in the prison were confirmed by Captain Kent of the British Military Commission after liberation: I took over the directorate of the prison from Lieutenant Colonel Girbach. The prison has two rows of six cells, one on top of the other. For one row there was one shared toilet. The toilet in the upper row was full to the brim with human excrement. I was not able to investigate the toilet on the lower floor. There was one other toilet in the prison.71

The poor conditions were also observed after the return of Alderney’s residents and captured in the photograph shown in Figure 6.8. As of 2017, the prison survived but in a state of disrepair internally (Figure 6.8, insert). Although it returned to its original use as the island prison after the islanders came back to Alderney, it has since ceased to operate. No marker exists to highlight its former function as an incarceration site during the occupation period. As a final point on Alderney’s prisons, at least two other incarceration sites appear to have existed during the occupation. Georgi Kondakov described a prison in Newtown – which subsequently became a silencer factory and then a warehouse after the war – where labourers also regularly received beatings.72 Likewise, some of the German labourers (e.g. exmilitary men who had been found guilty of criminal activity) were housed in Fort Tourgis, a Victorian-era military fort complete with its own prison cells located at the west corner of the island (Figure 6.1, 13; Figure 2.13).73 A calendar comprising the first letters of the German days of the week in one of these cells is one of many examples of etchings that may have been created by one of these internees, although its exact provenance is difficult to determine as German POWs captured by the British were also held there from May 1945.74

Conclusions A complex landscape of camps and incarceration sites was created across Alderney during the occupation in which forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers endured a diverse range of conditions, reflecting their perceived ‘status’ by the Nazi regime. Historical and archaeological research has demonstrated that the number of sites created far exceeded the main camps of Borkum, Helgoland, Sylt and Norderney and, in total, at least

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Figure 6.8  Alderney prison after liberation showing the uninhabitable nature of the cells which were once used by the Germans to house prisoners and (insert): Alderney prison which was used to inter German political prisoners, mostly members of the German military, and other purported criminals during the occupation

thirteen camps existed across Alderney’s length and breadth. In addition, Alderney’s prison continued to act as a place of incarceration, both for ­court-martialled German military personnel and for labourers accused of criminal ­activity. By making use of existing infrastructure, the Germans were able to ­implement a penal system throughout the occupation. Sites such as farms, forts and other existing buildings were also used as internment sites, bringing the total number of places used to house labourers to more than twenty. Given the size of the island, the number of camps and incarceration sites described may initially appear very high, even considering the fact that



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more than 6,600 labourers were sent there. However, an examination of the positioning of these camps offers something of an explanation regarding why so many were built. The distribution of camps and incarceration sites across the island in part reflects: (1)  The need or desire to use existing buildings – This was particularly true between 1940 and 1942, when the first labourers were sent to the island, although pre-war structures continued to be used throughout the occupation if they were considered fit for purpose. (2)  The need for accommodation near to specific building projects or labour activities as the fortification programme developed – Initially at least, the creation of camps was designed to improve the efficiency of the construction programme on the island, ensuring workers had minimal distances to cover on their way to and from work sites. This idea is further supported by the fact that the four main camps were built at the four corners of the island.75 The scale of the construction works/labour activities evidently influenced the size and permanence of the camps. (3)  A desire to segregate, and often punish, different groups of labourers – This includes the separation of voluntary, forced, slave and less-thanslave labourers, as well as labourers from different countries or faiths.

This approach was common throughout Nazi-occupied Europe in relation to the housing of labourers and prisoners under German control. Archaeologist Marek Jasinski describes how OT labour camps in Norway were commonly created in existing buildings or farms, which were often fenced off using barbed wire, as forced labourers were moved to a given area.76 This was most frequently the case in 1941/early 1942, prior to the construction of more substantial camps, but existing buildings continued to be used throughout the war.77 At least four camps were also constructed on Gossen Island off mainland Norway to accommodate contingents of workers employed on specific construction projects, thus providing another example of how attempts to make construction works more efficient were still pursued on other small islands.78 A similar approach was taken in the other Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, where at least fourteen and five camps existed respectively.79 Likewise, it was common across the entire Nazi camp system for sites of internment to be built close to worksites and raw materials, increasingly so as the subcamp system evolved throughout the war, to increase efficiency and control over inmates.80 However, as described in Chapter 2, the situation in Alderney did change, especially in 1943 after the arrival of the SS, and inmates were installed far away from the places where they worked so that journeys between the two could be utilised as another form of torture.81 Like the main camps, the lesser-known camps in Alderney have left behind variable traces within the landscape, influenced by how they were

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built and how they were subsequently used once the labourers left the island. Information about what life was like in these camps is limited, something which is likely a by-product of their lack of permanence (in most cases), the few witnesses that survived and a lack of investigation.82 Because many were intended to be temporary, huts and building materials were easy to remove. As Katz has noted of camps in general, ‘the spaces are often created ad hoc due to an urgent need and later are frequently suspended in time with no clear future, separated from their social, cultural and spatial surroundings’.83 Many of Alderney’s camps had been destroyed and long forgotten by the time British and Soviet investigators arrived in 1945, while others were likely overlooked due to the focus on the larger, main camps. It is interesting to note that there was not always a correlation between the size of a camp and whether it was given a name. In fact, some of the unnamed camps described in this chapter were the same size or even larger than the main camps. However, it seems likely that the lack of a name to which inmates and survivors could refer, and the status that a name would have afforded the camps, have further contributed to these sites becoming marginalised within collective memory.84 These effects also resulted in the loss of the stories of many of the people housed in these camps. Thus, we know much less about the labourers sent to Alderney in the earlier stages of the occupation, such as the French Jews and German prisoners present in the winter of 1941/42, and about the experiences of others who spent time outside of the main camps at other points during the occupation. This chapter and those focusing on life in the camps which precede it have endeavoured to provide a detailed record of the events and places that shaped the lives of the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers who were sent to Alderney. As violence within the Nazi camp system was the norm, the descriptions provided may at times have sounded all too familiar to readers who have encountered publications and information about camps elsewhere in Europe. In fact, although we should be appalled, in some ways we should not be surprised by the catalogue of atrocities that have emerged from an analysis of Alderney’s camps as they were part of a wider system of violence and oppression that demanded and expected the exploitation and ill-treatment of individuals deemed to be sub-human or not even human at all.85 In the past, the authors have encountered people who have c­onsistently downplayed the significance and severity of the  camps, referring to them as ‘just labour camps’ or places where people were simply sent to undertake useful work for the Third Reich. However, many labour camps across Nazi-occupied Europe – just like the concentration and death camps that also existed – were all part of what Arendt has described as the ‘Hell’ encountered by the victims of the Nazi

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regime; places which were ‘organized with a view to the greatest possible torment’,86 places where, as at worksites, a fine line was maintained between utilising and persecuting inmates. The camps on Alderney were no exception. What makes Alderney’s camps unique, however, and what renders the array of crimes perpetrated on the island worthy of such detailed presentation, are the variety of ways Alderney’s landscape was utilised as an instrument of torture and the ways in which the principals of Nazism were applied and manipulated throughout the occupation. It is these factors which resulted in the unique set of circumstances that the inmates experienced, and which have rendered many of their voices silent. As Paul Sanders has argued ‘as an experiment in racism and group dynamics the Occupation of Alderney was highly significant. This sealed environment was the perfect laboratory for applied National-Socialism.’87 The sheer scale of the fortification programme in such a small area – and the human suffering its creation entailed – was compounded by the remoteness of the island, its unforgiving terrain, the creation of camps that put inmates at the mercy of the ever-changing weather and the absence of a civilian population to bear witness. Alderney epitomised, and witnessed the exploitation of, one of the central traits of the Nazi camp system in which (to return to the words of Arendt) ‘inmates, even if they happen to keep alive, are more effectively cut off from the world of the living than if they had died, because terror enforces oblivion’.88 It was a place where localised power struggles and the sadism of individual guards could play out relatively undetected and where, if such acts were detected, efforts could more easily be made to hide the true nature of the crimes being perpetrated because of the guise provided by the labour programme. The desire to inflict both physical and psychological brutality upon the inmates is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that both the SS and OT guards felt the need to erect fences, build watch towers and install machine gun posts around and within many of the camps even though it was clear to most inmates that they had little or no means of escape due to the island’s isolated location. For the most part, prolonged agony (via beatings, torture and other forms of ill-treatment but also through the architecture of the camps), inflicted by disobedient and often jaded OT men and SS guards, defined the lives of most inmates on Alderney. At times, as discussed in Chapters 7–9, faster methods of killing were employed to ensure that discipline was maintained or when the racial tendences that were so ingrained in the guards’ thinking manifested. Moving inmates from one camp to another – or between distant camps and worksites – became more common as time progressed and, after March 1943, the close proximity of the SS and OT created new dynamics

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that affected the daily lives and fates of the labourers. While at first the OT tried to emulate the successes of their SS counterparts in terms of the tight control they maintained over prisoners, a power struggle between the two groups in the summer of 1943 meant that labourers across the island were subject to new forms of oppression.89 Likewise, as those considered to be the worst enemies of the Reich (e.g. Jews and Soviets) arrived in greater numbers, the security of the camps was tightened, the punishment methods evolved and instructions from above to employ all of the measures necessary to control the inmates became more frequent. That said, whether in times of chaos (such as the early phase presided over by the OT) or in times of heightened control (after the arrival of the SS), the forced, slave and lessthan-slave labourers sent to Alderney consistently experienced mental and physical pain, the gradual degradation of their identities, and – as described in Part III – the ever-present threat of death.

Notes   1 The complete map can be found in TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944; Various military intelligence reports compiled by MI19 can be found in TNA, HO144/22237: Channel Islands: German occupation: conditions generally and War: German occupation of Channel Islands: conditions generally; TNA, WO199/2090A and B: Military Intelligence Reports; TNA, HO 144/22834: Channel Islands: Evacuation of the Channel Islands and German Occupation. A discussion of the camps noted on this map was first included in a PhD thesis by one of the authors, C. Sturdy Colls, ‘Holocaust Archaeology: Archaeology Approaches to Landscapes of Nazi Genocide and Persecution’ (PhD dissertation, University of Birmingham, 2012).   2 M. Packe, and M. Dreyfus, The Alderney Story 1939–1949 (Guernsey: Guernsey Press, 1971), p. 60.   3 Sturdy Colls, ‘Holocaust Archaeology’, ch. 5; TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further Interrogation of Informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944; TNA, HO144/22237, ‘Further Interrogations of Informants of M.I.19 RPS 2141. Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 5 May 1944.   4 Sturdy Colls, ‘Holocaust Archaeology’, ch. 5.   5 TNA, HO144/22237: Channel Islands: German occupation: conditions generally and war: German occupation of Channel Islands: conditions ­generally; TNA, WO199/2090A and B: Military Intelligence Reports; TNA, HO 144/22834: Channel Islands: Evacuation of the Channel Islands and German Occupation.   6 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944.

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  7 Ibid.   8 B. Bonnard, Alderney at War 1939–49 (Stroud: The History Press, 2009), p. 64.   9 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945; GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimonies made by Emil Shulikovsky’, 10 June 1945. 10 H. Backe, ‘Zwölf Gebote für das Verhalten der Deutschen im Osten und die Behandlung der Russen’, 1 June 1941. 11 S. Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp (London: Granada, 1982), p. 174. 12 J.-L. Vigla, L’Évadé d’Aurigny (Paris: Mon Petit Éditor, 2013), p. 37. 13 NCAP, ACIU MF C0813, 23 March 1942; NCAP, ACIU MF C0979, 20 July 1942. 14 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further Interrogation of Informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944. 15 Ibid. 16 Ibid. 17 NCAP, ACIU MF C0813, 23 March 1942. 18 NCAP, ACIU MF C1479, 12 August 1943; NCAP, ACIU C2783, 3 July 1944; NCAP, ACIU C4345, 18 April 1945. 19 E. Carrick Utsi, Ground Penetrating Radar: Theory and Practice (Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2017), p. 4. 20 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further Interrogation of Informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944. 21 NCAP, ACIU MF C0979, 20 July 1942; NCAP ACIU MF C1090, 30 September 1942. 22 NCAP, ACIU MF C0704, 12 June 1944 shows the camp at its largest. 23 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further Interrogation of Informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944; T. Davenport, Festung Alderney (Jersey: Barnes Publishing Limited, 2003), p. 70. 24 Davenport, Festung Alderney, p. 71. 25 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 138. 26 Norbert Beernaert, in Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp, p. 174. 27 Ibid., p. 174. 28 For an example, see NCAP, ACIU MF C1563, 3 October 1943. 29 Ibid. 30 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further Interrogation of Informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944. 31 NCAP, ACIU MF C1978, 20 March 1944. 32 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Murillo Jose’, 10 August 1945. 33 NCAP, ACIU MF C0813, 23 March 1942; NCAP, ACIU MF C0890, 14 May 1942. 34 NCAP, ACIU MF C0990, 20 July 1942.

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35 NCAP, ACIU MF C1090. 30 September 1942. 36 NCAP, ACIU MF C1479, 12 August 1943. 37 Ibid. 38 Norbert Beernaert was sent to the camp after the arrival of a commission from Berlin at Norderney in late December 1942. Hence it was definitely operational at this time. It is possible that the buildings were constructed between August and December 1942 but in the absence of aerial photographs, determining an exact date is not possible, See N. Beernaert, in Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp, p. 178. 39 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further Interrogation of Informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944; For a description by a German officer who lived in one of these buildings, see: GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimony of Battalion SergeantMajor Johann Feldmuller’, 14 June 1945. 40 Davenport, Festung Alderney, p. 132. 41 Norbert Beernaert, in Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp, p. 178. 42 Ibid., p. 176. 43 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimony of Battalion SergeantMajor Johann Feldmuller’, 14 June 1945. 44 G. Carr, Legacies of Occupation: Heritage, Memory and Archaeology in the Channel Islands (New York: Springer, 2014), p. 157. 45 M. Roberts, ‘Alderney Holocaust and Slave Labour Trail’, [WWW] www. jtrails.org.uk/trails/alderney-holocaust-and-slave-labour-trail/history?page=3 (accessed 20 April 2016). 46 R. Kemp and J. Weigold, ‘Hitler’s British death island: Astonishing story of how the Nazis murdered 40,000 people in Channel Island concentration camps – and planned to blitz the South Coast with chemical weapons’, www.dailymail.co.uk/ news/article-4478574/Nazis-killed-40–000-Alderney-chemical-weapons-island. html (accessed 5 May 2017). 47 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 67. 48 NCAP, ACIU MF C0890, 14 May 1942; JA, L/D/25/G/1/A, ‘Home Forces Map’, 1943. 49 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944; Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 67. 50 Packe, and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story, p. 60; A. Herzka, ‘Talk on Slave Labour in Alderney’, Channel Islands Occupation Review 1 (1970). 51 G. Carr, Legacies of Occupation, p. 157; Packe, and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story; p. 60; Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp, p. 27. 52 Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp, p. 27; Jean Vigla also refers to this camp as a camp for French people from the African battalions in Vigla, L’Évadé d’Aurigny, p. 37. 53 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944; Michael Ginns has also suggested that Citadella was located on Hauteville

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in his book about Organisation Todt. See M. Ginns, ‘The Organisation Todt and the Fortress Engineers in the Channel Islands’, Channel Islands Occupation Society Archive Book 8, p. 86. 54 ITS, 2.6.5.1/82370653, 30 December 1951. 55 Ibid. 56 The Citizen, ‘Probe into Island Murders: Search Continues on Alderney’, 18 May 1945; ITS, 2.2.3.0/82361077, ‘Bogdanow, Vitali’, 15 February 1944. 57 R. Miller, ‘Alderney Gaol’, www.frankfallaarchive.org/prisons/alderney-gaol/ (accessed 3 January 2019). 58 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimony of Kurt Yanke’, 25 May 1945; GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimony of Battalion Sergeant Major Genrich Elbracht’, 3 June 1945. 59 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Translation of Statement by PW LD 685 O’Lt William Girrbach’, 27 June 1945. 60 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimony of Kurt Yanke’, 25 May 1945. 61 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimony of Battalion Sergeant Major Genrich Elbracht’, 3 June 1945. 62 Ibid. 63 Ibid.; GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimony of Kurt Yanke’, 25 May 1945. 64 Ibid. 65 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement of PW B167457 St. Arzt Dr Hans J Hodeige’, 7 August 1945. 66 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Statement’, undated. 67 Ibid. 68 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Notes of Statement made by Ursula Camp Personnel’, June 1945. 69 TNA, WO311/12, Statement of Ernest Charles Kibble’, undated. 70 Ibid.; A detailed overview of the backgrounds of the Guernsey and Jersey residents sent to Alderney prison has recently been provided by the Frank Falla Archive: www.frankfallaarchive.org/ (accessed 18 April 2019). 71 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimony of Captain Kent’, 10 July 1945. 72 B. Bonnard, The Island of Dread in the Channel: Story of Georgi Ivanovitch Kondakov (Stroud: Amberley Publishing Limited, 1991), p. 39. 73 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 52. 74 C. Sturdy Colls, R. Bolton-King, K. Colls and C. Weston, ‘Proof of Life: MarkMaking Practices on the Island of Alderney’, European Journal of Archaeology 22:2 (2019), 247. 75 This did change over time (as discussed in Chapter 2) as marching workers from one side of the island to the other became a form of punishment. 76 M. Jasinski, ‘Reinforced Concrete, Steel and Slaves: Archaeological Studies of Prisoners of World War II in Norway – the Case of Romsdal Peninsula’, in

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H. Mytum and G. Carr (eds), Prisoners of War: Contributions to Global Historical Archaeology (New York: Springer, 2013), pp. 145–165. 77 Ibid., p. 156. 78 Ibid. 79 G. Carr, ‘Nazi Camps on British Soil: The Excavation of Lager Wick Forced Labour Camp in Jersey, Channel Islands’, Journal of Conflict Archaeology 11:2–3 (2017), 136. DOI: 10.1080/15740773.2017.1334333. 80 For an overview and examples, see G. Megargee, ‘Editor’s Introduction to the Series and Volume I’, in G. Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2009), pp. xxxiii; M. Buggeln, ‘Building to Death: Prisoner Forced Labour in the German War Economy – The Neuengamme Subcamps, 1942–1945’, European History Quarterly 39:4 (2009), 606–632; M. Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). 81 Jersey Heritage Trust, ‘Mr Prigent’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/edu/resources/ pdf/prigent.pdf (accessed 14 April 2009). 82 Similar challenges have been noted by archaeologists working at other sites of internment, notably O. Seitsonen and V-P. Herva, ‘Forgotten in the Wilderness: WW2 German PoW Camps in Finnish Lapland’, in A. Myers and G. Moshenska (eds), Archaeologies of Internment (New York: Springer, 2011), pp. 171–190. 83 I. Katz, ‘The Common Camp’: Temporary Settlements as a Spatio-political Instrument in Israel–Palestine’ (2017), The Journal of Architecture 22:1, 54. DOI: 10.1080/13602365.2016.1276095. 84 Dreyfus and Gensburger observe a similar trend with regard to satellite camps of Drancy in Paris, which became marginalised because of their status as secondary to a main camp. See: J.M. Dreyfus and S. Gensburger, Nazi Labour Camps in Paris (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2011). 85 J. Chapoutot, The Law of Blood: Thinking and Acting Like A Nazi (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), p. 412. 86 H. Arendt, ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism’, in B.B. Lawrence and A. Karim (eds), On Violence: A Reader (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2007), p. 435. 87 P. Sanders, The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation 1940–45 (Jersey: Jersey Heritage Trust, 2005), p. 191. 88 Arendt, ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism’, p. 434. 89 Sanders, The British Channel Islands, pp. 196–198.

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Part III Death

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7

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The deceased

With contributions from Daria Cherkaska As a result of the ill-treatment and deliberate acts of murder described in the previous chapters, some forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers never left Alderney. The extent and nature of these deaths, and the burials that followed, have been hotly debated in the years since the end of WW2 and these topics remain highly contentious.1 Numerous claims and counterclaims have been made by witnesses, historians, members of the local community and governments on these subjects. The Germans presented a seemingly ordered system for registering deaths and they buried labourers in two designated cemeteries in St Anne’s churchyard and on Longy Common (Figure 8.1) – actions that have regularly been referred to as proof that they afforded the dignity of a marked grave to all those who died.2 Since 1961, the official death toll of labourers has been widely cited as 389, based on exhumations carried out at the aforementioned cemeteries by the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, henceforth VDK) under the terms of the Anglo-German War Graves Agreement.3 The labourers’ bodies were then removed to France meaning that the former cemeteries were not subject to detailed research in the years that followed. Similarly, no attempts were made to investigate any other potential burial locations on the island, despite the fact that witnesses have regularly referred to many more deaths. This situation, coupled with the sporadic nature of records, has also meant that little has been written about the individuals who died. Those victims whose bodies were exhumed were classed as ‘German war dead’, which was both disrespectful and ironic since it was at the hands of the Germans that they died.4 This approach further stripped the labourers of their identities and downplayed the suffering they had experienced by implying they were simply casualties of war.5 Additionally, no analysis was knowingly done by the VDK to establish the true cause and manner of the labourers’ deaths, and many other forced, slave and less-than-slave

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l­abourers remained anonymous because their graves were never knowingly found. Likewise, the harsh reality of life and death for several individuals buried in the German military cemetery (seventy of whom were also exhumed in 1961) has often been overlooked since it has been assumed that all these men died in combat. The three chapters in Part III provide a more definitive account regarding who died on Alderney and what happened to their bodies. This chapter first considers the official registration procedures that were meant to be carried out after a death occurred and then compares these to the actual ways in which fatalities were recorded. In doing so, new evidence is presented which highlights the chaotic and deceptive nature of the death certification practices and sheds further light on the nature of interpersonal violence against the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers. Resulting from this analysis and for the first time, the chapter also provides comprehensive information about victims whose details are recorded in surviving documentation. Ultimately, it is our intention to give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves and to correct some of the inaccuracies that have been presented with regards to the identities of these individuals. Chapter 8 focuses on the places where the deceased were buried, comparing the officially sanctioned burial procedures with the reality of body disposal practices on Alderney. It discusses the disorganised and clandestine disposal of bodies, both within the official cemeteries and at other sites beyond their boundaries. Although they are referred to in the collective statistics and observations made in this chapter, a detailed discussion about the missing – those individuals who are known to have died on Alderney but who had no marked grave – follows in Chapter 9. This allows further information about their lives and the circumstances surrounding their deaths to be provided, and it facilitates the detailed presentation of evidence relating to the minimum number of deaths that likely took place during the occupation.

A note on documentary sources Before discussing the fate of the deceased labourers, it is important to note that identifying and/or locating information about many of them remains extremely complex given the incomplete nature of sources and the chaotic recording and burial practices that are described. The destruction of documents by the Germans at various points throughout the occupation (outlined in more detail in this chapter) was accompanied by other losses which have resulted in significant gaps in the documentary record. For example, some documents relating to the SS  Baubrigade 1 (SS  BB1)

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­ risoners on Alderney were lost with the sinking of the Cap Arcona, a ship p upon which prisoners from Neuengamme had attempted to hide records to prevent them from being destroyed.6 Others were taken off the island during the occupation by Nazi officials.7 That said, various useful resources do survive. In his book (published in 1981), British military investigator Captain (later Major) Pantcheff provided several important insights into the burial practices and demographic of the deceased.8 Likewise, former Sylt inmate Otto Spehr conducted extensive research into the fate of SS  BB1 prisoners.9 Many of these findings remain valid and form the foundation of the following chapters. However, in the years since this research, several important sources have been declassified in archives around the world and access to archives in Eastern Europe have facilitated further investigations. Therefore, evidence now comes from several sources, many of which have been compared for the first time by the authors. First, a number of burial registries – which documented names written on grave markers – were created in the aftermath of the occupation, most notably by the British military in 1945, a Soviet investigatory mission in 1945, the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC) in 1945 and 1952, the VDK in 1961–63 and the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation in 2001.10 Comparisons between these lists offers the opportunity to account for variations in the spelling of individual names and places as well as incorrectly transcribed dates. Several important sets of German documents also survive which provide insights into the system of registering deaths and the identities of the victims. Soon after liberation, Pantcheff came across a batch of death certificates relating to OT labourers who died on Alderney; 144 of the original 158 are now available for study.11 Although these certificates refer to less than half the minimum number of deaths and only cover the period between August and December 1942, they still provide important information about many of the deceased labourers, including some who have no known grave (presented in Chapter 9). Additional information about the deaths of SS prisoners comes from the various registers created locally in Alderney and centrally in Neuengamme concentration camp, several of which have recently been digitised.12 Many of these documents are only available because courageous prisoners in Neuengamme hid them prior to the camp’s liquidation. While these sources often provide contradictory, partial and inaccurate information, they also contain details that assisted in building victim profiles and which aided searches in other archival repositories. Extensive research was carried out by the authors within the holdings of the International Tracing Service (ITS), the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Yad Vashem, OBD Memorial and various memorial centres (such as those at Neuengamme, Buchenwald and Dachau) in order to identify

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further information about deceased individuals and compensate for the partial nature of other sources. This has provided a more detailed picture of German approaches to death and burial as well information about many individuals that died on Alderney and the journeys that led to them being housed there.

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The OT workers The official procedures for registering OT-labourer deaths According to official procedures, when a labourer employed by the OT died on Alderney, their death was registered. Post-liberation testimonies of German soldiers reveal that the official procedure was to notify the military police (Feldgendarmerie) and to arrange an inspection of the corpse by the island doctor.13 The body of the deceased was then sent to a camp hospital (if they died elsewhere), where a death certificate and notifications that ‘amplified the death certificate’ were prepared.14 From late 1942 onwards, this notification usually bore a standard text, as this example from Norderney demonstrates: the dead man was brought from the Norderney camp to the cemetery at St. Anne in a lorry and was carried by his comrades to his grave. A cross prepared by his firm was set up. The dead man left no personal effects.15

Proforma death certificates offered the opportunity to record the name of the deceased worker, their date of birth, date of death, date of burial, family status, nationality, profession and firm of employment on the island, the camp they were housed in, their home town and their cause of death.16 A copy was meant to be retained by the Camp Commandant and then duplicates sent to the construction sub-section office (Bauleitung) on Alderney, and the Front Area Personnel Section (Frontführung) and the Chief Construction Office (Oberbauleitung) in Cherbourg or St Malo.17 Hence, surviving records of this nature contain invaluable information about those who died. Several authors have suggested that these registration procedures demonstrate that the Germans had an organised, thorough system in place for documenting the deaths of forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers. In his book, which became known as the ‘official history’ of the occupation, Charles Cruickshank argued that, ‘even if ten times as many OT workers had died they [the Germans] would have produced death certificates for them, secure in the belief that they would have to answer to the world for their deaths’.18



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The reality of OT death registration: a chaotic ‘system’ While the official procedures described above did occur in some cases, death registration was in fact far less regulated. In fact, death certificates were not produced for everyone as Cruickshank suggests. Although elements of the process were certainly organised to disguise the reality of life on Alderney from the outside world, for the most part the system was chaotic and inconsistent. Variable instructions from above, the erosion of discipline among the local administration, (often unmanageable) fluctuations in the death toll resulting from the OT’s failure to maintain the balance between harsh treatment and keeping the workers alive, and efforts to downplay the numbers of deaths at certain points, all seemingly led to this situation. When the first deaths of OT workers occurred in spring 1942, ‘the procedure [for registering and burying them] was not too strict’.19 Likewise, between the spring and September 1942, a ‘higher authority was not usually informed of the cause of death’ and, in the months up to December 1942, surviving death certificates demonstrate that groups of certificates or reports were sometimes not submitted to FK515 in Guernsey until two weeks after death.20 The process for confirming the identity of deceased prisoners also seems to have been lax in this period. Fellow campmates were simply asked to confirm identities, although the Germans could also refer to photographs of workers taken on arrival (if these existed and if the face of the person was intact) (Chapters 3 and 5). Sometimes people were misidentified because false or incorrect names were given, or individuals were differentially referred to by their Slavic or Germanised names. As death certificates were filled in by different people within the German administration, there were also inconsistencies in the reporting and spellings used, a factor that contributed to the anonymity or misrepresentation of many victims after the war. The chaotic nature of these processes is perhaps best illustrated by a letter and death certificate dated September 1942 relating to Archip Alexeianko who was certified deceased following the discovery of a body. Sometime after these documents were created, Archip was found alive and working in another camp; hence, the body belonged to another individual who was never identified.21 A doctor did not usually see the bodies and arbitrary or alternative causes of death were often listed to disguise the reality of the circumstances surrounding an individual’s death. For example, sources suggest that many OT workers died of beatings and other forms of ill-treatment by their overseers, but this is not reflected in the surviving death records. Anton Onuckowski – a labourer housed in the Sylt labour camp who died of a severe beating but whose death certificate listed poisoning as his cause of death – was one such case.22 Executive reports created between November

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and December 1942, which documented OT worker deaths, most commonly listed dysentery and/or cachexia (muscle wastage) (sixty cases of one or the other, or both) and poisoning (thirty-five cases) (Table 7.1).23 Although this data should be viewed with caution as it was not established via medical means, witnesses did report a dysentery epidemic during these months. Undoubtedly this was caused by the lack of clean water and unhygienic food preparation in the camps, particularly in Norderney (Chapter 5). Josef Kranzer, a German marine also described a similar outbreak (which occurred shortly after his arrival in Alderney on 20 September 1942) that caused the deaths of many labourers and prevented many German soldiers going on leave to the mainland.24 He reported that, to his knowledge, the majority of people buried in St Anne’s cemetery around this time died from this disease. Unfortunately, some death certificates from this period seem to have been destroyed while others did not list the cause of death, so it is not possible to definitively confirm this. Other causes of death represented in the surviving 144 death certificates are wide ranging. These include wound and blood poisoning, tuberculosis, septicaemia, epilepsy, angina and diphtheria, inflammation and heart failure, but again it is likely that these did not always reflect the reality as autopsies were not performed and bodies were not examined.25 The disorganised – and at times dishonest – nature of death registration for OT workers, is also reflected in the fact that death certificates went through several iterations. Thus, by the time they reached the OT Bauleitung and the authorities in France, the cause of death had sometimes changed several times.26 A more ordered system was seemingly demanded in December 1942/ January 1943 when a special commission visited the island from Berlin and questioned the OT administration about the rising death toll (Chapter 3).27 This Commission also reportedly took away records relating to OT deaths, an act that has served to limit what is known about fatalities prior to their visit.28 However, despite their orders, once the Commission had left the island, ‘as with the rations [in the camps], so with the death certificates; what happened in theory and on paper was not always what happened on the ground’.29 Signatories to the death certificates still rarely saw the bodies of the deceased prior to burial, although they had the option to do so if they wanted to.30 It should be noted that as these signatories lacked medical qualifications, even if they had seen the bodies, the causes of death declared would not likely have been more accurate. Even after supposed improvements were made, multiple accounts describe how victims were transported for burial without a thorough examination. Eyewitnesses stated that the dead ‘were left lying on the ground for a day and a half and then some other prisoners carried the bodies off in a

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Table 7.1  Causes of death for 144 OT labourers for whom death certificates survive. More than one cause of death was listed for some individuals.

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Cause of death

Number of Other causes of death listed in times listed as association cause of death

Poisoning

35

11 name berries or purple flowers as the cause

Cachexia (muscle wastage)

30

8 in association with dysentery, 4 with exhaustion, 5 with heart weakness

Dysentery

30

8 in association with cachexia, 2 with exhaustion

Exhaustion/weakness

26

12 in association with heart failure, 1 in association with malnutrition, 1 with cachexia, 2 with dysentery

Heart failure/weakness

24

12 in association with exhaustion, 5 in association with cachexia, 1 in association with enteritis, 1 with malnutrition

Tuberculosis

9

Unknown

8

Wound/blood poisoning (septicaemia)

3

Blood/circulatory disorder

2

Angina

1

Blood stasis of the brain

1

Diphtheria

1

In association with angina

Enteritis

1

Caused by heart failure

Epilepsy

1

Gangrene

1

Inflammation of the kidneys

1

Inflammation of the leg

1

Inflammation of the zygomatic arch

1

Inflamed ulcers

1

Malnutrition

1

Phlegmon (inflammation)

1

1 in association with dysentery

Pneumonia

1

1 in association with dysentery

In association with diphtheria

1 in association with dysentery

Source: Based on IA, FK31-11. ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates.

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­ heelbarrow and buried them’ or that a lorry took them away.31 Others w report that bodies were frequently discovered weeks after death, having become concealed in ditches or even by the roadside, covered with leaves, making identification extremely difficult.32 Some individuals, like Alexei Isaev, were even collected for burial when they were still alive: ‘I could not get up and that is why I was put into the lorry, as if I were dead. When they wanted to drop me into the pit, my fellow countryman Nikolai Rjantzev (he was in another camp, and they had dug this pit) suddenly noticed that I was alive.’33 By March 1944, the system appears to have become even less thorough and accurate. A contemporary German report stated that ‘the military graves officer has given instructions that in the case of such bodies [of labourers], grave reports should not be made in every individual case but a collective report should be submitted from time to time’.34 In the months that followed, when it became apparent that the war was not going in Germany’s favour, efforts to hide (rather than collect) information connected to OT workers’ deaths increased. Chapter 8 demonstrates that this was accompanied by associated efforts to hide their graves.

Who were the deceased OT labourers? Despite the chaotic nature of death registration for OT workers – and the incomplete nature of the records – surviving death certificates and burial registries do provide some insights into the lives of these individuals. These documents reveal that at least 258 of the men known to have perished on Alderney were governed by the OT.35 Although post-liberation burial lists suggest that the first died in February 1942, this appears to have been a transcription error on the part of Allied investigators.36 The first accurately recorded death of an OT labourer – a Spaniard named Gonzales Peeters – actually took place on 27 April 1942 (Figure 7.1).37 Four recorded deaths that occurred between April and July 1942 were reportedly of French, Belgian, Czechoslovakian and Yugoslav workers, reflecting the demographic of labourers during this period.38 This group included one of only two women to have knowingly died during Alderney’s occupation – Susanne Bertin, a Belgian OT employee of the Kniffler firm who reportedly died of angina and diphtheria.39 After July 1942, when the number of labourers arriving from Soviet territories increased considerably, there was also a sharp rise in fatalities that peaked in November and December 1942 (Figure 7.1). Ultimately, burial registries and marked graves suggest that most of the OT labourers that perished came from Eastern Europe, most from Russia and Ukraine. To a lesser extent, OT workers also originated from Poland, Belarus, Georgia

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Figure 7.1  The dates of death of OT labourers during Alderney’s occupation according to burial registries and death certificates

and possibly also Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.40 Fedor Statschuk – who was born in Dołhobyczów in Poland but who was likely Ukrainian – was one of the first Eastern European fatalities. The landworker for the Wolfer and Göbel firm, Statschuk was 18 years old when he died.41 When the British military recorded the graves in St Anne’s and Longy Common cemeteries, they observed that Statschuk’s name appeared on two graves.42 Hence, in the absence of DNA testing and forensic anthropological analysis during the VDK’s 1961 exhumations, it was not clear which of these graves (if any) contained his remains. This was a fate shared by many of the men who died because of the chaotic nature of the burial ‘system’ on Alderney (Chapter 8). For example, Philipp Ohrimenko’s death certificate reported that he was buried in St Anne’s cemetery but a cross bearing his name was recorded in Longy Common cemetery after liberation; thus it is unclear where his remains truly lay.43 Ohrimenko was from the Poltava region in Ukraine and was one of a large group of labourers who died of dysentery in December 1942.44

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Wiucenty Gaido (actually spelt Vikentii Gaido) – who British records claim was from Yugoslavia – was actually from Kostopil in Ukraine, the location referred to in Chapter 1 where propaganda campaigns preceded large-scale round-ups in order to ‘recruit’ labourers.45 Gaido was 30 years old when he died in Norderney on 5 September 1942, shortly after his arrival in Alderney. His cause of death was not recorded. Adam Baranow, a 21-year-old, was one of at least sixteen deceased Poles referred to as ‘Russian’ by both the Germans and the British, most likely because his place of birth, Rafałówka (a small village situated in the Białystok county in north-east Poland in the year of his birth), was Soviet territory after September 1939.46 For many labourers, determining exactly where they were from within the Soviet bloc remains difficult in the absence of records, and given the shifting borders within Eastern Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. After September 1942, if grave markers and death certificates are to be believed, then only sixteen deceased OT workers came from countries outside Eastern Europe. This included Jakobus Deiyble, a 27-year-old painter who reportedly died on 8 October 1942. Although, he was listed as Yugoslavian by the British, he was in fact a Dutchman from Rotterdam.47 At least eight Jewish labourers who arrived from France died between December 1943 and April 1944. Although all eight were French citizens (Appendix 1), two men – Szmul Ela Kirschblatt and Leib Becker were born in Radom in Poland and Novoie Yegorie in Russia respectively.48 They died during the period in which Norderney camp was taken over by the SS but administratively they remained OT workers. Except for these individuals, determining the religious denominations of deceased OT prisoners is difficult in the absence of records. At the age of 66, Leib Becker was the oldest known OT worker to die on Alderney.49 Based on the available death certificates and burial registries, Stanislaus Knapp was the youngest. He was 15 when he died on 14  September 1942, reportedly from cachexia and heart weakness.50 He was originally from Kostopil in Ukraine but likely had Germanic ancestry.51 While OT workers of all ages seem to have been susceptible to a wide range of diseases and ill-treatment, at least 105 of those that died were between 16 and 22 years old, with the average age being just under 27. A minimum of sixteen deceased OT workers appear to have been former military men captured by the Germans during active duty, but it is possible that this number could be higher. As such, they joined the estimated three to three and a half million Soviet prisoners of war (POWs) who died as a result of incarceration by the Germans.52 The treatment they received on Alderney was characteristic of that meted out all over Europe; as Christian Hartmann argues, rather than residing ‘in camps that should instead have

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been characterised by safety and quiet’, Soviet POWs were subjected to terrible war crimes because they were viewed as ‘mortal enemies’ by the Germans.53 Having escaped or committed another crime while incarcerated in POW camps in mainland Europe (where they first experienced deplorable conditions), some of the men sent to Alderney were arrested and treated as civilians.54 The high mortality rate among this group can in part most likely be attributed to the fact that ill-treatment of Soviet prisoners was strongly encouraged by a series of measures issued by high-ranking Nazi officials, including Hitler, thus ensuring that starvation, disease and violence were a consistent part of their daily lives.55 It is possible to trace the fates of these men due to the existence of Soviet documents that recorded the fate of missing persons. Following a declaration by Stalin in August 1941, captured Soviet military personnel were classed as deserters and, therefore, ‘traitors to the Motherland’.56 If an individual fell into this category, the state could withdraw their military salary and any benefits that would have been afforded to their family had they been killed in action.57 Hence, large-scale investigations were launched across the Soviet Union to determine the fate of missing military personnel and we can now access these records. Two of the deceased men – 21-year-old Ivan Kowalchuk and 29-year-old Nikolai Tiurin, both from Ukraine – may have held the rank of lieutenant in the Red Army prior to going missing during active duty.58 One former Red Navy seaman was also among the deceased. Fedor Gromov, who was born in the Leningrad region of Russia, died on Alderney three days after his twentieth birthday.59 Another of these former military men, Vasil Borisenko, was conscripted into the Red Army in Irkleevsky in the Poltava region of Ukraine before going missing on 26 June 1941 near Lviv.60 Most likely he was involved in one of the first defensive battles that took place after the German invasion of the Soviet Union.61 Having presumably been held in a Stalag for POWs, Borisenko somehow found himself on Alderney under the control of the OT in the autumn of 1942. On 16 October of that year, his death certificate states that he died of exhaustion aged just 21 after a period working for the Sager and Wörner firm and incarceration in Norderney.62 While most of the OT workers who had been in the military were captured in Ukraine and Russia, some were detained elsewhere. For example, Adam Shuliakovskii who was mentioned in Chapter 1 was captured near the Finnish border after fighting in the so-called Winter War.63 After being sent to Alderney, he worked for the Strabag firm and was housed in Norderney. He died on 24 November 1942, reportedly after eating poisonous berries.64 Along with two other military men under the auspice of the OT that died on Alderney, Borisenko and Shuliakovskii have no known grave (see Chapter 9).

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Limited information is available about other professions practised by deceased OT workers before they came to Alderney. Three informants who were interviewed by British intelligence division MI19 recalled how a man named Demtschenko – reportedly an eminent Soviet scientist wellknown in Ukraine – was sent to the island. They describe how his identity was only discovered after his death when the Germans searched his body.65 However, although a Demtschenko was buried in a grave in Longy Common cemetery, no such scientist exists in the extensive documentation compiled about scientific researchers in the Soviet Union so his identity remains unresolved.66 For those OT labourers for whom death certificates survive, further supplementary information is available about their lives on Alderney. Out of these 144 individuals, the mortality rates were highest among ­labourers working for the firms Wolfer and Göbel (36 men), Sager and Wörner (31 men), Westdeutsche Steinindustrie (26 men), Deubau (17 men) and Neumayer (14 men). They were reportedly much lower for other firms (Table 7.2). All these firms operated under the auspices of the OT and were engaged in heavy industry, such as quarrying works, fortification building or infrastructural repairs. Except for a cook, a painter and a driver, all Table 7.2  Companies for whom 144 deceased OT labourers worked according to their death certificates Firms

Total number of deceased

Wolfer & Göbel Sager & Wörner Westdeutsche Steinindustrie Deubau Neumeyer Strabag Kniffler Deutsche-Strassenbau Fuchs Bosland (Wolfer & Göbel) Unknown Sporek Stork Karl G. Blume Shipping Colignon Baufoerster

36 31 26 17 14 7* 4 3 2** 2 2 1 0 0 0 0

* One of these men is listed as having also worked for Fuchs ** One of these men is listed as having also worked for Strabag Source: Based on available death certificates in IA, FK31-11. ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates.

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other workers were labourers, land workers or builders. Of course, these professions were likely foisted upon the men by their overseers and did not necessarily reflect the professions of the individuals before they arrived on Alderney. At the time of their death, 125 of 144 of these prisoners were in Norderney, although they may have died in the hospital there, having being previously housed in other camps. Thirteen of the deceased were housed in Sylt OT camp, a low figure considering that witnesses reported the death toll in this camp to be between forty and 300 between August 1942 and March 1943 (Chapter 4).67 In the absence of further death certificates, it is not possible to establish accurate death tolls for each of the camps. No deaths reportedly occurred in Helgoland and Borkum camps according to these certificates. However, it seems improbable that no prisoners died there, especially as witnesses report seeing people perish. Of course, these certificates could be among those that were destroyed by the Germans.

The SS prisoners The official procedures for registering SS-labourer deaths When the SS arrived on the island, they brought with them their own system for registering deaths of SS BB1 prisoners. Registration first occurred on Alderney but, because Sylt concentration camp was a subcamp of Neuengamme in Germany, a report was then sent to Neuengamme where the details were entered into the various record books. These included Neuengamme’s hospital register (Reviertotenbuch) and a registry office book (Standesamtsregister).68 The latter was created by SS administrators who learnt how to record deaths from clerks at the local registry office.69 The personal information logged matched that for the OT workers (date of birth, date of death, date of burial, family status, nationality, profession, their home town and their cause of death), but additional information was sometimes provided about the deceased’s religious denomination and their parents.

The reality of SS death registration: a chaotic ‘system’ Although it is evident from surviving records that reports about prisoner deaths were sent back to Neuengamme, the actual system of certification was no more medically accurate nor comprehensive than for the OT workers. As the SS overseers held the view that most of the labourers under their control were unworthy of life, it is hardly surprising that they failed

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to treat them with dignity and respect after their deaths. The information in the Neuengamme registry books contained many mistakes with regards to names and dates of birth/death and, although doctors did ultimately sign death certificates for these men, they were first told the cause of death by an SS ‘doctor’ who was ‘under total SS control’.70 The assistant to the German island doctor confirmed in his post-liberation statement to British investigators that an arbitrary cause of death of ‘faulty circulation’ or ‘heart failure’ was often entered onto certificates.71 Island doctor, Dr Hans J. Hodeige, who was responsible for signing them stated that ‘tuberculosis of the lungs’ was also commonly recorded, although this was not medically confirmed as the facilities to undertake post-mortems did not exist on the island.72 Almost 60 per cent of surviving death certificates for SS prisoners list these causes (Table 7.3). These arbitrary causes of death were evidently sometimes used to disguise the true nature of prisoner deaths. For example, witnesses suggest that shootings were a ‘favourite device of the SS guards’, although they were not always willing to admit this in death records.73 During March 1943, SS-Hauptscharführer Högelow reported that an epidemic spread throughout Sylt and, in the absence of medicine, prisoners were shot (Chapter 4). However, their causes of death were modified so these executions would Table 7.3  Causes of death for SS BB1 labourers according to official Neuengamme concentration camp records Cause of death

Number of individuals

Tuberculosis (TB) Shot Cardio and/or circulatory failure* Enteritis* Pleurisy Lung infection Angina tonsillaris Hanging Suicide by hanging Poisoning Fatal accident Unknown Total

21 13 39* 8** 1 1 1 1 5 2 2 9 103

* Seven cases also listed cardio and/or circulatory failure as a contributing factor to death alongside another primary condition. ** Twenty-one cases of TB or cardio and/or circulatory failure also listed enteritis as a contributing factor to death alongside another primary condition. Source: Based on data from AG-NG, Totenbuch, Reviertotenbuch and Standesamptsregister, Misc. dates.



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not be apparent.74 Similarly, Otto Spehr, a prisoner from Sylt who obtained copies of some of the official death records after the war, stated that two groups of prisoners were killed en masse in mid-April 1943 and February 1944 because they were too ill to work:

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the method used was identical for both groups. The sick were then driven out of their quarters by the S.S. guards at night and herded through a prepared gap in the perimeter wire where they were shot ‘trying to escape’ by the external guards, another established concentration camp practice.75

He states that the dates of deaths were then also changed in the Neuengamme death registries to disguise the fact that they had died at the same time. Other entries were modified several times within the various registers that existed, again seemingly to hide the true nature of the deaths that occurred. For example, in the official SS registry office book created by the SS administration, the cause of the death for Alexandr Schlojachtenko is listed as enteritis and cardio and circulatory failure, whereas in the Neuengamme camp hospital register, ‘suicide by hanging’ (a common euphemism for murder) was stated.76 Several hangings of SS prisoners actually occurred in Sylt camp, at least two of which were listed as suicides but were likely killings carried out by the SS.77 Högelow admitted in his post-liberation testimony that he ordered the hanging of a man who attempted to escape from Sylt but his death was reported as suicide to the military authorities.78 Jose Murillo, a Spanish OT worker, reported that a fellow labourer who transported bodies for burial also witnessed two prisoners from Sylt being hung ‘in the presence of all the other prisoners’.79 When he buried them, he said they still had the ropes around their necks. Witnesses reported that Deputy Camp Commandant Klebeck gave the orders for these hangings, while Kapos Fährenbacher and von Traurer ‘were particularly keen’ on this method of killing.80 Two prisoners – Kapos in the camp, including one who managed the prisoner kitchen – were reportedly hung ‘by their fellow prisoners’.81 Another deliberate act of murder by the SS that was disguised in the records is the death of Ivan Novitskii, a 38-year-old prisoner who received a skull injury which, although listed as an accident on his death certificate, was reportedly inflicted upon him by his overseers because he stole food.82 In some cases, an analysis of German records demonstrated that the SS appear to have been truthful about some causes of death, even if the circumstances were not accurately described. These cases illustrate further details about the brutal treatment that SS BB1 prisoners encountered. Many deaths occurred due to the SS’s failure to provide medical treatment. For example, inmates who genuinely did have tuberculosis were unlikely to survive. As in other concentration camps, individuals with this condition

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were seen as genetically inferior by the Nazi regime; hence, not only were sufferers denied medical care but their illness was often used as a convenient excuse to kill them.83 Richard Brauning died as a result of a minor illness, angina tonsillaris (acute swelling of the tonsils that reportedly resulted in cardio and circulatory failure) because it was left untreated. Brauning – an engraver by profession before the war – was 44 years old when he died. He was originally from Pforzheim in Germany but was captured by the Germans in Amsterdam. Although some cases of shooting were seemingly disguised, thirteen cases were listed in the Neuengamme records. One of the shootings was of Kurt Schallenberg, a 28-year-old metal worker, who was killed because he was caught stealing food.84 Another was Stepan Woniukow/Waniukow who was shot in the back on his thirty-fourth birthday. Recollections of Willi Everts’s death, a former Kapo from Sylt who was shot trying to escape, were common among prisoners providing their testimony to British ­investigators after liberation. A British intelligence report summarises this incident: ‘one of the German political prisoners hid once in St Anne’s Church … When they found him they took him to the top of the tower and threw him off. He was then shot on the ground.’85 It was perhaps the fact that, in the eyes of the SS leadership, these executions constituted punishments for recognised criminal activity (which were something the SS were taught to be proud of) which led the administration of Sylt concentration camp to openly acknowledge them. As Johann Chapoutot has argued: Himmler assured his men that they were not rotten murderers, as the morality they had inherited from their fathers might claim. Rather, they were soldiers who were eradicating a deadly evil so that Germany could live; they were a heroic generation accomplishing something no other generation before them had had the courage and strength to do.86

Just like their OT counterparts, efforts by the SS to hide the true nature and extent of the deaths on Alderney fluctuated at different times ­throughout the occupation. As the Germans suffered an increasing number of military defeats in mainland Europe, the SS became less concerned with documenting the deaths of the labourers and more committed to ensuring that evidence was not left behind. This became increasingly true in the final months of the war. As a post-war report notes, ‘in view of the happenings in Bergen-Belsen (Bergen at Celle) the director of the camp [Neuengamme] Obersturmführer Pauly gave the order that “no documents of any section of Neuengamme should be allowed to fall into the hands of allied troops”’.87 Therefore, some of the documents in Neuengamme containing lists of Alderney prisoners and their registration numbers were destroyed.



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Who were the deceased SS prisoners? Using the records from Neuengamme that did survive, it is possible to extract information concerning at least some of the deceased SS prisoners. These documents demonstrate that at least 103 men incarcerated in Sylt concentration camp under the governance of the SS died during their time on Alderney.88 Of these, seventy-six were buried in the cemetery on Longy Common (Chapter 8).89 The burial locations of the remainder are unconfirmed and this is discussed further in Chapter 9. The first death of an SS prisoner – Sergej/Georgii Kudriashov from Ulanok in Russia – occurred on 12 March 1943, just seven days after he arrived on Alderney. His cause of death is listed as ‘suicide by hanging’.90 He was 23 years old. The last confirmed death was Pavel Shershun, a Russian citizen, who died on 16 June 1944. His cause of death was not provided on his death certificate. It is important to restate that most people who were sent to Alderney had already experienced incarceration and illtreatment at the hands of either the Nazi or Stalinist regimes. Most lived in occupied territories only to then spend months and even years undertaking forced and slave labour. For the slightest wrongdoing, many future SS BB1 prisoners endured periods of imprisonment in harsh prisons in Germany or concentration camps across Europe such as Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Neuengamme and Flossenbürg (Figure 1.6).91 By 1942, the conditions in Dachau were deplorable; inmates were regularly selected for mass extermination on account of exhaustion and illness, included in medical experiments and subjected to terrible working and living conditions.92 The situation was no better in Neuengamme and, in fact, the death rate was at its peak in the autumn and winter of 1942 when many eventual SS  BB1 prisoners were housed there.93 Flossenbürg was characterised by beatings, shootings, torture, inadequate food supplies and sexual exploitation.94 The labour the men were forced to endure at these camps as members of construction units such as SS Baubrigade 3 (SS BB3) was also extremely difficult and, particularly in the winter of 1942, members of the latter group were subject to daily torture and the threat of execution by the SS.95 Having survived these camps and periods of incarceration, almost a third of those that died on Alderney did so about a month after their arrival (in March or April 1943) and more than two-thirds within the first three months (March–July 1943) (Figure 7.2). While many undoubtedly bore scars and illnesses acquired during these periods of oppression, OT labourers who witnessed their arrival noted that the SS BB1 prisoners were ‘clean, well-fed and healthy’.96 Hence, their rapid deterioration and quick demise on Alderney is testament to the brutal treatment they received in Sylt concentration camp and while undertaking slave labour. In ­relation

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Figure 7.2  The dates of death of SS BB1 labourers during Alderney’s occupation according to burial registries and death certificates. Similar figures are provided by K. Fings, Krieg, Gesellschaft und KZ: Himmler’s SS- Baubrigaden (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2005), p. 208 and M. Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps, Appendix 3 based on earlier research on this subject

to the number of inmates in Sylt, Buggeln estimates that this places the mortality rates at 1.2 per cent in the first phase (up to September 1943) and 0.5 per cent in the second phase (October 1943 to October 1944), which is similar to other subcamps in the Neuengamme complex.97 This assumes, however, that the official records accurately reflect the death rates, which various forms of evidence has shown was not the case (discussed further in Chapters 8–9). Some specific examples of deceased prisoners who died shortly after arrival on Alderney include Volodymr Zaiats, first mentioned in the introduction of this book, who was shot trying to escape after just four weeks on the island despite surviving heavy labour in Germany and six months in both Dachau and Neuengamme concentration camps.98 Petro Tratschuk, from Uhorsk in Ukraine, also spent six months in the same two camps but died (reportedly of enteritis and cardiovascular weakness) after just seven weeks in Sylt. Dmitrii Derkatschow experienced a similar fate. Having spent time in both Dachau and Sachsenhausen concentration camps, he died after only twenty-three days on Alderney, reportedly of cardiac and circulatory weakness. He was 31 years old. Similarly, after

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his arrival in Germany from his native Ukraine, Afanasii Maximenko participated in forced labour before being arrested on 30 June 1942 and sent to Leipzig prison.99 In July 1942, he was registered at Buchenwald before being transferred to SS  BB3 in Cologne to participate in slave labour until he was registered at Neuengamme concentration camp along with 200 other SS BB3 members on 22 February 1943 as part of his reassignment to SS BB1.100 He died at the age of 22, supposedly of tuberculosis, after just two months in Alderney.101 Maximenko left behind a wife in Ukraine. The youngest SS prisoners to perish were Mikhail Kanunenko/ Skanunenko, Volodymr Kotopulenko (a shoemaker) and Jakov Dovgaliuk, all of whom were 18 and most likely from Ukraine. At 44 years old, German carpenter Gustav Carl Wilhelm Bruhn was the oldest SS  BB1 labourer known to have died. The average age at death was 25. Information about the pre-war professions of the deceased is available within death records. Most common were labourers and shoemakers. More unusual listings include a cinema mechanic (22-year-old Ivan Kutschmistrov) and a train stoker (22-year-old Fedor Pecheritsa). Interestingly, the professions of those prisoners who were ‘shot trying to escape’ include a former driver, carpenter, farmer, locksmith and a musician. All SS BB1 workers were subject to terrible living conditions and heavy labour tasks while in Alderney, regardless of their former professions and the strain of this work on their bodies (Chapters 1 and 4), accounting for many deaths. The majority of SS prisoners that died came from Russia, the next largest group from Ukraine, smaller numbers from Poland, Belarus and Germany, and a handful from the Caucasus (e.g. Georgia) or possibly the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia). Once again, estimating exactly which Soviet-occupied territories individuals some came from was difficult due to the already mentioned shifting borders. The religious denominations of deceased SS prisoners were provided on their death certificates and it is possible to identify the faiths of other prisoners based on other sources. Although it is not possible to confirm with total certainty whether these were accurately recorded or whether the individual concerned was actively practising a religion, these declarations do provide some insight into the overall demographic of prisoners. Of the Christian faith, Orthodox Christians reportedly made up the largest group of individuals who died followed by smaller numbers of Catholics, Greek Catholics, Protestants and Greek Orthodox (Figure 7.3). At least four Jehovah’s Witnesses housed in Sylt died but all after leaving Alderney, three – Richard Klonz, Rudolf Wunderlich and Grosse/Gosse Wulder – in Toul during deportation.102 Other individuals who died on the island are listed as non-believers, or their religious denomination was unknown.103

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Figure 7.3  Religious denominations of SS BB1 labourers according to burial registries and death certificates

None of the registered deceased from SS BB1 are listed as Jewish. However, as already discussed in Chapter 1, it is possible that some Jews from Eastern Europe were using their Slavic rather than their Ashkenazi names, thus masking their identity from their overseers.

Other cases In the case of some men who died on Alderney, it is not possible to determine conclusively whether they were OT or SS labourers. Two men buried in St Anne’s cemetery represent interesting cases in this regard: 17-year-old Anton Stolbetskii and 27-year-old Alexandr Derkach.104 Both reportedly died on 22 June 1944 – just two days before the SS evacuated Sylt and at a time when far fewer inmates remained in the other camps – after which they were supposedly buried in St Anne’s cemetery. Curiously, they were two of only three men to be buried there after November 1942 and it remains unclear why their bodies were not interred in the main cemetery on Longy Common.105 Other victims remain unidentified because no markers were present on their graves or because no death certificates were available for them. Thus, it remains impossible to determine how they came to be on Alderney.



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Members of the German garrison and burials in the German military cemetery When a German soldier died on Alderney, perhaps unsurprisingly, their death and burial was documented in a more rigorous fashion than the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers. At least seventy-one men referred to as members of the German garrison are known to have died on Alderney, seventy of which were reportedly buried with honours in a German military cemetery off Longy Road.106 Closer inspection of the death certificates and burial records pertaining to these men illustrate that at least fifty-eight of them were German soldiers, sailors or airmen.107 Somewhat surprisingly, four OT Frontarbeiter (volunteer labourers in the OT) and a Georgian legionary were also afforded the same procedures following their deaths as the German military personnel.108 The identities of six others were unknown. The number of deaths of German military personnel initially appears quite high when the limited nature of military activity on Alderney is considered. Because the records relating to them were comprehensive, and because details were provided by Pantcheff in his publications on the subject, it is possible to understand more about how these individuals died. The dates of their deaths span a period from 4 February 1942 to 18 May 1945, reflecting the fact that the German military cemetery continued to be used after the liberation of Alderney to bury the bodies of those who died in mine explosions during the clean-up operations orchestrated by the British military (Figure 7.4; Chapter 11). Returning to the occupation period, two casualties resulted from an attack by British battleship HMS Rodney on 12 August 1944, while eleven individuals died in a naval battle off Cherbourg in June of the same year.109 Two individuals were washed up in the harbour, one of whom was naval helmsman Johann Schenk. The youngest known casualty among the military was marine artilleryman Heinz Kubisch, who was 18 years old when he died. The oldest was a 57-year-old Wachtmeister (naval sergeant) Johann Hermann Kleine-Weldhuis, who was killed during the attack off Cherbourg. While ill health accounted for many deaths, records show that the suicide rate among the German garrison was proportionally high. Oberzahlmeister (chief pay master) Rudolf Franke, who had previously been accused (though not tried) of misappropriating the rations of OT workers, reportedly killed himself in March 1945.110 Another man who died in this way may have been one of the island doctors – a Dr Köhler – who reportedly died by suicide due to ‘quite serious clashes with his superiors’.111 The circumstances surrounding the other suicides is not well known but one reportedly occurred in 1942, five in 1943 and one in 1944.112 Two ­executions

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Figure 7.4  The dates of death of men buried in the German military cemetery during Alderney’s occupation according to burial registries and death certificates

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of military personnel by firing squad also took place in April 1945. Aside from the suicides, another German soldier Obergefreiter Erwin Spath died in Alderney prison under suspicious circumstances; one doctor suggested that he succumbed to starvation, another poisoning, but this could not be confirmed in the absence of a post mortem (Chapter 6).113 Spath ‘belonged to the battery ‘Marcks’ whose members were mostly men who had been court-martialled and were extraordinarily difficult to handle’ and it appears his punishment for additional perceived crimes committed on Alderney was particularly harsh.114 These occurrences, and other records, demonstrate how arrested German soldiers could quickly find themselves in Alderney’s camp and prisons, subjected to forced labour and then, ultimately, to violence and even death. While Franke and Spath were buried in the German military cemetery, Pantcheff noted that according to Sonderführer Wilhelm Richter, the other military personnel who died as a result of suicide or execution were buried in St Anne’s churchyard. although the body of only one German soldier – Eugene Minarik – was found during post-liberation investigations and no known burials occurred there after June 1944 (discussed further in Chapter 8).115 The above evidence considered, it can be demonstrated that even the seemingly organised approach to recording deaths of ‘German military personnel’ was used as a mechanism to mask the reality of life on the island.

Conclusions The dehumanisation of the vast majority of forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers present in Alderney was a process that the OT and SS continued after their deaths. Although it appeared organised at first glance, the socalled ‘system’ for registering the fatalities that occurred on the island was chaotic, inconsistent and at times deliberately deceptive. Contrary to the impression presented in secondary literature after the war, the OT and SS did not create detailed records for everyone who perished, nor did they afford them the dignity of accurately documenting their personal details or fates. Similarly, records were altered, and various efforts were made to destroy death records at various points throughout the occupation, providing further evidence that official procedures were not adhered to and suggesting that the German administration had something to hide. Even the handling and burial of court-martialled German soldiers, many of whom became forced labourers, was orchestrated in such a way as to hide the reality of their deaths behind the veil of a military funeral. Unfortunately, the identities and fates of many victims cannot be recovered due to absent or incomplete records.

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The documents that do survive clearly illustrate that the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers housed on Alderney suffered from various forms of ill-treatment during their time on the island. While some were worked to death, others succumbed to diseases because of the poor sanitary conditions and the lack of medical facilities. Many died from the injuries they sustained. Although it is inaccurate to state that widespread systematic executions were carried out (as some have done in the past), executions (by gunfire) and other episodes of interpersonal violence did take place, resulting in the deaths of a proportion of the labour contingent. Some individuals were killed because of a perceived crime that they had supposedly committed, because they were too ill to work or because their guards saw killing as a sport. In death, many of these individuals became anonymous, not least because of the disparities in the information recorded about them. Yet, by examining testimonies, death certificates, burial lists and other documents, it has been possible to uncover further details about the people who died on Alderney, thus giving some of them back the identities that the Nazis attempted to deprive them of. As well as providing micro-histories connected to individuals, this review has also facilitated an analysis of the wider demographic of people who died under the control of both the OT and SS, confirming that although a range of individuals perished, the victims were predominantly young labourers from Eastern Europe who succumbed to the harsh working and living conditions, or were murdered by the Germans. More than two-thirds of known victims were governed by the OT, likely reflecting the fact they were less experienced than the SS in meting out a the right amount of ill-treatment and punishment while ensuring prisoners were kept alive to complete useful labour.

Notes 1 For an overview, see G. Carr and C. Sturdy Colls, ‘Taboo and Sensitive Heritage: Labour Camps, Burials and the Role of Activism in the Channel Islands’, International Journal of Heritage Studies 22:9 (2016), 702–715, DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2016.1191524. 2 For examples, see C. Cruickshank, The German Occupation of the Channel Islands (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975); T.X.H. Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island (Sussex: Phillimore, 1981), pp. 66–74. 3 For press coverage of the exhumations, see Guernsey Star, 18 October 1961, 17 November 1961 and 19 December 1961, as well as the Guernsey Evening Press, 17 October 1961. Some research has been done to establish the number of deceased SS prisoners. See K. Fings, Krieg, Gesellschaft und KZ: Himmlers SS-Baubrigaden (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2005), p. 208 and M. Buggeln, Slave

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Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014), p. 101. 4 The decision to class the forced and slave workers as German war dead is discussed in TNA, HO284/84, ‘Letter to Gordon Brown from Guernsey Authorities’, 15 August 1961 and TNA, FCO33/4872, ‘Exhumation and Transfer of War Dead from Alderney’, 15 July 1981. 5 TNA, HO284/84, ‘Anglo-German War Graves Agreement’, 1959. 6 ITS, 1.1.3.0/82132600, ‘Record of the Concentration Camp Neuengamme’, 23 November 1945. 7 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by St. Feldw, Kurt Busse’, 22 May 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. 8 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, pp. 64–74. 9 T.X.H. Pantcheff, ‘Sylt camp, Alderney (1943–44)’, Alderney Society and Museum Bulletin 17:3 (1982), 19; TNA, WO199/3303, ‘Report on the interrogation of Otto Spehr’, 13 December 1944. 10 For the British lists, see Appendices F and G in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 27 June 1945. For the Soviet list, see GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167. For the IWGC lists, see, TNA, FO371/100916, ‘Alderney (St. Anne) Churchyard’, 1952; and TNA, FO371/100916, ‘Alderney Channel Islands, Alderney, Russian Cemetery, Foreign Workers’, 1952. For details concerning the exhumations in 1961, see CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Members of the German Todt Organisation. Alderney Russian Cemetery’, 7 December 1961; CWGC, 7/4/2/10821, ‘German War Graves. Alderney. St Anne Churchyard’, 8 December 1961; for an example of burial cards created by the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, see https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info. htm?id=261981688&p=1. 11 This batch originally comprised of 158 death certificates. However, in the 1970s, some of them were returned to family members of the deceased, while the rest were held by the Island Archives in Guernsey following their transfer from the Imperial War Museum (pers. comm., Island Archives and Imperial War Museum). Just over forty certificates were catalogued by the Island Archives and were available for study. In 2018, a second batch was found following a request by the authors to the archive, bringing the total to 144. 12 In the early 1980s, Otto Spehr (a former inmate of Sylt camp) located eightyseven entries in the Neuengamme camp registries relating to deceased SS BB1 prisoners. Due to recent digitisation initiatives, more records are now available for study and they have informed this research. 13 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by St. Feldw, Kurt Busse’, 22 May 1945. 14 Cruickshank, The German Occupation of the Channel Islands, p. 204. 15 IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates. 16 Ibid. 17 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 64. 18 Cruickshank, The German Occupation of the Channel Islands, p. 204.

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19 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, pp. 64–65. 20 Ibid.; IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates. 21 IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates. Alexeianko did in fact die later and another death certificate records the circumstances of his demise, as described in the introduction to this volume. 22 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 66. 23 Ibid., p. 74. 24 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Josef Kranzer’, 1 June 1945. 25 Based on IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates. 26 Examples are contained within IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates. 27 TNA, WO311/13 ‘Statement by St. Feldw, Kurt Busse’, 22 May 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. This Commission was one of many operating across Europe at this time that aimed to improve the conditions in the camps and give the impression of order to the outside world. See Chapter 3 for further information. 28 Ibid. 29 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 64. 30 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 21 May 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/707 Periodical Report on Alderney Atrocities No. 3’, 12 August 1945. 31 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of William John’, May 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Frank Alfred Bullock’, 1945. 32 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 21 May 1945. GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimonies made by Emil Shulikovsky’, 10 June 1945; TNA, WO311/11, Report from Sjt Francis Bennett to 10-I(B) HQ Force 135’, 23 May 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Brigadier Shapcott to Major Haddock’, 26 May 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 28 May 1945. 33 For an example, see B. Bonnard, The Island of Dread in the Channel: The Story of Georgi Ivanovitch Kondakov (Stroud: Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1991), p. 52. In the Russian version of this text, Rjantsev is spelt Riazantsev. 34 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/703 Periodical Report on Island Atrocities. Report 1’, 5 July 1945; An example of this kind of report survives in IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates and documents the deaths of six Russians and one Dutch worker who died on 12 October 1942. 35 Determining the number of OT prisoners was easier prior to the arrival of the SS in March 1943. The thirty-two people who died after the arrival of the SS do not appear in SS records. However, as these records are incomplete it is not possible to confirm definitively whether these individuals were governed by the SS or OT. A number of unmarked graves existed for which determining the identities and governing body remains impossible. 36 The death certificates of Iaser Koleda and Michael Melschin in IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates suggest that these men actually died in November 1942. It appears that the British government misinterpreted ‘II’

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on the grave marker as Roman numerals instead of as ‘11’ as intended. On thirty-two of the crosses, the dates of death were illegible. 37 Appendix F in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 27 June 1945. 38 Ibid. 39 IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates – Susanne Bertin’, 2 October 1942. 40 Appendix 1; Labourers from the Caucasus were often POWs enlisted for forced labour. This is discussed further below. 41 TsAMO, 58/977520/3491, ‘Prisoner of War Information’, https://obd-memo rial.ru/html/info.htm?id=68560454, 29 April 1947; IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates – Fedor Statschuk, 1 September 1942. Throughout this chapter, an attempt has been made to use original spellings of names in an individuals’ native language as a mark of respect to the individuals concerned. Hence, this may differ from the spelling(s) that occur in documentation created during and after the war. 42 Appendix F in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 27 June 1945. His grave in St Anne is visible in an image held by the Alderney Museum; AMA, 97/312.4.18, ‘Russian Graves. St Anne’s Church Yard’, undated. 43 Compare AMA, 97/312.4.18, ‘Russian Graves. St Anne’s Church Yard’ and the entry for Philipp Orchimenko in Appendix F in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 27 June 1945. 44 IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates – Philipp Orchimenko’, Misc. dates. 45 IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates – Wiucenty Gaida’, 7 September 1942; The correct spelling of his name was shown in Soviet documents. See: OBD, ‘Irrevocable Loss Report no. 24530’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info. htm?id=68560292&p=12, 29 April 1947. 46 IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates – Adam Baranoff’, 1 December 1942; ‘Belastok Region’, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belastok_Region (accessed 6 April 2020). 47 IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates – Jakobus Deiyble’, 12 October 1942. 48 YV, Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names, https://yvng.yadvashem.org/ index.html?language=en&s_lastName=&s_firstName=&s_place=alderney&s_ dateOfBirth=&cluster=true, misc. dates; B. Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny (La Hague: Editions Eurocibles, 2010), Annexe 7. 49 YV, Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names, https://yvng.yadvashem.org/ index.html?language=en&s_lastName=&s_firstName=&s_place=alderney&s_ dateOfBirth=&cluster=true, misc. dates (accessed 19 May 2019). 50 IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates – Stanislaus Knapp’, 15 September 1942. 51 See also: OBD, ‘Report no. 24530’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info. htm?id=261981373, undated. It is possible that Knapp was a Volksdeutsche based on the spelling of his name. 52 For discussions concerning the number of Soviet POWs who died in WW2, see P. Polian, Zhertvy dvukh diktatur: Zhizn’, trud, unizheniia i smert’ sovetskikh

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voennoplennykh i ostarbaiterov na chuzhbine i na rodine, 2nd edn (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2002); M. Ellman and S. Maksudov, ‘Soviet Deaths in the Great Patriotic War: A Note’, Europe-Asia Studies 46:4 (1994), 671. 53 C. Hartmann, Operation Barbarossa: Nazi Germany’s War in the East (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 89; B. van Dijk, ‘“The Great Humanitarian”: the Soviet Union, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Geneva Conventions of 1949’, Law and History Review 37 (2019), 209–235; K C. Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine under Nazi Rule (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004), p. 90. 54 Soviet POWs were also treated as civilians because the USSR did not comply with the Geneva Convention. See van Dijk, ‘“The Great Humanitarian”’, and TsDAGO, f 1 op 23 s 3108, p. 148. 55 For a detailed review of the measures against Soviet prisoners of war, see T.E. Porter, ‘Hitler’s Forgotten Genocides: The Fate of Soviet POWS’, Elon Law Review 5 (2013), 364–370. 56 Ibid., p. 373. 57 Ibid. Relatives of missing soldiers also faced the possibility of being investigated by the Security Service. 58 For Ivan Kovalchuk, see: TsAMO, 33/11458/106, ‘Irrevocable loss information’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=3348098, 12 January 1944. Other sources suggest he might have been a private. See TsAMO, 58/18002/1611, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https://obdmemorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=66134399, undated; For Nikolaj Tiurin, see: TsAMO, 58/818884/30, ‘Nikolaj Tiurin, Irrevocable loss information’, https:// obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=1027572, undated. 59 OBD, ‘Fedor Gromov, Information from Loss Clarification Documents’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=76923727 (accessed 20 January 2019); IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates – Fedor Gromof’, 14 November 1942. 60 TsAMO, 58/818883/204, ‘Irrevocable Loss Information’, https://obd-memo rial.ru/html/info.htm?id=1476144, 13 January 1942. 61 Hartmann, Operation Barbarossa, pp. 47–54. 62 IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates – Basil Borisenko’, 17 October 1942. 63 TsAMO, 58/977527/78, ‘Information from Loss Clarification Documents’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=70839943, 9 June 1954. 64 IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates – Adam Schulakowki’, 25 November 1942. 65 TNA, WO106/5248B, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2253, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 5 July 1944. 66 Sources consulted: O. Schmidt (ed.), The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, Volume 21 (Moscow: State Scientific Publishing House, 1931); N. Pononska-Vasilenko, Ukrainska Akademia nauk: narys istorii, 1931–1941, Volume 2 (Munich: Logos, 1958); V. Kubiyovych (ed.), Encyclopedia of Ukraine. The Vocabulary Part. Volume 2 (Lviv: Paris-New-York: Molode zhutia, 1955–1957); V. A. Smolіi (ed.), Enciklopedia istorii Ukrainy, Volume 2 (Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 2004).

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67 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Civ. Cyprian Lipinski’, 28 July 1945. 68 AG-NG, Reviertotenbuch and Standesamtsregister. 69 Reimer Möller, pers. comm. 70 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, pp. 66 and 68. 71 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Translation of statement by San.O/Gofr. Karl Hubner’, 31 August 1945. 72 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945; Tuberculosis is listed as the cause of death for 20 per cent of the SS prisoners for whom death certificates are available. 73 ITS, 1.1.30/82132698, ‘The Story of Neuengamme’, undated. 74 AG-NG, 13_7_5_5_I_ SS  Bau, Confession of SS officer Högelow of 1 SS Construction-Brigade (later 5 SS Construction Brigade), May 1945, p. 22. 75 Pantcheff, ‘Sylt camp, Alderney’, p. 19. 76 See ‘Alexander Schlojachtenko’, in AG-NG, Reviertotenbuch and Standesamtsregister. 77 Pantcheff, ‘Sylt camp, Alderney’, p. 19. 78 AG-NG, ‘Geständnis des SS-Hauptscharführer Högelow’, 7 April 1947. 79 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement by Murillo Jose’, 10 August 1945. 80 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1, Tape 4496, ‘Testimony of Otto Spehr’, undated. 81 BA, Sapmo, BY5 279/66, ‘Alfons Kupke report’, 1947. 82 Pantcheff, ‘Sylt camp, Alderney’, p. 19. 83 A. Finley-Croswhite and A. Munzer, ‘Nazi Medicine, Tuberculosis, and Genocide’, in J.F. Murray and R. Loddenkemper (eds), Tuberculosis and War: Lessons Learned from World War II (Basel: Karger, 2008), pp. 44–62. 84 Fings, Krieg, Gesellschaft und KZ, p. 209. 85 This incident is described in several sources including: TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Unteroffizier Rudolf Kupfer’, 25 June 1945; TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944; USHMM, RG.14–101M, ‘Dr Helmut Baldewein’, 3 February 1966. 86 J. Chapoutot, The Law of Blood: Thinking and Acting Like a Nazi (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), p. 412. 87 ITS, 1.1.3.0/82132600, ‘Record of the Concentration Camp Neuengamme’, 23 November 1945. 88 Unless otherwise stated, information concerning the fate of the SS BB1 prisoners throughout this section comes from AG-NG, Totenbuch, Reviertotenbuch and Standesamtsregister. 89 Sixty-six individuals with marked burials were certainly members of SS BB1 while a further ten were almost certainly in the same group, despite slight variations in their names between death certificates and burial registries. 90 ITS, 1.1.3.0/3455330, ‘Sergej Kudrjaschow’, 5 June 1943. 91 The main sources of information about these transports are the archives of the memorial museums associated with each of these sites. See: AG-D for Dachau, GMA for Sachenhausen, AG-NG for Neuengamme and AG-F for Flossenbürg.

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92 N. Wachsmann, KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camp (London: Little, Brown, 2010), p. 257; B. Distel, ‘Dachau Main Camp’, in G. Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2009), pp. 442–446. 93 H. Kaienburg, ‘Neuengamme Main Camp’, in Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, p. 1075. 94 T. Huebner, ‘Flossenbürg Main Camp’, in Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, pp. 560–565. 95 K. Fings, ‘Köln (Buchenwald) (SS-BB III)’, in Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, p. 1384. 96 Bonnard. The Island of Dread, p. 74. 97 Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps, p. 101. 98 Introduction; NARA, Zugangsbuch Nr 113/041148 and Nr. 111/031596; AG-NG, ‘Transportlisten: Wladimir Sajac’, undated. 99 ITS, 1.0/6596025, ‘Afanasij Maximenko’, 23 February 1943. 100 ITS, 1.0/6596024, ‘Afanasij Maximenko’, 10 July 1942. 101 AG-NG, ‘Transportlisten – Afanasij Maximenko’, 22 February 1943. 102 USHMM HSVD, ‘Richard Klonz’, www.ushmm.org/online/hsv/person_view. php?PersonId=4074077 (accessed 20 November 2017); USHMM HSVD, ‘Gosse Wulder’, www.ushmm.org/online/hsv/person_view.php?PersonId=4074683 (accessed 20 November 2017); USHMM HSVD, ‘Rudolf Wunderlich’, www.ushmm.org/online/hsv/person_view.php?PersonId=4074684 (accessed 20 November 2017). 103 Atheism was an official policy in the Soviet Union, which is why many Soviet people defined themselves as non-believers. 104 Their names appear in different forms and in different scripts in several burial registries. For lists of graves created by Captain Kent in 1945 and Mr Watson from the IWGC in 1953 respectively, see Appendix F in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 27 June 1945 and TNA, FO371/106597, ‘List of Soviet Citizens buried in St Anne’s churchyard, Alderney’, 8 July 1953. On plans held in IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates, Misc. dates, their names appear in Cyrillic. 105 As described in Chapter 8, the majority of forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers were buried in Longy Common cemetery and inmates were buried there exclusively (except for the two graves described) from November 1942 onwards. 106 TNA, FCO 33/4872, ‘Exhumation and Transfer of German War Dead in the British Channel Islands’, 5 February 1962. 107 The deaths of these workers were indicated by their death certificates and marked burials within a separate cemetery on Longy Road. Information about German military deaths can be found in various locations including: JA, L/D/25/D1/11, ‘Album containing German burial reports for Alderney,

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Guernsey and Sark and research into German burials in the islands’, 1942–45; TNA, FCO 33/4872, ‘Exhumation and transfer of German war dead in the British Channel Islands’, 5 February 1962; TNA, WO311/12, ‘List of German war dead in German cemetery on Longy Road’, 11 June 1945. Unless otherwise stated, these sources were used to inform this section of the chapter. 108 Georgian legionary Raschlem Kupatadse, aged 29, died on 17 May 1945. The four volunteer workers were Josef Dolejs aged 20, who died 5 March 1942, Ladislaus Garafa aged 28, who died the same day, Josef Groborski/Grabowski aged 53, who died on 24 May 1942 and Giacomo Ciovara/Giovara aged 34, who died on 3 August 1943. 109 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by Stabsfeldwebel Hermann Kuhn’, 2 September 1945; Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 73; M. J. Packe and M. Dreyfus, The Alderney Story 1939–1949. From Personal Accounts and Contemporary Documents (Alderney, Alderney Museum and Society, 1990), p. 63. 110 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, pp. 15 and 73. 111 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of Wilfred Henry Dupont’, 1945; TNA, IA, AQ875/03, ‘Testimony Given by Doctor Helmut Jordan’, 3 June 1945. 112 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 73. 113 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimony of Kurt Yanke’, 25 May 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of Dr Scherf’, 6 August 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of PW B167457 St. Arzt Hans J. Hodeige’, 7 August 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945; GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimony of Battalion Sergeant Major Genrich Elbracht’, 3 June 1945. 114 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of PW B167457 St, Arzt Hans J. Hodeige’, 7 August 1945. 115 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 73.

8

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Marked and clandestine burials

Just as the ‘system’ for death registration described in Chapter 7 gave the outward impression that the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers who died on Alderney were treated in a dignified fashion, so too did the burial procedures that followed. The Germans were keen to suggest that the corpses of all of those who died were buried in an ordered fashion within the official marked cemeteries and that no mass graves or further unmarked burials exist on the island.1 Official histories of the occupation have often agreed with these claims, preferring a narrative that centred on the notion that all bodies of deceased victims were recovered during the 1961 exhumations by the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, henceforth VDK).2 However, according to witnesses, just as the ‘system’ for death registration was inconsistent and deceptive in reality, so too were the burial practices. In the decades since the war, many former labourers alluded to chaotic procedures resulting in the haphazard burial of victims within the cemeteries, and borne out of efforts by the Germans to mask the true extent of the graves present.3 Likewise, an opportunistic and clandestine system has been described, whereby bodies were reportedly disposed of in the sea, in quarries and in the fortifications, buried where they fell or concealed in mass graves.4 Given the absence of detailed field investigations, debate over these topics has continued and conflicting narratives continue to be perpetuated. What follows is a thorough review of the sources connected to burial procedures on Alderney, drawing upon the broad range of archival evidence described in Chapter 7 and the results of the first non-invasive archaeological investigations undertaken at several known and unmarked burial locations across the island. The latter has utilised maps, aerial imagery and plans alongside LiDAR, photogrammetry, GPS, Total Station, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and resistance surveys in order to identify and characterise a wide range of surface and buried remains. The official burial procedures and sites are addressed first, followed by analyses of several other locations that have been identified as possible body deposition sites,



Marked and clandestine burials 267

thus providing new perspectives and newly recorded physical evidence relating to the deceased.

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The ‘official’ burial procedures during the occupation After the death of a forced, slave or less-than-slave-labourer was registered, in theory, a system was in place whereby ambulance drivers and a oneeyed gravedigger would collect their corpse for burial.5 A cross bearing the name, date of birth and date of death of the deceased was then supposed to be inscribed and erected immediately in one of the island’s official cemeteries (Appendix 1). The first of these was an existing cemetery in St Anne. It was positioned just off the high street in the centre of town, adjacent to the parish church (Figures 8.1 and 8.2). The church, which was built in 1850, was turned into a general store by the occupying German forces.6 The second location was a purpose-built cemetery, known colloquially as the ‘Russian’ cemetery, referring to the fact that it was predominantly Soviet workers who were buried there.7 This cemetery was located on Longy

Figure 8.1  Map showing the locations of the two labourer cemeteries and the German cemetery on Alderney in relation to the four main camps

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Figure 8.2 Forced and slave labourer graves on the northern side of St Anne’s parish church in 1945

Common (sometimes spelt Longis) in an area of scrubland on Alderney’s south coast, overlooking Raz Island Fort (Figures 8.1 and 8.3). When a member of the German garrison died on Alderney, they were usually buried in the German military cemetery at Valongis, off Longy Road with full military honours in a grave marked by more substantial and decorative grave markers (Figures 8.1 and 8.4). Taken on face value, photographs of the cemeteries and burial records created by the Germans seem to suggest that an ordered burial system was in place which took place within these three neat cemeteries.

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Figure 8.3 The crosses marking seven of the rows of graves in Longy Common Cemetery in 1952

Figure 8.4 The German military cemetery off Longy Road in 1945

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An overview of the reality of burial procedures during the occupation Further analysis of witness testimony, documents, photographs and the results of the exhumations carried out by the VDK in 1961 coupled with archaeological investigations, suggest that the reality of the burial ‘system’ was quite different than the official procedures suggest. First, as already noted, corpses were often not collected for burial immediately.8 For example, the dates of death and burial shown on surviving death certificates demonstrate that, although the average time before burial for OT workers was between one and three days, some individuals were not buried for a week to ten days.9 It is important to remember that there were no refrigerated mortuaries in which to store the corpses. As greater numbers of labourers died, the process of body collection and burial became even slower. What can loosely be termed temporary mortuary facilities were created across the island in huts, garages and other buildings from the autumn of 1942 onwards.10 In Helgoland, one of the huts housing OT workers was subdivided and used to store dead bodies.11 Various accounts delivered by German soldiers and witnesses also describe the discovery of the bodies of deceased SS prisoners at several locations across the island and the different ways in which such discoveries were handled. In many cases, individual groups of soldiers or high-ranking officers claimed to be ‘dealing with’ the problem.12 Witness testimonies suggest that, in these cases, the certification of death and burial of bodies was not carried out swiftly, if indeed at all. Second, when burials of OT and SS labourers did take place, there was also considerable variation in terms of how bodies were interred, influenced by where and when individuals died, who they were, and internal and external pressures placed upon the German administration.

St Anne’s cemetery When British investigators arrived in Alderney immediately after liberation (May 1945), they stated that sixty-five burials of OT workers were evident in St Anne’s cemetery, based on a visual inspection of the site and burial lists.13 At this time the graves were marked with crosses (Figure 8.2). Later, staff from the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC) confirmed that fifty-nine graves of foreign workers were present on the north side of church and five other graves (reportedly of Dutchmen) were on the south side.14 Three bodies of French workers had also previously been buried on the south side of the church but had been exhumed in 1949 (Figure 8.5).15

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Figure 8.5  Digitised version of a plan of St Anne’s cemetery drawn by a representative from the British Imperial War Graves Commission

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Except for one burial in May 1943 and two in June 1944, the burials in St Anne consisted of OT workers who died between April and November   1942; hence, this was the island’s first official labourer ­cemetery.16 The dates displayed on the crosses in the main burial area indicate that the majority of those buried here died in September, October and November 1942, consistent with reports indicating a high death toll during this period (Chapter 7; Figure 7.1). Assuming these dates are accurate and that no further graves exist, it appears that the cemetery at St Anne was used only for a short time. It was operating concurrently with the cemetery on Longy Common presumably until it ran out of space for further interments at the end of November 1942. The fact that at least 38 of 144 individuals for whom death certificates are available were buried in St Anne’s cemetery but were registered in Norderney suggests that the burial procedures were not always based on efficiency, since this camp was far closer to the Longy Common cemetery.17 When the British arrived, the names on the crosses were legible and photographs taken by them initially appear to confirm observations made by Soviet investigators (who visited the cemeteries in June 1945; Chapter 10) that the Germans kept the graves ‘in a fitting and good order’.18 However, while aesthetically the cemetery appeared to have been reasonably well maintained, when the burials are considered in spatial terms, it is evident that they were not as orderly as they originally appeared. Photographs, lists of names, and IWGC sketches offered the opportunity to map the cemetery. As shown in Figure 8.6, although some crosses were in chronological order, the majority were not, at least by the time the island was liberated. For example, the burials labelled J2, J6 and O1 relate to people who died on 28, 29 and 30 September 1942 respectively and yet they are located some distance from each other, with burials from a variety of other months in between them. It seems unlikely that graves would have been positioned in such a scattered fashion – not least because they formed a neat grid by the time the cemetery ceased to function, suggesting that the interments themselves did at least occur in a logical order. Therefore, it is likely that: (a) the crosses were either not erected immediately after burial and were instead placed on the graves sometime later, or (b) the crosses were erected when the burials took place but were removed before being re-erected at some point during the occupation. In support of these theories, OT Frontführer Johann Hoffman reported that St Anne’s cemetery did not have crosses in 1944.19 Yet, by the time the British liberated the island, the crosses were in situ. It seems the events in Europe and the likely impending defeat of the Germans led to their reerection to present an impression of an ordered burial site. Other tell-tale signs of the chaotic nature of the cemetery can also be found. For example,

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Figure 8.6  Plan of the occupation-era burials in Plot III St Anne’s cemetery

Ferdnand Lardin had two crosses bearing his name within the cemetery, while there were also rumours that a German Wehrmacht soldier named ‘Minarek’ was buried in ‘a common grave with members of the former Todt Organization’.20 When exhumations were carried out within the cemetery in 1961 by the VDK, only fifty-eight bodies were recovered even though British investigators believed that sixty-four should have been present (Figure 8.5).21 Four members of the German garrison who supposedly committed suicide were also reportedly buried in this cemetery, but their bodies were never found; hence, ten bodies may still remain in unmarked graves.22 Undoubtedly, vagueness about how many bodies were present stemmed from the chaotic nature of the German approaches to burial. In a letter to the IWGC, the VDK wrote:

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in spite of every effort by our exhumation team, only 58 dead were exhumed from St. Anne Churchyard on the Island of Alderney. That is to say 53 dead from an enclosed plot to the north side of the church and 5 dead from Plot 1, Row E well to the south of the church. In spite of wide-ranging probing at the time of the exhumation of the 58 dead referred to we could find no traces of the 5 [sic] burials which are missing. It cannot be excluded that the missing burials could not be found by over-burial of civilians. We did not, however, wish to interfere with the civilian burials.23

Some of the confusion surrounding the location of these graves is also likely due to renovation works carried out in the 1950s. By the time the IWGC visited Alderney in 1952, they observed of St Anne’s cemetery that ‘all foreign worker graves with the exception of 3 Dutch in Plot I are unmarked’ (confirmed in Figure 8.7).24 In the same year, the States of Alderney

Figure 8.7 A photograph of St Anne’s cemetery (Plot III in Figure 8.5) taken in 1952 showing that all of the grave markers erected by the Germans had been removed

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informed the IWGC and British government that they would not be willing to pay for new individual markers for the graves ‘as there is no guarantee whatsoever that the remains are actually buried in the particular space indicated’.25 Instead, a plaque indicating that sixty-four foreign workers had been buried in the cemetery was planned and anyone wanting to know the names of those interred there was informed that they should consult the burial lists compiled in 1945 which were held in the States’ office. Therefore, knowledge of some of the locations of the graves appears to have been lost by the time the exhumations in 1961 took place. Records of the exhumations also fail to offer clarity concerning the existence of a mass grave. Although the body of one ‘Eugen Minarik’ was listed as exhumed, unfortunately no indication is given in their report as to whether his body was found in a communal or an individual grave. Following the exhumations, the northern burial area was converted into additional car parking for the church.

Longy Common cemetery Most labourers who died on Alderney were reportedly buried within a cemetery on Longy Common (Figures 8.1) which also appeared organised at first glance.

Inside the cemetery boundaries: individual graves When British investigators arrived in May 1945, the cemetery was fenced off and most graves appeared to be arranged in neat rows; their reports noted that the main area consisted of seven rows containing 255 marked graves (Figure 8.3), while the bodies of eight Jews were buried separately on the south side (Figure 8.8).26 However, closer inspection of reports and images relating to the burials illustrate that the cemetery was, to an even greater extent than St Anne’s cemetery, haphazard in nature. British investigators observed that the crosses on the marked graves did not appear in chronological order.27 They also observed that the graves had not sunk, despite the time that had reportedly passed between death and burial, suggesting that they may have been disturbed.28 As with the cemetery in St Anne, a mapping exercise by the authors, coupled with a review of the various burial lists that survive, confirmed this chaos. When the names and dates appearing on the crosses were examined, this showed that very few were in chronological order. If the markers were to be believed, graves dating to 1942 were interspersed with those from 1943 and 1944 (Figure 8.9).29 The names of more than one victim appeared

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Figure 8.8 One of eight Jewish graves located on the south side of Longy Common cemetery. This photograph was taken in 1952 – the kerb and marker shown here were erected after the end of the occupation.

on twelve of the crosses. The names of eight people appeared on graves in both St Anne’s and Longy Common cemeteries (all of whom died before the end of September 1942) and an additional seven people had two graves bearing their name on Longy Common (Appendix 1). All these graves were found to contain bodies during the 1961 exhumations, meaning that several unidentified individuals were buried therein. Archival sources shed light on the potential reasons for this seemingly chaotic burial system. First, in 1942, it appears the burials in the cemetery were not marked. Soviet investigators who came to the island in 1945 collected evidence from former OT workers who indicated that the crosses on the graves were placed there ‘a considerable time later’ than the burials took place.30 Major Haddock, who was responsible for the first British investigations on Alderney in 1945, suggested that the marking of the

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graves probably occurred from January 1943 onwards, after a visit by the Berlin Commission (described in Chapter 7), who demanded that a more ordered burial system be implemented.31 Therefore, as with the burials in St Anne, the desire to create a more ordered cemetery seems to have arisen due to pressure from above. If Haddock was correct, close to 100 interments would have taken place before the crosses were erected.32 Hence, the accuracy of the grave markers was likely questionable at this point, considering the observations already made about the chaotic nature of the system for registering deaths. Aerial photographs provide further insights. An image taken on 30  September 1942, shows no obvious burial sites on Longy Common, even though nine people were supposed to have been buried there by this time.33 As shown in Figure 8.10 (feature 1), by 23 January 1943, graves were present across five rows.34 A small cluster of graves in the north-east corner of the area appear to have been in situ long enough for vegetation to have grown on top of them, suggesting that they may have been dug first (feature 2). At this time, the cemetery did not have clear boundaries, but the graves appear to have been confined to the north-west of what would later become its fenced area. Tracks can clearly be seen (Figure 8.10, feature 3), revealing the routes taken to transport the bodies to the graves and a small upstanding structure appears to have existed close to where these converged (feature 4). By August 1943, a boundary had been constructed, consisting of a raised earth embankment upon which fence posts were placed (Figure 8.3; illustrated on a high-resolution aerial image from October 1943 in Figure 8.10, feature 5).35 At this time, seven and a quarter rows of graves were present (Figure 8.10, feature 6). Vegetation growth ­patterns also provide a good indication of the graves that were recently dug (at the south-east end) compared to those that had been in existence for some time (at the north-west end). Sometime prior to August 1943, a circular feature was created in the south-east corner of the cemetery, adjacent to the entrance (Figures 8.10 and 8.11, feature 7). Construction continued over the coming months: ‘a small central halation point, suggestive of a boulder, or rock’; ‘two small quadrilateral areas of toning consistent with grass’ and metalled pathways were added to the east.36 Journalists who arrived in Alderney with the British liberating forces described this area as ‘a circular patch of disturbed ground about seven or eight yards across’.37 A review of the images by the authors  and independent aerial reconnaissance expert Chris Going confirmed its appearance during the occupation is consistent with an ornamental garden, examples of which can be found in many Nazi camps in Europe.38 This interpretation was seemingly confirmed by a report by British investigator Captain Kent who stated that ‘Richter [a member of the German

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Figure 8.9  Plan of the occupation-era burials in Longy Common Cemetery

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Figure 8.10  A comparison of aerial photographs taken on 23 January 1943 and 3 October 1943 showing the evolution of Longy Common cemetery

garrison] explained that this [area] was a part of the ground cultivated by the Jewish workers in memory of their friends who are buried immediately adjacent.’39 However, the first Jewish interment to the west did not take place until December 1943 (Figure 8.11, feature 11), which makes the notion that the garden was initially built in memory of these Jewish labourers unlikely.40 More probable is the fact that the garden was also created in an attempt to clean up the appearance of the cemetery following the Commission’s visit and that it was then perhaps tended to by Jewish labourers at a later date.41 In 1944, it seems that the enthusiasm for maintaining order dwindled once again. German reports offer evidence for this. Following a visit to inspect the graves in 1944, Sonderführer Hans Spann recalled: ‘I was struck by the disorder [of the cemetery] and marked lack of dignity with which the corpses had been buried … I am extremely doubtful if the names on the individual graves were correct.’42 Obergerfreiter Kraus recorded how staff were ordered ‘to level a number of graves on the Russian cemetery remarking,

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Figure 8.11  A comparison of aerial photographs taken on the 20 March 1944 and 12 June 1944 showing the evolution of Longy Common cemetery

the cemetery was too big. He ordered, too, that a cartload of crosses with names on them were brought to the farm from the cemetery and burnt there in the kitchen’, following the invasion of France by the British in 1944.43 Hoffmann also confirmed that in 1944 some of the crosses were removed and names reinscribed on them, which subsequently led to them being reerected in the wrong location.44 Similarly, Sonderführer Wilhelm Richter recalled: I went to the cemetery and found the last seven had no crosses. I saw a heap of crosses there, nearly all had names on them. I used them for the last seven graves. All the other graves had crosses. I do not know in which graves the people whose name appeared on the crosses were buried … I cannot explain where the people are buried whose names appear on the reverse side of eight of the crosses in the [‘Russian’] cemetery. I cannot understand why the graves have crosses which are not in chronological order of death.45

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A British intelligence map created in 1945 from aerial photographs from 1944 and 1945 also denotes Longy Common cemetery and states that the graves were unmarked at this time.46 Yet, by the time British investigators arrived to record the site, some of the markers had been reinstated. Almost certainly, they did not correctly indicate who was buried in each individual grave. This is further confirmed by comparison of the aerial images (Figures 8.10 and 8.11) and date mapping data (Figure 8.9), which illustrates that graves dug before 23 January 1943 had markers denoting dates much later than this. By March 1944, aerial images also show that only a small number of (between five and ten) graves had been added to the eighth row since 12 August 1943 (Figure 8.11, feature 10).47 This is despite the fact that at least forty-four deaths occurred in this period, according to the official death records. Oberstleutnant Schwalm stated that the cemetery was ‘out of use’ when he visited it in the summer of 1943, thus providing a further indication that bodies were buried elsewhere during this period (discussed in the section ‘Other potential forced, slave and less-than-slave labourer burial sites’).48 Interestingly, in the aerial images from June 1944, the most northwesterly row of graves that had been present for some time (as evidenced by earlier aerial imagery) appears devoid of vegetation and freshly disturbed (Figure 8.11, feature 12).49 This seems to confirm the witness testimonies which suggest that attempts were made to modify the cemetery throughout 1944 as does the fact that, by the time the British arrived in 1945, no crosses were present on this row of graves.50 When exhumations took place in 1949 and 1961, the bodies of 329 individuals were found buried in the cemetery, seventy-three more than the number of markers suggested were present.51 Identification of these individuals was not possible in the absence of records. The explanation for this higher number of interments is two-fold: (1) two bodies were found in some of the graves, and (2) unmarked burials existed within the cemetery, in part as a result of the continuous marking, unmarking and re-marking already described. Rumours about more than one body being buried in the graves had already circulated among those who had been held on Alderney during the occupation, long before the exhumations took place. Some labourers even claimed to have witnessed such occurrences.52 Cyprian Lipinski, a Polish OT forced labourer, reported that: the bodies were buried sometimes naked, sometimes clothed. At the end of 1942 I saw one such ‘burial’ from the immediate vicinity. I saw how two corpses were put into one grave. First one was thrown in and his body was covered with sand (this was done by kicking) then the second body was thrown into the same grave. Once more I affirm with certainty that on this occasion I saw two bodies put into the same grave.53

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Spann also suspected that more than one body had been buried in one grave on several occasions and provided a list of these instances (which included the names of those he suspected as having been interred) to his superiors.54 Unfortunately, this list does not seem to have survived. Likewise, Spanish forced labourer Jose Murillo recalled that his friend Ricardo Llacer Iborra, who was responsible for transporting bodies to the cemetery, recalled seeing four corpses being buried in one grave.55 Other witnesses claimed to have seen five, ten and even twenty bodies being buried together in mass graves or a ‘dug ditch’ within, or in the vicinity of, the cemetery.56 After liberation, the discovery of an oversized hinged-bottom coffin used to tip bodies into graves also led to speculation about the numbers within each interment (Figure 8.12).57 Frank Alfred Bullock, a volunteer worker from Guernsey, reported that he saw three such coffins being used on the island while he was there.58 The exhumations in 1961 revealed that two bodies were present in five of the graves located in rows 6 and 7 of the cemetery, once again confirming that the reality of the site differed from its seemingly ordered appearance. The remaining marked graves – as well as an additional unmarked

Figure 8.12  The false-bottomed coffin found after the war, which was used to tip the corpses into the graves on Longy Common

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row of thirty-one graves adjacent to the north fence line – were found to contain only one body, leading to claims that no mass graves existed on the island.59

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Inside the cemetery boundaries: mass graves? However, British investigators actually documented what they believed to be a mass grave within the cemetery in 1945.60 Significantly, the grave was alluded to in a report prepared by the IWGC on 25 June 1945 and in one of Pantcheff's previously classified Reports on Atrocities Committed in Alderney, yet it has never been referred to as a mass grave in any subsequent publications, including those by the latter author himself.61 A survey in 1952 by Watson, a representative for the IWGC, and subsequent correspondence regarding his report provide the greatest insight into the nature of this potential grave.62 A plan was created (Figure 8.13) showing its location in relation to the other marked burials on Longy Common and it was noted that ‘the communal grave in which 43 unknown Russians are buried is marked by a wooden cross 5 ft high, surrounded by a single strand wire running through wooden posts about 1 ft high. The cross and posts are now very dilapidated’ (Figure 8.14).63 Other independent reports, such one from the South West Regional Inspector for the IWGC, also allude to the grave: ‘you refer to a large common grave which I take to be a communal or trench grave on the east side of the Cemetery, in which 43 Unknown Russians were buried. Our record of this grave is that it was roughly level turfed and about 40 yards long.’64 A series of modifications were made to the cemetery following Watson's survey which may account in part for the lack of knowledge about the mass grave’s existence and explains why some further individual graves were also found. In 1952, Longy Common cemetery was described as being ‘in a very dilapidated condition, in fact beyond repair’ and urgent works were recommended to erect a new fence around the area; thus, it was clear that the cemetery had not been maintained in the years since the occupation. The wooden crosses, which marked ‘a good number of the Russian graves’ were ‘rotting and in most cases are illegible’ (Figure 8.15).65 Indecision over who would fund these works meant that these markers were not replaced and the cemetery remained dilapidated until exhumations occurred, making it difficult for the VDK to identify exactly who was buried where.66 The whole cemetery area was eventually levelled.67 Following consultation with the garrison engineer, Watson did recommend the erection of a bronze plaque in the centre of the mass grave, which would display the words ‘in memory of 43 unknown Russian citizens, who

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Figure 8.13  A reproduction of the sketch plan of Longy Common cemetery created by Watson in 1952 during survey work for the Imperial War Graves Commission

died during the German Occupation 1941–45’ and its outline was to be marked with concrete posts.68 This was agreed by the States of Alderney, suggesting that (unlike the potential communal grave in St Anne’s cemetery), they must have been convinced that sufficient evidence existed to confirm the presence of a mass grave. However, problems with funding and liaising with the Soviet government, coupled with unsatisfactory work at the site, meant that progress erecting the memorial was slow.69 A document held in the CWGC archive states:

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Figure 8.14  A photograph taken in 1952 of the wooden cross which reportedly marked a communal grave containing forty-three unknown ‘Russians’ at Longy Common cemetery the concrete post and wire fence erected by the States as agent for the Commission (at Russian expense) has been put up in a very indifferent manner and I have arranged for it to be straightened and strengthened where necessary. The bronze plaques recently erected are fixed to low level concrete pillars.70

A graves registration form created by the IWGC in 1958 states of the mass grave that the ‘outline of this grave is marked by 6 concrete markers and a bronze plaque has been fixed to a concrete block in the centre of the grave’, thus suggesting that some of the work was finally undertaken.71 A plaque bearing the exact text that was present on the original British monument (but with the number 43 scratched out) is now located in the Alderney Museum, though its provenance is not given. Analysis of aerial imagery and geophysical survey (using [GPR] and resistance survey) provide further insights into the nature of this area. High resolution imagery taken in and after August 1943 demonstrates that the ground had been disturbed in the area that would later be marked as a mass grave (Figure 8.10, features 8 and 9), although unfortunately the lack of aerial images between January and July 1943 makes it i­mpossible

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Figure 8.15  A photograph of Longy Common cemetery taken in 1952 showing the general state of disrepair of the grave markers and boundary

to pinpoint the exact date that excavations began in this area.72 The images reveal that there were sixteen unmarked individual graves to the northern end (Figure 8.10, feature 8).73 To the south, a cleared area of ground – measuring approximately 12  ×  6  m – is also visible in aerial images taken in August and October 1943 (feature 9).74 By March 1944, this feature had been extended southwards so that the entire area of disturbed ground covered approximately 25 × 6 m (Figure 8.11, feature 9).75 Together, the sixteen individual graves and this feature covered the entire length of the cemetery’s eastern edge, running from the northern fence and terminating at the entrance to the cemetery, thus, extending across the entire area indicated by Watson on his 1952 plan. However, it is clear that these represented two distinct areas of activity, with the southern feature (9) most likely representing a mass grave. By June 1944, what appear to be thirteen freshly dug individual graves had been excavated in the upper backfill of this feature (Figure 8.11, feature 13).76 Geophysical results from surveys undertaken by the authors between 2012 and 2016 provide further evidence concerning these separate but related features. The GPR survey confirmed the presence of a linear feature (Figure 8.16, feature A), measuring approximately 21  ×  4  m (but likely extending outside the survey area to the south).77 It was located in the same area and on the same alignment as feature 9 (the probable mass grave; Figure 8.11) identified in the aforementioned aerial photographs. This feature is first clearly visible at a depth of c.0.7 m below the surface

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Figure 8.16  GPR survey results from the area that housed Longy Common cemetery showing: a time slice at a depth of 0.81 m with an annotation of the cemetery boundary (top left), annotated GPR results (top right), and overlays and accompanying annotations of the data on historic aerial imagery (bottom left and right)

and likely extends to around 1.3  m (Figures 8.16 and 8.17). Resistance survey (Figure 8.18) undertaken at the site and the GPR results demonstrate several smaller anomalies and areas of disturbance exist in the upper layers (0–0.7 m).78 Unfortunately, the exhumation report created by the VDK in 1961 does not include specific details about whether any part of this area was excavated in full or how any bodies found were configured. Although a 1945 list documenting the forty-three unknown individuals is marked with the word ‘exhumed’, this was merely a general observation rather than a detailed confirmation of how many bodies were recovered.79 However, in his book, Pantcheff states that twenty-nine bodies were recovered from the

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Figure 8.17  GPR survey results from the area that housed Longy Common cemetery showing: a time slice at a depth of 0.81 m and the location of subsequent profile lines (top left), an aerial image taken on 3 October 1943 showing the location of the GPR survey grid and GPR profile line A (top right), and GPR profile line A with annotations (bottom)

­north-eastern end of the cemetery which corresponds to the number of individual interments visible in the aerial photographs (Figure 8.11, features 8 and 13).80 Coupled with disturbance visible in the geophysical survey data, this information suggests that these individual graves were likely excavated in 1961. As the GPR results show that the possible mass grave appears linear and undisturbed (Figure 8.17), it is probable that this was not excavated and that human remains are still in situ, especially as a minimum of

Figure 8.18  Resistance survey results from the area that housed Longy Common cemetery

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fourteen bodies remain unaccounted for in this area if forty-three individuals were interred here as the British investigators suggested. Interestingly, Pantcheff never argued that the discovery of individual interments in this area disproved rumours regarding the existence of mass graves on Alderney. It is not clear why the men buried in this part of the cemetery were separated from their fellow labourers nor why some of them were buried individually and others communally, although hiding a mass burial under individual interments would be another way to mask the true number of deaths that occurred. Excavation of the cemetery would be the only way to confirm whether human remains still exist. However, none were carried out during the authors’ research for reasons that are discussed further in Chapter 11. Another oddity within Longy Common cemetery was a rifle range mound, constructed to the east of the marked graves by August 1943. This feature was on a roughly north–south alignment and it was one of several such features that cut across the Common at regularly spaced intervals. The presence of this mound meant that any firing activity could have damaged the grave markers, thus illustrating the further disregard by the Germans for the sanctity of the burials (Figure 8.10, feature 14). GPR survey results have also raised further questions about the purpose of this feature as they have revealed that a backfilled pit exists underneath the mound’s former location (Figures 8.16 and 8.17, feature B). However, the provenance of this pit is difficult to determine. The mound itself was levelled during the redevelopment of the cemetery in the 1950s and prior to these works, the IWGC had already concluded that ‘should there be any unexpected disturbance of bones … they can be reburied on the same spot’.81 Unfortunately, in the absence of records, it is unclear whether any human remains were discovered or whether any excavations took place in this area either in the 1950s or during the 1961 exhumations to cause such a pit to exist.82 Equally, it is unclear whether the pit existed prior to the construction of the rifle range (either pre-dating the cemetery or during its period of use). However, its potential to represent another body deposition site cannot be ruled out.

Reflections on the VDK exhumations Looking at the methodology used by the exhumation team in 1961 in general, it is evident that the body recovery process was not thorough and that it certainly did not meet the standards that would be expected during exhumations today. First, no report detailing the actual excavation procedures is available, making it difficult to know exactly what the investigators found.83 Secondary sources indicate that the exhumations were undertaken hastily and only basic information about them noted down. The VDK did not employ professional body recovery specialists nor scientists and

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local volunteers appear to have been used to help with the exhumations.84 A report written by the Officer of Health (based on sites throughout the UK) was less than complimentary of the VDK’s exhumation procedures elsewhere: ‘the bones were hacked out with small hand tool, any soft parts scrapped off and the bones put in a plastic container. The discarded remains and the coffin were thus left in the grave.’85 Given the paucity of documentation regarding the ways in which the Longy Common cemetery was searched and the ways in which the bodies were removed from the graves, it seems unlikely that: (a) all of the bodies that existed in the cemetery from the occupation period were found, and (b) that all of the remains within each grave were adequately recovered. In the absence of forensic archaeological search and recovery methods at this time, it is highly likely that considerable evidence about the nature of the burials and the condition of the remains within them was lost. Certainly, no known documents exist that outline the size of the graves, their depth or their form, nor is there evidence to suggest that analysis of the remains themselves was undertaken, for example, to establish cause and manner of death. It also appears that the team only focused on specific areas within the cemeteries; thus, their work was a recovery exercise as opposed to a thorough search for all the graves and human remains that might have existed (Figure 8.16 and 8.17). It is not known, for example, whether locations such as the rifle range mound or the ornamental garden within the cemetery’s boundaries were searched or whether any fragmented remains that may have been found when the site was re-landscaped in the 1950s were recovered.86 Yet, after these exhumations took place, it was assumed that all the burials on Alderney had been found and no further searches were carried out until archaeological investigations led by the authors took place during the period 2010–17.

Further potential graves in the vicinity of Longy Common cemetery Historical research and the archaeological works also indicated the possible presence of further burials outside the cemetery boundaries, providing further evidence of the deceptive nature of the burial procedures employed by the Germans. Aerial photographs taken on 12 August and 3 October 1943 reveal a trapezoidal area of ground disturbance to the north of the marked cemetery measuring a maximum of 31  ×  27  m (Figure 8.19, feature 15).87 Ongoing disturbance is evident in images taken in March 1944.88 Within the GPR results for this area, a rectilinear feature measuring approximately 14 × 9 m is visible at a depth of between c.10 cm and c.1.5 m (Figures 8.20 and 8.21, feature C).89 It exists on a north-east–south-west

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Figure 8.19  Aerial image of Longy Common taken on the 3 October 1943 showing two areas of disturbance immediately outside the cemetery boundary

alignment. The northern cemetery boundary runs across its southern end, which implies that either: (a) this feature was dug and backfilled prior to the boundary’s creation (sometime between the end of January and the middle of August 1943), or (b) it was dug after the removal of the boundary in the 1960s. However, based on the correlation between the location of this feature and the disturbance visible in the aerial photographs, it seems more likely that it dates to the occupation period and could represent an area of further burials. Further evidence for this is provided by a witness testimony alluded to in a newspaper report written by a correspondent who accompanied the  British liberating forces on 16 May 1945. A Mr Pike, who had lived on  the island throughout the occupation, showed the journalist an area

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Figure 8.20  GPR survey results from the area that housed Longy Common cemetery showing: a time slice at a depth of 0.81 m (top left) and annotations of these results (top right) as well as an aerial image taken on 3 October 1943 showing the location of the GPR survey grid (bottom left), and features present within the GPR data (bottom right)

where he believed additional graves had been ‘ploughed over’ ‘higher up the slope’ than the main Longy Common cemetery, for example to the north, towards Norderney camp.90 Hence, it is possible that he was referring to this same area. Evidence already presented has clearly illustrated that the cemetery was levelled and reconfigured several times throughout the occupation and efforts made to reduce its size. No records have been found to suggest that this area was examined in 1945 or in the decades that followed, so it is entirely possible that human remains could still be there. The GPR did also reveal, however, that a pipe (Figures 8.20 and 8.21, feature D) was installed through the area of Longy Common cemetery sometime after the

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Figure 8.21  GPR survey results from the area that housed Longy Common cemetery showing: a time slice at a depth of 0.81 m and the location of profile line B (top left), an aerial image taken on 3 October 1943 showing the location of the GPR survey grid and profile line B (top right), and GPR profile line B with annotations (bottom)

end of the war, bisecting the area in question and presenting the possibility that any remains present might already have been partially disturbed during these construction works. Another area of disturbance immediately to the south-west corner of the cemetery also appears in the October 1943 aerial photographs. This initially comprised a paler cleared area (Figure 8.19, feature 16), measuring approximately 14 × 13 m, with a further section of vegetation growth and two possible rows of graves (each c.14 m long) on an east–west alignment to the north (Figure 8.19, feature 17). By March 1944, the area devoid of vegetation had more than doubled in size, covering the two possible rows of graves and extending southwards towards the coast, suggesting renewed disturbance and/or further levelling activity.91 The GPR in this area was less conclusive. The undulating nature of the terrain, which was also pitted

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with rabbit burrows, made it difficult to maintain a smooth trajectory during the survey in this area. Likewise, the survey direction ran parallel with the orientation of the possible single graves making it difficult to acquire detailed measurements of some features. Several small anomalies indicative of subterranean ground disturbance were observed. Although, it is possible that some might represent individual interments (considering the evidence presented here), these features are difficult to discern from other natural or artificial interventions which could exhibit the same geophysical response. However, when resistance survey data was compared with newly acquired higher resolution aerial imagery, a linear feature was observed corresponding to the location of one of the probable rows of graves (Figure 8.18). In the absence of excavation, confirming the presence of any bodies in these areas is impossible (discussed further in Chapter 11). However, the fact that these features appear so close to the cemetery at a time when the Germans were under mounting pressure to provide the appearance of an ordered cemetery adds some credence to the theory that they could be additional graves. Any attempt to establish the number of bodies that might be present would also be purely speculative but it should be noted that the combined area of the features described in this section closely matches the size of the cemetery that formerly contained the marked burials.

Reflections on Longy Common cemetery Based on the evidence discussed, the cemetery on Longy Common was clearly not as organised as it first appeared. It seems to have been something of a show cemetery, designed to give the illusion of an organised system which afforded the deceased on Alderney the dignity of marked burials. However, as an analysis of the cemetery landscape and exhumation data clearly shows, the disrespectful treatment of both the OT and SS labourers occurred in life and after their death. For those individuals buried in marked individual graves, burials were not always rapid and grave markers were often inaccurate, or were removed. Other individuals were buried in unmarked graves, seemingly within and outside the cemetery boundaries (at least some of which were likely mass graves), in order to hide the true extent of the death toll. These acts of deception made it difficult for post-war investigators to locate all the remains that were present, although it should be acknowledged that their searches were also limited. A range of evidence suggests that it is unlikely that most of the bodies exhumed in 1961 were correctly identified, and it seems probable that not all bodies were recovered. Hence, disarticulated and articulated human remains are likely still in situ across and beyond the former cemetery area.

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Figure 8.22  UAV photogrammetry of the area that housed Longy Common cemetery

Currently, Longy Common cemetery is not marked, and it remains under threat from future development works, natural erosion and animal activity (Figure 8.22). Although interventions to prevent development works in the area resulted in a protection zone being established around the area in 2016 – and although the authors are engaged in ongoing discussions regarding the potential for a memorial to be erected – it is not yet formally protected according to law as a heritage site connected to the Holocaust and Nazi persecution (Chapter 11).92

The German cemetery As well as the labourer burial grounds, a cemetery was created at just off Longy Road behind the existing Strangers’ Cemetery, where German military p ­ ersonnel who died on Alderney were buried (Figures 8.1 and 8.4). Perhaps unsurprisingly, this cemetery and its accompanying records were maintained to a higher standard than St Anne’s and Longy Common ­cemeteries.93 Deceased German military personnel were afforded a full military funeral.94 However, as discussed in Chapter 7, although the cemetery was in part an ordered site containing the bodies of casualties of war, closer examination of who was buried there reveals that a number of the men were

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court-martialled German soldiers and German OT workers who died under terrible circumstances. Hence, the German cemetery was also used in part to mask the reality of life on Alderney. Five unknown individuals were also found buried there during exhumations in 1961. While it is less likely that these men were originally members of the forced and slave labour contingents, it is possible that at least three of these graves could have belonged to court-martialled Germans who became forced labourers or military personnel, whose cause of death was suicide (Chapter 9).95

Other potential forced, slave and less-than-slave labourer burial sites In addition to the official cemeteries, several other potential burial sites have been alluded to by witnesses in the years since the occupation, while others were identified and examined during our recent archaeological investigations.

Simon’s Place Several witnesses refer to the presence of mass graves at a location known as Simon’s Place in late 1942. Obergefreiter Georg Preukschat and Obergefreiter Bruce Zietlow, who were responsible for running and maintaining construction machinery at various sites, provided the following account: ‘we could see for ourselves that the bodies of dead Russians/ also some Frenchmen and Dutchmen were “buried” at a specially provided island-cemetery. This was in one of the narrowest parts of the island, on a hill near SIMONS PLACE.’96 Preukshat and Zietlow further describe the scene which met them in the winter of 1942: in the beginning the bodies were simply loaded completely naked on lorries and at the burial place they were dragged down from the lorries with dung forks and thrown into the mass graves … after having been shown the BELSEN KZ photos, we can only say that the 200 bodies whose burial we have witnessed were in a similar if not worse state. They were totally emaciated skeletons, some of which still showed the green and blue marks of maltreatment.97

Simon’s Place is situated on a hill, in an area of scrubland next to what is now the island’s golf course to the west of Longy Common. On a Home Forces map found among files collated by the British War Office, a cemetery is marked on the slope of the hill (Figure 8.23).98 The aforementioned description and this map pose questions about exactly which site is being referred to. The reference by Preukshat and Zietlow to an official cemetery might indicate that these men were ­confusing

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Figure 8.23 Wartime Home Forces map annotated by the British War Office depicting a possible cemetery at Simon’s Place Hill

Simon’s Place with Longy Common; hence, what they are describing here is the site of the official cemetery initially being used for mass burials in late 1942 before a more ordered burial system was implemented. If true, this would further support the theory that Longy Common cemetery was modified after the visit by the Berlin Commission in the winter of 1942/43. It would also explain why so many other witnesses claim to have seen mass burials at this site yet only one was documented by British investigators in 1945 and why ‘three pits, where the earth would often fall in’ were later shown not to contain human remains when examined by German soldiers in March 1944.99 Unfortunately, in the absence of aerial photographs

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between January and July 1943, it is not possible to confirm or refute this possibility. Likewise, it is conceivable that the British military mistakenly marked the cemetery on the Common in the wrong location on the map but this also cannot be confirmed. However, it needs to be borne in mind that the official cemetery at Longy Common was situated on a flat plateau (albeit at the base of an incline) rather than ‘on a hill’ such as that described by Preukschat and Zietlow.100 Therefore, two further possibilities present themselves. The first is that Simon’s Place was used as a burial location in 1942, before the cemetery on Longy Common was created. This could explain some of the claims regarding mass graves that were made by others who were on the island during this period and the disparity between the number of known deaths and the number of burials found (Chapter 9). The second possibility is that Simon’s Place was used as the primary burial site for bodies that would later be moved to Longy Common. Based on Preukschat and Zietlow’s suggestion that 200 bodies were buried on Simon’s Place, and the fact that 186 of the people buried in Longy Common cemetery reportedly died between April and December 1942, it seems plausible that the bodies could have been transferred following the visit by the Berlin Commission. Again, the absence of aerial photographs makes it difficult to target specific areas of Simon’s Place for further investigation. During site visits by the authors, it became apparent that the dense vegetation and presence of a protected Iron Age settlement on top of the hill would make further inspection of the site extremely difficult (although not impossible), even using non-invasive methods.

Longy Road Another possible location, newly identified by the authors, is situated adjacent to an OT camp on Longy Road (Figure 6.5).101 On an aerial photograph from 12 June 1944, some 35–45 linear features are visible, arranged in four rows (Figure 8.24).102 Most likely created sometime in May or early June 1944, these features are similar in size and appearance to the single graves on Longy Common. Although it is possible that these features are individual clandestine graves, it should be noted that in later aerial imagery this area has been cultivated. Therefore, these features could be a­ gricultural in origin. Only further investigation would confirm the nature of the remains. This site is now situated in a private residential plot.

Bodies in the sea Several witnesses also reported seeing alternative methods of body disposal on Alderney, many of which have remained contested since the end of

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Figure 8.24 Linear features identified on aerial imagery taken on the 12 June 1944, close to the OT camp on Longy Road (middle and bottom image), which were not present on an aerial image taken on the 20 March 1944 (top image)

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WW2. However, as Madeleine Bunting pointed out when she conducted interviews with former labourers, ‘it is hard to believe that survivors who are geographically scattered, and who have never met since the war, could be fabricating or exaggerating their accounts to match so closely’.103 The volume of people who make these claims, and the fact that many even state that they participated in these processes (forcibly or voluntarily), means that they cannot be simply dismissed as sensationalist. Although these methods were unlikely to have been commonplace at all sites throughout the whole occupation, they do appear to have been used on an ad hoc basis and more commonly in certain locations. Several witnesses report seeing bodies being tipped into the sea. Ted Misiewicz recalled: one time this -er- Russian boss said to me that -er- if you want double portion of bread join our squad, I said what are you doing – he said we’re disposing bodies in -er- we’re putting them in, in in marine type of a coffin, six at a time and taking them to the harbour and dropping them ov-over the side you know that was the, that was the way they did it [sic].104

Others, such as Georgi Kondakov, witnessed how a tip lorry was used to dump corpses off the breakwater in the harbour: ‘the lorry turned round, its back rose, and naked bodies starting falling into the sea’.105 On two separate occasions, his friend Kirill Nevrov actually participated in the excavation of two pits at low tide in Longy Bay into which 18 and 11/12 corpses respectively were tipped.106 These practices were reportedly halted in late 1942 when OT Frontführer Linke arrived and commented that ‘Russian corpses were littering the sea’.107 However, according to some of the Spanish workers interviewed by the British government after liberation, when men were too ill to work, they were sometimes also thrown over the cliffs after 1942. Some were reportedly shot first.108 Francisco Font – a former soldier of the Spanish Republican Army captured by the Germans in Vichy France – recalled how the bodies of workers from Sylt labour camp were disposed of in this way.109 John Dalmau provides one of the most graphic descriptions of this disposal method, recalling how fifty men were shot and thrown over the cliff near Fort Albert because they were too sick to work: one day at the beginning of April, when the non-arrival of a convoy made the Germans a little more bad-tempered than usual, 50 of the slave workers were shot and thrown over the cliff. Some of the men were not dead, but to  make sure they did not survive stones were tied to their feet before they were thrown over. This mass murder system was repeated seven times before the ­observation post was finished.110



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Later when he was working in the harbour, Dalmau saw bloated corpses and skeletons in the sea:

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a fantastic picture presented itself. Among the rocks and seaweed, there were skeletons all over the place. Crabs and lobsters were having a feast on the bodies which remained intact. I wanted to be sick. I thought I must be ­dreaming … but the sight of fresher bodies standing, blown with internal gases, showed that I was not.111

Despite Dalmau’s observations, several local historians and residents have claimed that the bodies were not disposed of in this way because no corpses washed up on Alderney after the war. Conversely, the authors have spoken to several people (some of whom were medical professionals) who claim that human remains were in fact found washed up on the beach in Longy Bay in the 1960s or they became visible at low tide in the years after the war. Several of these informants suggested that local people were tasked with the collection of these remains (for which they were paid by a ‘war graves commission’), although this has not been verified and their place of interment could not be identified.112 One current Alderney resident reported to the authors that their father earned enough money to feed his family for a year due to the quantity of remains that he found, mostly in Longy Bay.113 A newspaper report from 1992 also claims that, in the 1960s, bodies were reportedly found scattered over the seabed near Alderney, leading to the area being designated a war grave.114 However, no further investigations were carried out to recover the bodies or confirm their identities. Unfortunately, investigating the accuracy of these claims, more than seventy-five years after they reportedly occurred, is almost impossible. ­ Given the strong tidal movements around Alderney, any human remains that were thrown into the sea would likely have been swept away long ago and, as Sanders has correctly observed ‘some of these bodies may have been washed up elsewhere without this having necessarily come to the knowledge of the civilian population’.115 While these body deposition practices offer one possible explanation for what happened to some of the missing persons who died on the island, unfortunately, the extent to which they were practised will likely remain lost to time.

Buried where they fell Several sources suggest that bodies of forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers were buried or disposed of where they fell on an ad hoc basis. While many references to this in the literature are anecdotal, one concrete example exists in the form of a burial observed by Soviet investigators in June 1945, which belonged to ‘one Soviet citizen, the name and surname of

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which is not known’ who ‘died at work and is buried simply by the road in the region of the port. Apart from a cross, drawn in chalk on the stone wall next to where he perished, there are no signs of the grave.’116 Just like the claims that bodies were thrown into the sea or buried at low tide, the notion that the bodies of labourers were thrown into wet concrete have also been dismissed by those who claim that treatment of the labourers on Alderney was not as severe as witness testimonies suggest. Yet, once  again, several testimonies allude to such practices. It is important to note that these accounts do suggest that the submerging of bodies in concrete usually resulted from accidents. For example, an Italian called Patalacci reportedly fell into wet concrete and fractured his leg while working on the construction of a casement and he was left to become engulfed after SS guards refused to pull him out.117 Similar accounts about falls during construction works are provided by other former labourers Albert Eblagon and Kirill Nevrov.118 As such, there is no evidence to suggest that this was a widespread method of murder and body deposition. However, the fact that these deaths were accidents does little to mitigate the callous behaviour of the guards who failed to save the lives of these men, and whose actions ensured that these individuals remain missing persons.

Conclusions Historical and archaeological research has shed new light on the nature of death and burial on Alderney and demonstrated that the ‘system’ for undertaking burials was much more chaotic than previously assumed. Archival material clearly shows that forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers were subject to brutal treatment on the island and were not always afforded a dignified burial. Even if individuals were buried within official cemeteries, their graves were marked, unmarked and re-marked at various points throughout the occupation; hence, the markers encountered by the British liberators did not pertain to the graves upon which they sat in most cases. Rather than being planned resting places for the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers, it is more likely that these cemeteries were in fact token burial sites, designed to give the impression of order. In particular, the seemingly organised cemetery on Longy Common was order borne of chaos, given that the marking of graves only occurred following strict instructions from highranking Nazi authorities to improve the system of burial at the end of 1942. The presence of a marked mass grave, whose existence was confirmed by archaeological investigations, and unmarked burials within the cemetery dating to 1943 and 1944 suggest that the burial system itself remained chaotic even after these orders were received, although the semblance of

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order was maintained by hiding burials in plain sight. This mass grave, as well as a potential communal grave in St Anne’s cemetery (which reportedly contained the body of a German soldier), demonstrates that mass burials did exist on Alderney, contrary to claims that have been made since the war. While the system of burial was more organised for German military personnel, examination of the cemetery records has revealed that the ordered nature of this cemetery also masked the circumstances surrounding the deaths of some of those buried within it. These findings make it clear that anyone who was considered an enemy of the Third Reich experienced extreme violence on Alderney which, in many cases resulted in their deaths. Although a small percentage of individuals may have died and been disposed of in such a way that leaves no trace today (for example, through ad hoc methods such as disposal in the sea), historical and archaeological research has also provided convincing evidence that some individuals must still lie in other unmarked graves and interment sites across Alderney. Given these chaotic burial practices, the incomplete exhumation methods employed in the 1960s, and witness testimony supported by archaeological survey, it is clear that some of the missing are likely located in or around the ‘official’ cemeteries at Longy Common, and to a lesser extent, St Anne. However, several other possible locations have been identified as unrecorded graves and disposal sites – notably in the vicinity of the camps, as well as the areas that witnessed significant construction works – which are worthy of further investigation. These sites provide further evidence of the Nazis’ attempts to hide their crimes and illustrate that several hitherto undocumented missing persons may lie in these areas, the identities of whom will be discussed in Chapter 9. Efforts to destroy documentation relating to deaths and burials – and the use of these clandestine approaches to body disposal – suggest that the Germans did not want the full death toll or the circumstances surrounding individual deaths on Alderney to be known. Unfortunately, given the focus and trajectory of post-liberation investigations, the illusion created by the cemeteries was extremely effective long after the Germans left the island (discussed further in Chapter 11). Non-invasive archaeological methods have, therefore, provided vital tools that have allowed these sites to be examined and characterised in more detail. In light of these findings, it is evident that the States of Alderney government needs to remain vigilant and alert to the possibility that over time there is the potential for serendipitous discoveries of human remains on the island, while it is also essential that a range of organisations and individuals (including local and national government, religious leaders and forensic specialists) consider the implications that unmarked burials exist on British soil and the need to honour the memory of those who perished.

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Notes 1 For examples, see TNA, FCO 33/4872, ‘Exhumation and Transfer of German War Dead in the British Channel Islands’, 5 February 1962, CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Members of the German Todt Organisation. Alderney Russian Cemetery’, 7 December 1961; CWGC, 7/4/2/10821, ‘German War Graves. Alderney. St Anne Churchyard’, 8 December 1961 and materials contained within TNA, HO284/84, ‘Application of Agreement regarding German War Graves in UK (Cmnd 930), to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Ireland’, Misc. dates. The most commonly cited figures in secondary literature come from T.X.H. Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island (Sussex: Phillimore, 1981), pp. 64–74; See also C. Cruickshank, The German Occupation of the Channel Islands (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975). 2 For examples, see Cruickshank, The German Occupation of the Channel Islands; Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island. 3 For example, TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Sonderführer Wilhelm Richter’, 4 June 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Ernst Krause’, 29 May 1945. 4 M. Bunting, The Model Occupation – The Channel Islands under German Rule 1940–1945 (London: HarperCollins, 1995); T. Freeman-Keel, From Auschwitz to Alderney and Beyond (Malvern: Seek Publishing, 1995); S. Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp (London: Granada, 1982); J. Dalmau, Slave Worker in the Channel Islands (Guernsey: Guernsey Press Co. Ltd, 1945). 5 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement by Pomar Pascual’, 10 August 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of Charles Synderick Risbrider’, 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of John Sidney Pinel’, May 1945. 6 Visit Alderney, ‘St Anne’s Church’, www.visitalderney.com/see-do/things-todo/st-annes-church/ (accessed 20 June 2017). 7 For a discussion about the arbitrary use of the term ‘Russian’ on Alderney, see Chapters 1 and 11. 8 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 21 May 1945; GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Testimonies made by Emil Shulikovsky’, 10 June 1945; TNA, WO311/11, Report from Sjt Francis Bennett to 10-I(B) HQ Force 135’, 23 May 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Brigadier Shapcott to Major Haddock’, 26 May 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 28 May 1945. 9 IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates. 10 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 15 June 1945. 11 B. Bonnard, The Island of Dread in the Channel: Story of Georgi Ivanovitch Kondakov (Stroud: Amberley Publishing Limited, 1991), p. 31. 12 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/704 on Alderney Atrocities No. 2’, 18 July 1945.

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13 TNA, WO311/677, ‘Alleged Atrocities on the Island of Alderney’, 30 May 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/704 on Alderney Atrocities No. 2’, 18 July 1945. 14 TNA, FO371/100916, ‘Alderney (St. Anne) Churchyard’, 1952. 15 Ibid. 16 For lists of graves created by Captain Kent in 1945 and Mr Watson from the IWGC in 1953 respectively, see Appendix F in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702, Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 27 June 1945 and TNA, FO371/106597, ‘List of Soviet Citizens buried in St Anne’s churchyard, Alderney’, 8 July 1953. 17 IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates. 18 IA, AQ 875/03, ‘Appendix No. 1. Protocol’, 10 June 1945; These investigators refer to 53 Soviet citizens being present in the cemetery, along with 10 other individuals whose names or nationality was unknown. 19 TNA, WO311/13 ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/709, Periodical Report on Alderney Atrocities No. 4’, 11 September 1945. 20 TNA, HO284/84, ‘Exhumation of members of the former Todt Organization in Guernsey and Alderney/Channel Islands’, 8 August 1961; TNA, FCO 33/4872, ‘Exhumation and Transfer of German War Dead in the British Channel Islands’, 5 February 1962; CWGC, 7/4/2/10822, ‘List of German War Graves. Alderney. St Anne’s Churchyard’, 7 December 1961. 21 IA, FK31-11. ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates; Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 73. 22 IA, FK31-11. ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates; Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 73. 23 CWGC, 7/4/2/10821, ‘German Graves in the Channel Islands’, 29 March 1963. 24 TNA, PRO FO 371/100916; The IWGC is now known as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). 25 TNA, PRO FO 371/100916, ‘Alderney Channel Islands, Alderney (St Anne) Churchyard, Foreign Worker's Graves’, 1952. 26 TNA, WO311/677, ‘Alleged Atrocities on the Island of Alderney’, 30 May 1945. 27 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702, Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 28 An inventory of the names, ages and dates of death shown on the crosses in the cemetery with an accompanying timeline was also created (the information from this inventory is contained within Appendix 1). 29 Appendix F in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702, Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 27 June 1945; The first burial was actually likely to have been 25 August 1942 because the death certificates of Iaser Koleda and Michael Melschin in IA, FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’, Misc. dates demonstrate that these men actually died in November 1942, which suggests that the British government misinterpreted ‘II’ on the grave marker as Roman numerals instead of as ‘11’ as intended. On thirty-two of the crosses, the dates of death were illegible.

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30 IA, AQ 875/03, ‘Appendix No. 1. Protocol’, 10 June 1945. 31 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 21 May 1945. 32 Appendix F in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702, Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 27 June 1945. 33 NCAP, ACIU MF C1090, 30 September 1942. 34 NCAP, ACIU MF C1183, 23 January 1943; NCAP, ACIU MF C1188, 26 January 1943. 35 NCAP, ACIU MF C1563, 3 October 1943. 36 Chris Going, pers. comm. 37 The Citizen, ‘Probe into Island Murders: Search Continues on Alderney’, 18 May 1945. 38 Chris Going, pers. comm. 39 Appendix F in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702, Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 27 June 1945. 40 Yad Vashem, Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names, https://yvng. yadvashem.org/index.html?language=en&s_lastName=&s_firstName=&s_ place=alderney&s_dateOfBirth= (accessed 12 June 2016); Appendix F in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702, Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 27 June 1945. 41 Marcus Roberts has suggested that this area was a cremation pit used to dispose of the bodies of Jewish labourers who arrived after October 1943 in M. Roberts, ‘Alderney Holocaust and Slave Labour Trail’, www.jtrails.org. uk/trails/alderney-holocaust-and-slave-labour-trail (accessed 20 June 2019). However, in the course of this research, no evidence has been found to support this theory. 42 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by Mil.Verw. O/Insp. Hans Spann’, 5 September 1945. 43 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Ernst Krause’, 29 May 1945. 44 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. 45 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Sonderführer Wilhelm Richter’, 4 June 1945. 46 AMA, ‘Drawing showing enemy defences, camps and roads’, 6 March 1945. 47 NCAP, ACIU MF C1978, 20 March 1944. 48 TNA, WO199/3303, ‘Report on Alderney by Oberstlt D.R. Schwalm’, 20 July 1945. 49 NCAP, ACIU MF C0704, 12 June 1944. 50 This is demonstrated by Watson’s plan from 1952 which only shows seven rows of graves. 51 TNA, FCO 33/4872, ‘Exhumation and Transfer of German War Dead in the British Channel Islands’, 5 February 1962. Five out of eight Jewish graves were exhumed from the south side of the cemetery in 1961, as three had already been exhumed in 1949 for reburial in France. See TNA, FO371/100916, ‘Alderney Channel Islands, Alderney, Russian Cemetery, Foreign Workers’, 1952.

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Marked and clandestine burials 309

52 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. 53 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Civ. Cyprian Lipinski’, 28 July 1945. 54 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by Mil.Verw. O/Insp. Hans Spann’, 5 September 1945. 55 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement by Murillo Jose’, 10 August 1945. 56 For examples, see: TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement by Murillo Jose’, 10 August 1945; IA, AQ875/03, ‘Appendix 1: Protocol’, 10 June 1945; IA, AQ875/03, ‘Appendix 6: Short notes from the verbal translation from the investigation documents of Captain Kent about the island of Alderney’, undated; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 21 May 1945; AMA, 06/143, ‘Letter from Petro Zadko to Peter Arnold’, undated; TNA, WO311/13, Statement of Mr. Pope’, June 1945. Much larger numbers were suggested by George Pope (300–400 bodies per grave). However, Pope’s reliability as a witness was called into question after the war. See Chapter 11. 57 Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 53; RAF Museum, PC98/173/320/11, ‘War correspondents examine a re-usable coffin, Alderney’, May 1945. 58 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Frank Alfred Bullock’, 1945. 59 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 72; During the archaeological fieldwork on Alderney undertaken by the authors, the view that no mass graves existed was expressed by most members of the local government and local historical society, even after evidence concerning the presence of the mass grave marked by the British was presented. 60 See TNA, FO371/100916, ‘Alderney Channel Islands, Alderney, Russian Cemetery, Foreign Workers’, 1952; CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Letter from Regional Inspector A/21613’, 31 May 1954; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Brigadier Shapcott to Major Haddock’, 26 May 1945. 61 CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Present War Graves Plot – UK report form’, 25 June 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702, ‘Report on Atrocities in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 62 TNA, FO371/100916, ‘Alderney Channel Islands, Alderney, Russian Cemetery, Foreign Workers’, 1952. 63 Ibid. 64 CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘A/21613. Letter from SW Regional Inspector’, 28 September 1953. 65 CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Letter from Len Dowsen to Wally’, 3 September 1954. 66 Ibid.; CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Minute Sheet A21613. PAS’, 16 May 1956; CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘German graves in the Channel Islands’, 29 March 1963. 67 CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘‘Russian Cemetery Alderney’, 28 September 1953. 68 CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, Graves Registration Report Form, 17 January 1958. 69 For examples, see TNA, FO371/111797, ‘NS1851/3. I.W.G.C. Letter to Lord Jellicoe’, 8 July 1954; CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Letter from Len Dowsen to Wally’, 3 September 1954; CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Letter to Assistant Secretary from Chief Admin Officer’, 21 May 1956.

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310

Death

70 CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Letter to Major General Colwill, Government Secretary, Guernsey from P.W. Radice IWGC’, 7 June 1957. Further complaints exist in CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Letter from Regional Inspector A/21613’, 31 May 1954. 71 CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, Graves Registration Report Form, 17 January 1958. 72 NCAP, ACIU MF C1563, 3 October 1943. 73 Ibid. 74 Ibid. 75 NCAP, ACIU MF C0704, 12 June 1944. 76 Ibid. 77 The full results of the geophysical surveys undertaken in Alderney, including the GPR survey, will be published in C. Sturdy Colls, K. Colls and W. Mitchell, ‘Non-invasive Investigations at the Forced and Slave Worker Cemetery on Longy Common, Alderney’ (working title in prep.). 78 The resistance survey results were first reported in C. Sturdy Colls, ‘Holocaust Archaeology: Archaeology Approaches to Landscapes of Nazi Genocide and Persecution’ (PhD dissertation, University of Birmingham, 2012), ch. 5. 79 TNA, FCO 33/487, ‘Exhumation and Transfer of German War Dead in the British Channel Islands’, 5 February 1962; In his book, Pantcheff suggests that 29 burials were found during the exhumations on the north-eastern end of the cemetery and 36 (across two rows) were found on the western side (these are visible in aerial images adjacent to the other marked rows of graves). See Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 72. Unfortunately, the detailed exhumation reports that Pantcheff must have had access to appear to be missing. 80 Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 72. 81 CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Russian Cemetery Alderney’, 28 September 1953. 82 Ibid. 83 Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, pers. comm; Although some detail was provided in 1963 concerning the graves exhumed in St Anne’s and the German Military Cemetery, the part of the letter concerning Longy Common was missing in both the CWGC and TNA files. The list of exhumations from Longy Common within the archives of Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge lists mostly unknown individuals, even though the names of the labourers were provided in lists compiled in 1945 and 1952. 84 J.F.W. Main, ‘Leave Sylt alone’, Alderney Press 27 (2017). 85 TNA, PRO HO282/21, ‘Exhumation techniques’, 2 July 1952. 86 In planning for the levelling works, the IWGC reported that any remains found should be ‘reburied on the same spot’ but it is unclear whether any bones were ultimately located. See CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Russian Cemetery Alderney’, 28 September 1953. 87 Compare NCAP, ACIU MF C1563, 3 October 1943 with NCAP, ACIU MF C1183, 23 January 1943. 88 NCAP, ACIU MF C1978, 20 March 1944. 89 The full results of the archaeological survey, including the GPR and resistance survey, on Longy Common are included in Sturdy Colls, Colls and Mitchell, ‘Non-invasive investigations’.

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Marked and clandestine burials 311

90 The Citizen, ‘Probe into island murders: search continues on Alderney’, 18 May 1945. 91 NCAP, ACIU C0704, 12 June 1944. 92 Sunday Times, ‘Channel Islands: EDF electricity plan could destroy Alderney's “little Auschwitz”’, 17 September 2017. 93 TNA, FCO 33/4872, ‘Exhumation and Transfer of German War Dead in the British Channel Islands’, 5 February 1962. 94 AMA, 08/069, ‘Alderney September 1944. Ehrenwache für Major Blaschek (aus Wien), ein Minenopfer’, September 1944. 95 Two of the unknown individuals were washed up on shore but the fate of the other three is not known. Information about German military deaths can be found in various locations including: JA, L/D/25/D1/11, ‘Album containing German burial reports for Alderney, Guernsey and Sark and research into German burials in the islands’, 1942–1945; TNA, FCO 33/4872, ‘Exhumation and Transfer of German War Dead in the British Channel Islands’, 5 February 1962; TNA, WO311/12, ‘List of German war dead in German cemetery on Longy Road’, 11 June 1945. 96 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by a) O/Gefr Georg Preukschat b) Bruno Zietlow’, 1945. 97 Ibid. 98 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Map of Alderney’, undated. 99 Appendix F in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702, Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 27 June 1945. 100 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by a) O/Gefr Georg Preukschat b) Bruno Zietlow’, 1945. 101 The OT camp is described in Chapter 6. 102 NCAP, ACIU C0704, 12 June 1944. 103 Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 290. 104 IWM, MISC 2826 – 189/2, Nr.3376 ‘Interview with Ted Misiewiec’, undated. 105 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 52. 106 Kirill Nevrov in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 53. 107 V.I. Rosslova cited in Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands, p. 32. 108 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Alderney Concentration Camps’, 23 May 1945; Other accounts of victims being thrown in the sea were provided by former labourers and captured German soldiers to Soviet investigators who went to Alderney in the summer of 1945. See GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167 or copy in IA, AQ875/03, ‘Appendix 1: Protocol’, 10 June 1945; IA, AQ875/03, ‘Appendix 6: Short notes from the verbal translation from the investigation documents of Captain Kent about the island of Alderney’, undated. 109 Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp, pp. 49 and 90. 110 Dalmau, Slave Worker in the Channel Islands, pp. 16–17. 111 Ibid., p. 18. 112 Barney Winder, pers. comm. and other sources who wish to remain anonymous. 113 Ibid. 114 J. Dalrymple, ‘The haunted isles’, Sunday Times, 6 December 1992, 11.

312

Death

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115 Sanders, The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation 1940–45, p. 220. 116 GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘Appendix 1’, 10 June 1945. 117 The memoirs of a French resistance fighter ‘Glaize’ cited in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 290. 118 Albert Eblagon interviewed in Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp, p. 49; ‘Kirill Nevrov’, in Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands, p. 22.

9

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The missing

With contributions from Daria Cherkaska During and immediately after the liberation of Alderney, many witnesses indicated that forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers died in larger numbers than official records suggested and that many of their fellow workers had no known grave.1 Some attempts were made by post-liberation investigators – both British and Soviet – to investigate these accusations. However, these inquiries were limited and they left many unanswered questions about the crimes perpetrated on the island and the fate of missing persons.2 No detailed attempt was made at the time, or since, to determine exactly who was missing, a fact that has both served to anonymise the victims and to perpetuate the notion that all of those who died were found during the 1961 exhumations described in Chapter 8. In the absence of thorough and conclusive research, some have argued that the death toll stood at 389 while others have claimed tens of thousands of deaths took place.3 It should be noted that the Germans’ failure to record at least some of the deaths, and their efforts to destroy evidence relating to those deaths that were documented, means that establishing a definitive death toll for the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers who perished on Alderney will likely remain impossible. Debates on this topic are also closely tied to discussions regarding the number of labourers who were sent to Alderney, for which establishing an accurate figure has been equally as challenging (Chapter 1). However, arriving at more accurate numbers – and d ­ eriving specific information about additional deaths – is now possible considering historical and archaeological sources. As demonstrated in Chapter 8, unmarked individual and mass burial sites did exist both within and beyond the island’s official cemeteries, some of which were proven to contain quantifiable amounts of unidentified bodies and others which may contain an unknown number of people. Most notably, the comparison of surviving death certificates and the various

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314

Death

burial registers that exist (described in Chapters 7 and 8) has allowed us to identify by name those individuals who are known to have died, but who had no known grave, and to document more information about their lives and the circumstances surrounding their deaths. In addition, a thorough review of documentary evidence has been undertaken in order to identify commonalities and differences between witness testimonies and official investigatory records in which further named and unnamed individuals and groups who reportedly died or were executed are also referred to. Therefore, this chapter presents, for the first time, a more definitive account concerning the missing – who they were, what they experienced and how they died – and a revised minimum number of deaths. In doing so, as well as enhancing knowledge about the nature of Nazi persecution on Alderney, it is our intention to provide information that may benefit the families of the missing, most of whom have endured decades of ‘ambiguous loss’ in the absence of research into the fate of their loved ones.4

Who are the missing? Missing forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers who are believed to have died on Alderney fall into several categories, each of which is reviewed below and each of which provides varying levels of certainty regarding the circumstances surrounding individual deaths. While all of the victims share the fate of not having a marked grave on the island (based on an e­ xamination of various burial records), some are named as deceased persons in official German documents, described by witnesses who saw their bodies or mentioned by German personnel or fellow labourers in the context of descriptions concerning executions and other forms of mass violence.

Individuals with a death certificate but without a marked grave It is possible to identify the names of fifty-one individuals who had death certificates confirming their demise on Alderney but who did not have a marked grave within any of the occupation-era cemeteries. Twenty-four of these were governed by the OT, meaning that 16 per cent of OT labourers for whom death certificates were available remain missing persons. Further biographical information is provided in Table 9.1. Ten of these men died in October, thirteen in November and one in December of 1942; all these occurred before the arrival of the Berlin Commission who demanded that a more ordered system be created for death registration and burial – and all during the period when the mortality rate of OT labourers was at its highest

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The missing 315

(Chapter 7). Twenty-five per cent of these deaths occurred between 7 and 9 November 1942 and three took place on 14 November 1942. Two of the missing men – Leo Kolos and Arie Cornelius Rijntalder – were named on graves in St Anne’s cemetery but their bodies were not found during the 1961 exhumations.5 The remaining twenty-seven missing men were SS BB1 prisoners, all of whom are listed in Table 9.2; hence, 26 per cent of SS prisoners with death certificates remain unaccounted for. Interestingly, a cause of death was not listed for more than 20 per cent of these men in any of the Neuengamme registries. One man – Gustav Bruhn – was hung and two men – Volodymyr Zaiats and Willi Everts (whose violent death was described in Chapter 7) – were ‘shot trying to escape’.6 Consistent with the general deceased SS prisoner populace, the remainder supposedly succumbed to cardiovascular weakness, tuberculosis and intestinal inflammation, although the questionable nature of these causes of death have already been noted (Chapter 7). Most of these missing men died in the months immediately after their arrival, between March and June 1943 (70 per cent), when the death toll generally was at its peak. Three of the men – Edward Bobryk, Ivan Dergunov and Nikolai Desiadiretschenko – all reportedly died on 6 June 1943, possibly indicating an episode of mass violence that the SS wished to disguise.7

Names of individuals reported by witnesses Numerous witnesses were also able to name individuals who died on Alderney whose details do not appear in death or burial records, totalling at least twenty-six individuals.8 OT workers Volodymyr Saienko and Alexander Balika independently reported to British investigators post-liberation that they saw the bodies of Nikolaj Vassilko and Gregori Pashko, both of whom died in their beds in Helgoland but had no known graves.9 Cyprian Lipinski reported that Stanisław Schiller (born 1923) died in Helgoland, but no interments bore his name.10 Other named individuals include Josef Lammel from Czechoslovakia and German political prisoner Rudi Busch, who were both reportedly shot in Sylt concentration camp, as well as Vasilii Dolgov who was aged 18 when he died (most likely on 11 November 1942).11 He had been housed in Helgoland.12 Norbert Beernaert also recalled how he built a coffin for, and buried, Jan Novak in Longy Common cemetery (after he died from drinking alcohol that he produced).13 Yet, his name does not appear in the list of those exhumed in 1961. An Italian named Patalacci also reportedly perished as a result of a construction-related injury.14 Further details about each of these men are provided in Table 9.3.

Table 9.1  Organisation Todt (OT) workers who died on Alderney, as evidenced by their death certificates, but who have no known graves Downloaded from manchesterhive © Copyright protected It is illegal to copy or distribute this document

Surname

First name Age Date of birth Birthplace

 1 Alexeianko/ Alexojenko

Archip (Archim)

 2 Borisenko

18

Occupation (pre-Alderney)

Firm and occupation on Alderney

Camp

Died

Sager & Wörner, Norderney 8.11.1942 auxiliary/unskilled worker

Cause of death

2.3.1924

Piaski.a

Cachexia

Vasil’/Basil 21

10.7.1921

Poltava, Ukraine Likely a soldier in the Sager & Wörner, Red Army. Recruited land worker in Irkleevsky in the Poltava region of Ukraine before going missing on the 26 June 1941 near Lviv.b

 3 Boulakow/ Buliakow/ Bieliakow

Stefan

24

18.7.1918

Butkatschowka, Likely a private in Ukraine the Red Army. Went missing between 1.7.1942 and 25.7.1942 near the village of Glinishche.c

Wolfer & Göbel, Norderney 8.11.1942 auxiliary/unskilled worker

 4 Brudzakow/ Brutsakov

Grigori

20

2.2.1922

Yagushkina, Russia

Westdeutsche Norderney 29.11.1942 Poisoning Steinindustrie, auxiliary/unskilled worker

 5 Burawkin/ Buravkin

Anatolii

19

1923

Russia

Neumeyer, Norderney 31.10.1942 Exhaustion auxiliary/unskilled worker

Norderney 16.10.1942 Exhaustion

Dysentery

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 6 Demidow/ Demidov

Feodor/ Fedor

21

18.2.1921

Russia

Likely a soldier in the Westdeutsche Red Army. Could have Steinindustrie, joined the military in worker the Domanovichskii region (Belarus) and gone missing on the 3.10.1941. Or he could have joined the military in the Tatar Soviet Socialist Republic and gone missing December 1941. Or he went missing no later than October 1941.d

Norderney 21.11.1942 Inflamed ulcers

 7 Dubinka

Simeon (Phelipp)/ Semion/ Philipp

47

9.5.1895

Hluhiv, Sumy region, Ukraine

Westdeutsche Steinindustrie, stove fitter

Norderney 26.10.1942 Exhaustion, heart weakness

 8 Galkin

Maxim

47

21.1.1895

Kyiv, Ukraine

Sager & Wörner, worker

Norderney 14.11.1942 Exhaustion, heart weakness

 9 Gorbatko

Feodor/ Fedor

18

1.3.1924

Bilyky, Poltava region, Ukraine

Sager & Wörner, Norderney 7.11.1942 auxiliary/unskilled worker

10 Gordeschuk

Timofei

45

21.2.1897

Russia

Neumeyer, carpenter

Norderney 14.11.1942 Poisoning

11 Jurchenko/ Yurchenko

Michael/ Mikhail

18

5.6.1926

Russia

Sager & Wörner, worker

Norderney 14.11.1942 Exhaustion, heart weakness

Cachexia and heart weakness

Table 9.1 (Continued)

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Surname

First name Age Date of birth Birthplace

12 Kolitzki/ Kolitskii

Phelipp/ Philipp

13 Kolos

Leo/Leon? 20

14 Kulakowski

Michael/ Mikhail

15 Lutschenko

Taras

16 Matschenko

Occupation (pre-Alderney)

Firm and occupation on Alderney

Camp

Died

Cause of death

Russia?

Westdeutsche Steinindustrie, builder

23.10.1942 Exhaustion, heart weakness

8.7.1922

Mokwije (Mokvin??? Near Kostopil Rivne region), Ukraine

Westdeutsche Steinindustrie, landworker

Norderney 22.10.1942 Exhaustion, heart weakness

19

1923

Lugansk, Russia (originally Ukraine)

Wolfer & Göbel, builder

Norderney 22.10.1942 Heart weakness

48

25.02.1894 Hlukhivw, Russia (originally Ukraine)

Kniffler, builder

Norderney 7.11.1942

Wladimir/ 16 Volodymyr

3.2.1926

Ukraine

Deubau, builder

Norderney 22.10.1942 Exhaustion, heart weakness

17 Mischuk/ Miscuk

Nicefor/ Nikifor

41

22.9.1901

Korasin, Ukraine

Wolfer & Göbel, land worker

Norderney 16.10.42

18 Pisanenko

Michael/ Mikhail

36

10.10.1906 Shatilovo, Russia

Strabag, auxiliary/ Norderney 8.11.1942 unskilled worker

19 Punkow/ Punkov

Grigorii

22

25.8.1920

Fuchs, worker

Kurgan, Russia (but was of Ukrainian nationality)

Dysentery

Heart Failure Tuberculosis

Norderney 20.10.1942 Weakness and Dysentery

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20 Rijntalder

Arie Cornelius

24

21 Shuliakovskii/ Adam Shulyakovsky/ Schulakowski

20

22 Skorobehotka Iwan/Ivan

20

23 Tetranko

20

Piotr

24 Wlajuk/Vlaiuk Fedor/ Feodor

5.6.1918

Rotterdam, Dutch

Bosland (Wolfer Norderney 1.11.1942 & Göbel), auxiliary/unskilled worker 14.5.1920 Wirka Vyborg, Likely a private in the Strabag, auxiliary/ Norderney 24.11.1942 Belorus ??? Red Army, drafted into unskilled worker the army in September 1940 in the Minsk region.e 1922 Russia Wolfer & Göbel, Norderney 30.10.1942 land worker 24.12.1921 Poltava, Ukraine Westdeutsche Norderney 2.12.1942 Steinindustrie, worker Russian? Sager & Wörner, Norderney 9.11.1942 auxiliary/unskilled worker

Dysentery and gangrene

Poisoning

Exhaustion, heart weakness Cachexia

Exhaustion, heart weakness

It is unclear which Piaski is being referred to here. Ukrainian Piaski exits in an area that was part of Poland before 1939 and after 1939 it was annexed to the Soviet Union. Also, there is a town called Piaski close to Lublin in Poland. There was a large Polish community in Ukraine at this time and a large Ukrainian population in Poland as this region was a borderland. b TsAMO, 58/818883/204, ‘Irrevocable loss information’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=1476144, 13 January 1942. c TsAMO, 58/818883/1385, ‘Irrevocable loss information’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=2012870, 4 September 1942. d TsAMO, 58/18003/1247, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=1280878, undated; TsAMO, 58/18004/866, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=59135377, undated and RGVA/72, https://obdmemorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=79422068, undated. e TsAMO, 58/977527/78, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=70839943, 9 June 1954. a

Source:  Unless otherwise stated, the information in this table comprises of details from death certificates held in IA FK31-11. ‘OT Death Certificates’. Misc. dates.

Death

320

Table 9.2  SS BB1 prisoners who died on Alderney, as evidenced by their death certificates, but who have no known graves

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1

Surname

First name

Age

Date of birth

Birthplace

Occupation(s)

Abanikin/Abanijkin

Aleksander/ Aleksandr

26

6.3.1917

Kurlytsch, Ukraine

Car fitter

May have been enlisted into the Red Army in Chernihiv in 1941.b 2

Balitschuk

Grigorij/Grigorii 23

1.4.1920

Vynarivka, Kyiv region, Ukraine.

3

Bobryk/Bobrik

Edward

22

25.8.1920

Zakrzew, Poland

4

Bogdanski

Wladislaw

34

17.1.1909

Poland

5

Bruhn

Gustav Carl Wilhelm

44

16.03.1889

Angermünde, Germany

Carpenter

6

Bykow/Bykov

Petro

23

3.4.1919

Schemerdijewka/ Smolensk, Russia

Land worker

7

Dergunov/Dergunow

Ivan

25

20.5.1918

Nowo-Prokowsk/ Novopokrovsk (near Orel), Russia

Worker

Possibly a soldier in the Red Army.d Land worker

Conscripted into the Red Army in 1939 and went missing in December 1941.e 8

Desiadiretschenko/ Desjadiretschenko/ Desiatiritschenko

Nikolai/Nikolaj/ Mykola

21

21.12.1921

Russia?

9

Everts

Hermann Julius Wilhelm (Willi)

35

30.3.1908

Langenburg, Germany Kapo in Sylt concentration camp

The missing 321



Family status Died

Cause of death

Neuengamme Previous camps in which they prisoner were incarcerateda number

Non-believer

Married to Aleksandra Abanenko

Lung tuberculosis, enteritis (tbc?)

13230

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Religious denomination

Catholic

Unmarried

10.7.1943

29.12.1943 Double-sided pleurisy

16616

6.6.1943

16646

Intestinal inflammation and tuberculosis

14.5.1943

15884

Non-believer

Married

14.2.1944

Death by hanging. Executed

Orthodox

Unmarried

28.3.1943

Double-sided pneumonia

Orthodox

Married to Elena Dergunowa

6.6.1943

Cardiovascular weakness

6.6.1943

27.7.1943

Held in Dachau from 22.8.1942 as a protective custody prisoner.c

Shot trying to escapef

16610

Transported from Buchenwald (SS BB III in Cologne) to Neuengamme on the 18.2.1943. Registered in Neuengamme 22.2.1943 Transported from Buchenwald (SS BB III in Cologne) to Neuengamme on 5.1.1943

16664

Desiadiretschenko’s name appears on a transport list from Alderney to Sollstedt in 1944 but a death certificate was issued for him, suggesting that his name and number was seemingly reused for a living prisoner.

16698

Everts’ brutal death is described in Chapters 5 and 9. He was incarcerated in Buchenwald on the 24.11.1938 and transferred to Neuengamme on the 10.12.1940. He was transferred to Sachsenhausen on the 17.12.1941 and also appears to have spent time in Dachau.g

Death

322

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Table 9.2 (Continued) Surname

First name

Age

Date of birth

Birthplace

Occupation(s)

10

Gaiewskii/Gaievskii/ Gajewskij

Valentin/ Walentin

20

1.1.1924

Pyatigorsk, Russia

11

Grzeszkowiak

Leonard

19

27.5.1923

Wloclawek, Poland

May have been a soldier in the Red Army, conscripted in Rostov-on-Don.h Land worker

12

Jurakow/Yurakov

Michail/Mikhail

22

10.10.1920

Krasna-Seljskaja/ Krasnosel’skoye

13

Kozlov/Kozlow

Alexander/ Aleksandr

24/25

1918

14

Kulenitsch

Petro/Pjotr

29/30

1913

Nowaja/ Tractor driver Dnjepropetrowsk (now Dnipro) Russia/ Ukraine Psare, Czech Land worker Republic?

15

Kutschmistrov/ Kutschmistrow

Ivan/Iwan

23

9.1.1920

Bulochowka, Russia

16

Loik

Stefan

28

28.9.1914

17

Matschitidse

Michail/Mikhail

24

10.8.1918

Peremyshliany (Lviv Shoemaker region), Tarnopol (now Ternopil’), Ukraine Tuzi, Tbilisi province, Land worker Georgia

Land worker

Cinema mechanic

May have been a soldier in the Red Army, conscripted in the Chkharsky district. Went missing in August 1941.i 18

Maximenko/ Maksimenko

Afanasii/ Afanassij

21

17.4.1912

Verchnii Rogatschik, Ukraine

Land worker

19

Moras

Nikolai/Nikolaj

21

29.11.1921

Zaporizhia, Ukraine

Factory worker

20

Obertas

Wassil/Wassilij/ Vasilii

18

3.9.1924

Pischtjanka

Land worker

21

Ovchinikov/ Owtschinikow

Aleksander/ Aleksandr

22

11.5.1921

Russia?

22

Pasieka

Kasimir

24

28.2.1918

Rudnik, Polish

Locksmith

The missing 323



Religious denomination

Family status Died

Cause of death

10.2.1944

7977

Unmarried

22.4.1943

Cardiovascular weakness

16738

Orthodox

Married

20.5.1943

16819

Orthodox

Married

27.4.1943

Cardiovascular weakness and intestinal inflammation Cardiovascular weakness

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Orthodox

Neuengamme Previous camps in which they prisoner were incarcerateda number

14734

Greek Orthodox Unmarried

17.6.1943

Cardiovascular weakness

15560

Orthodox

Unmarried

3.5.1943

Tuberculosis

14743

Greek Catholic

Unmarried

30.5.1943

Cardiovascular weakness and intestinal inflammation

16083

Orthodox

Married

26.11.1943

Orthodox

Married

13.5.1943

Unknown

Unmarried

3.6.1943

Orthodox

Unmarried

9.5.1943

Catholic

Unmarried

Transported from Buchenwald (SS BB III in Cologne to Neuengamme on the 5.1.1943

14765

Held in Leipzig prison before being sent to be a member of SS BB III in Cologne. Sent to Neuengamme on 05.1.1943

Double-sided lung tuberculosis

16968

Arrested on 30.6.42 and held in Leipzig prison.j Registered in Buchenwald as a member of SS BB III in Cologne.k Registered Neuengamme on 22.2.1943.

Enteritis and cardiovascular weakness Intestinal inflammation

13042

17002

13.11.1943

17001

5/6.1.1944

17065

Death

324

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Table 9.2 (Continued) Surname

First name

Age

Date of birth

Birthplace

Occupation(s)

23

Petraschenko

Vasilii/Wassilij

18

22.8.1924

Malo, Russia

Worker

24

Schadanow

Mikhailo/Michail 18

17.10.1924

Berdjansk, Ukraine

Locksmith

25

Tratschuk

Piotr/Pjotr

20.8.1923

Ugorsk/Chorsk/ Uhorsk, Russia

Land worker

26

Zaiats/Sajac

Wolodymyr/ Vladimir/ Wladimir/ Volodymyr

19

28.7.1923

Boromlia, Ukraine

Electrician

27

Zaprovadov/ Saprowadow

Alexander/ Aleksandr

27

22.2.1916

Staniza Stara Michajlowskaja/ Stanitsia Staro Mikhailovskaya Russia

Locksmith. Likely a soldier in the Red Army, conscripted on 6 July 1940. Went missing in July 1941.o

Unless otherwise stated, information in this column was derived from transport lists held by AG-NG, AG-D and AG-F. b TsAMO, 58/977523/297, ‘Irrevocable loss report’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info. htm?id=69238200, 4 August 1950. c NARA, RG242/A3355/136, ‘Gregory Balishchuk (Polishchuk)’, undated. d Various sources exist for Petro Bykows who were born in 1919 and were members of the armed forces and so it is unclear which, if any, of these refer to the same individual who was sent to Alderney. The most likely might be: TsAMO, 58/977520/71, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https:// obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=60085460, 9 January 1947; TsAMO, 58/977520/982, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=62355466%20%20%20 %20, 9 December 1947. e TsAMO, 58/18004/120, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/ info.htm?id=56895982, 11 June 1946. f TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Unteroffizier Rudolf Kupfer’, 25 June 1945; TNA, WO199/2-090B, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.)/2253. Report: Channel Islands, Alderney’, 5 July 1944; USHMM, RG.14-101M, ‘Dr. Baldewein, Helmut’, 3 February 1966. a

The missing 325



Family status Died

Cause of death

Neuengamme Previous camps in which they prisoner were incarcerateda number

Non-believer

Unmarried

17.4.1943

Double-side lung tuberculosis

8822

Orthodox

Unmarried

7.5.1943

Intestinal inflammation

8359

Orthodox

Unmarried

21.4.1943

Enteritis and cardiovascular weakness

9281

Arrived in Dachau on the 03.08.1942 as a protective custody prisoner.m Transported from Dachau and arrived in Neuengamme on the 07.8.1942

Orthodox

Unmarried

5.4.1943

Shot trying to escape

12745

Arrived in Dachau on the 18.7.1942 as a protective custody prisoner.n Transported from Dachau and arrived in Neuengamme on the 14.12.1942

Orthodox

One 10.5.1943 source says unmarried, another that he was married to Liubov Zaprovadova

Tuberculosis

10870

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Religious denomination

Arrived at Flossenbürg on 1.8.1942 and was transferred to Neuengamme on 5.8.1942.l

ITS, 1.1.5/5828622, ‘Wilhelm Everts’, undated; ITS, 5.3.2/84610323, ‘Evaluation of data of foreign fatalities and unknown fatalities from concentration camps and their grave sites’, undated. h TsAMO, 58/818883/1996, ‘Irrevocable loss information’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info. htm?id=52588690, 24 April 1942. i TsAMO, 58/977520/540, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https://obd-memorial.ru/ html/info.htm?id=61508199, 16 July 1947. j ITS, 1.0/6596025, ‘Afanasij Maximenko’, 23 February 1943. k ITS, 1.0/6596024, ‘Afanasij Maximenko’, 10 July 1942. l USHMM, HVSD, ‘Flossenbürg Prisoner Lists – Wasilij Petraschenko’, https://www.ushmm.org/online/ hsv/person_view.php?PersonId=7069335, 1 August 1942. m NARA, RG242/A3355/136, ‘Peter Trachuk’, undated. n NARA, Zugangsbuch Nr 113/041148 and Nr. 111/031596. o ‘TsAMO 58/977520/317, ‘Information from loss clarification documents from Kurgan district conscription office’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=61103948, 19 April 1947 g

Source:  Unless otherwise stated, the information in this table was derived from death registries held in AG-NG, Totenbuch, Reviertotenbuch and Standesamptsregister.

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326

Death

In his testimony written in the 1980s, former OT labourer Georgi Kondakov named eighteen additional men without graves who either died or for whom there is ‘no evidence of leaving Alderney’.15 Archival research has revealed additional information about these individuals, all of whom are listed in Tables 9.4 and 9.5. One of these men was former Sylt inmate and Neumayer employee Vasilii Chumakov, whose body was brought ashore after his death on the failed evacuation of the Xaver Dorsch in January 1943.16 Another was Ivan Korolev/Koroliov, born in 1925 in Satyky in Russia, a former inmate of Helgoland and employee of the Westdeutsche firm who died when his hands were severed while he worked on Alderney’s railway track.17 A man named Eugenii or Zhenia from the Orel region in Russia, whose brutal beating and parasitic body was described by fellow inmates, and Abdullah, who was crucified on the gate at Sylt concentration camp when he tried to escape, were also among this group.18 While very specific information is available about how some of the men named by Kondakov died, details relating to others is lacking making it difficult to confirm if they did perish on the island. In some cases, conflicting records exist about whether an individual died or survived. For example, Ivan Matovykh who was born in 1924 in Bunino in the Orel region of Russia, reportedly ‘died on Alderney’.19 Matovykh was a former Red Army soldier who was captured by the Germans and sent to Helgoland in Alderney as an employee of the Strabag firm.20 However, Soviet documents suggest that he might have survived as an Ivan Matovych, also a former soldier, was repatriated to Odesa on 27 April 1945.21 While it is not clear whether this is the same individual, this case highlights the difficulties in tracing some of the missing from Alderney considering absent or conflicting sources, and the need to consider such issues when examining the death toll of labourers.

Names on crosses Another category of missing persons comprises men whose names appeared on crosses within the marked labourer cemeteries (Chapter 8), but whose bodies were not knowingly found. For example, twelve of the crosses that marked the graves in Longy Common cemetery bore the names of two individuals. However, two bodies were only found in five of these graves during the 1961 exhumations. This leaves a further seven people whose bodies must have been placed elsewhere, likely in unmarked graves (Appendix 1). Likewise, the body of Fedor Pakhomov, aged 38 who reportedly died on 20 December 1942, has never been successfully identified as British investigators found only half a cross bearing his name lying on the ground in Longy Common cemetery.22 One might assume that these individuals were



The missing 327 Table 9.3  Named individuals thought to have died on Alderney according to witnesses

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Named individuals thought to have perished on Alderney 1. Rudi Busch Born: Germany Camp(s): Sylt concentration camp Cause of death: Shot Date of death: After March 1943. Further information: A German political prisoner, Busch had reportedly been imprisoned for eleven years.a Georgi Kondakov suggests he may have had a privileged position in Sylt concentration camp before he was killed.b May have been shot by SS Unterscharführer Wese.c 2. Vasilii Dolgov Born: 6 October 1923.d Camp(s): Helgoland but died in the sick bay at Norderney Cause of death: Unknown Date of death: 7/11 November 1942.e 3. Josef Lammel Born: Czechoslovakia Camp(s): Sylt concentration camp Cause of death: Shot Date of death: After March 1943. Further information: May have been shot by SS-Mann Rometsch.f 4. Jan Novak/Yan Nowak Born: ‘Polish Ukraine’.g Camp(s): Norderney Cause of death: Alcohol poisoning Date of death: Unknown but likely at the end of 1942. Further information: Norbert Beernaert built a coffin for Novak and buried him on Longy Common.h He reportedly died after making and drinking his own alcohol. A Jacob/Yakob Nowak/Novak from Kostopil in Ukraine has a death certificate which says he died of dysentery in November 1942. His name also appeared on the back of a cross on the grave of Alexandr Lepilov in Longy Common cemetery. It is possible that this individual could be Jan Novak. However, as no further information is available about Jan Novak’s date of death and the details surrounding his cause of death differs, this remains uncertain. 5. Gregori/Grigorii Pashko Born: 1901/02 in Sumy Camp(s): Helgoland Cause of death: unknown Date of death: Autumn 1942. Further information: He was reportedly in ‘perfect health’ when he arrived but, after a few months on Alderney, he died in his bed.i His corpse was seen by Volodymyr Saienko before it was sent to Norderney. Pashko reportedly asked for medical help prior to his death but none was forthcoming.j

328

Death Table 9.3 (Continued)

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Named individuals thought to have perished on Alderney 6. Patalacci Born: Italy Camp(s): Unknown. Cause of death: Fell into wet concrete during construction works and fractured his leg: ‘the Germans refused to stop work and the liquid concrete was poured on him’.k He was buried alive. Date of death: Unknown Further information: Italian POW. 7. Stanisław Schiller Born: 1923 in Siedlisko in Kostopil.l Camp(s): Helgoland Cause of death: Unknown. Date of death: Unknown but Lipinski reports it was six months after he arrived in Helgoland, suggesting the earliest this might have been would be February 1943 assuming he arrived in August 1942.m Further information: His death was reported by fellow labourer Cyprian Lipinski. 8. Nikolaj/Nikolai/Mykola Vassilko/Vasil’ko/Vasyl’ko/Wasilko Born:1918/1919 in Sumy Camp(s): Helgoland Cause of death: ‘malnutrition, ill-treatment, rain and cold’.n Date of death: October or November 1942. Further information: He was reportedly in ‘perfect health’ when he arrived but, after a few months on Alderney, he died in his bed.o His corpse was seen by Volodymyr Saienko before it was sent to Norderney. Vassilko reportedly asked for medical help prior to his death but none was forthcoming.p Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 30. Georgi Kondakov in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 80. c Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 30. d OBD, 70097, ‘Prisoner of war report’, 1952, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info. htm?id=66921678&p=234 (accessed 29 April 2020). e Ibid. f Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 30. g Norbert Beernaert in Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp (London: Granada, 1982), p. 177. h Ibid. i TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement made by Balika Alexander’, 10 June 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement made by Sajenko Vladimir’, 10 June 1945. j Ibid. k The memoirs of a French resistance fighter ‘Glaize’, cited in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 290. l TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Civ. Cyprian Lipinski’, 28 July 1945 m Ibid. n TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement made by Sajenko Vladimir’, 10 June 1945. o TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement made by Balika Alexander’, 10 June 1945; Ibid. p Ibid. a

b



The missing 329 Table 9.4  Men who ‘died on Alderney’ according to Georgi Kondakov, but who have no known graves. An * indicates that Kondakov obtained the information from a fellow inmate rather than via direct contact with the individual concerneda

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Labourers who potentially ‘died in Alderney’.b 1. Abdullah (nickname Osset) Born: Unknown but likely of North African descent. Camp(s): Helgoland (hut 7) and Sylt concentration camp Cause of death: Crucified on Sylt concentration camp gate following his escape.c Date of death: Sometime between May and August 1943. Further information: He was sent to Sylt concentration camp from Helgoland as punishment sometime between May and August 1943. According to Kondakov he was ‘a violent man’ and he attacked the camp guards in Sylt when he tried to escape for the first time. He was then killed after his second escape attempt when he was captured on the seashore.d 2. Ivan/Iwan Chjorny/Tschornij/Chornyi/Chorny Born: Ukraine Camp(s): Helgoland.e Further information: An Ivan Chorny died in captivity in Germany on 20 June 1944 and details about him can also found in the archives of Dachau and DoraMittelbau.f However, in the absence of further records, it is unclear whether this is the same person mentioned by Kondakov. 3. Vasilii/Wasilii Chumakov* Born: 1923 in Gorodische Camp(s) and firm: Sylt labour camp, Neumayer Date of death: January 1943 Cause of death: Died during the ill-fated attempt to disembark Alderney onboard the Xaver Dorsch.g Further information: Brother of Alexsei Chumanov who was also a labourer on Alderney. 4. Eugenii/Zhenia Born: Orel region, Russia Date of death: November/December1942 Cause of death: He was taken away and never seen again following a beating by the Germans. His body was infested with lice that caused significant skin damage.h 5. Ivan/Iwan Korolev/Koroliov Born: 1925 in Satyky, Russia Camp(s) and firm: Helgoland, Westdeutsche Cause of death: Hands severed by a railway truck.i 6. Ivan/Iwan Kyrjushine (Kiriushyn)* Born: Russia Camp(s): Sylt labour camp

330

Death Table 9.4 (Continued)

Labourers who potentially ‘died in Alderney’.b

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7. Alexander/Alexandr/Olexandr Livinchuk* Born: Ukraine Camp(s): Sylt labour camp Further information: He was a teacher before being captured by the Germans. Brother of Nikolai Livinchuk.j 8. Nikolai/Mykola Livinchuk* Born: Ukraine Camp(s): Sylt labour camp Further information: Brother of Alexander Livinchuk.k 9. Ivan Marine/Marin Born: 1926 in Solntsevo, Russia Camp(s): Helgoland and Sylt concentration camp.l Firm: Strabag Further information: Died in Sylt concentration camp.m An Ivan Marin does appear on records from Sachsenhausen dated after 25 January 1944.n 10. Marej? Born: Dyatkovo, Russia Camp(s): Helgoland.o 11. Ivan/Iwan Matovych/Matovyh/Matovykh* Born: Either 1916 or 1924 in Bunino, Orel region, Russia.p Camp(s): Helgoland.q Firm: Strabag Further information: A former Red Army soldier who was captured by the Germans.r Soviet documents refer to an Ivan Matovych born in 1924 who was evacuated from Bunino by the Nazis in March 1943 and who was then repatriated to Odesa on 27 April 1945.s It is not clear whether this is the same individual. 12. Oskokine?/Osokin Born: Dyatkovo, Russia Camp(s): Helgoland.t 13. Roman Rusine/Rusin Born: Ukraine Camp(s): Sylt labour camp.u Efforts have been made to investigate the fates of these men and those listed in Table 9.5, utlising various archival holdings described in the footnotes below. b The information herein has been largely taken from Appendix 1 in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, pp. 145–150, which was based on research Kondakov undertook in Russia after 1980 and in the Russian Repatriation Centre in Paris in 1945. Further details about the men have been acquired from various archives cited within the table above in an attempt to clarify their fate. c Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, pp. 15–16, 55, 60 and 81. Abdullah’s death is described in Chapter 5. d Ibid., p. 81. a



The missing 331 Table 9.4 (Continued)

Ibid., p. 146. TsAMO, 58/977525/344, ‘Prisoner of war information’, https://obd-memorial. ru/html/info.htm?id=81794858 (accessed 4 May 2020); NARA, RG242/ A3355/136, ‘Prisoner of war information’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info. htm?id=1978000212; https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=1978008916; https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=1978018517 (accessed 4 May 2020). ITS, 1.1.27/2742422, ‘Iwan Tschornij’, https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/en/ archive/1-1-27-2_01012702-oS/?p=1&doc_id=2742422 (accessed 4 May 2020); ITS, 1.1.27/2742422, ‘Iwan Tschornij’, https://collections.arolsen-archives.org/en/ archive/1-1-27-2_01012702-oS/?p=1&doc_id=2742422 (accessed 4 May 2020). g Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, pp. 15, 60 and 146. h Ibid., pp. 55–56. i Ibid., pp. 17 and 147. j Ibid., p. 147. k Ibid., p. 147. l Ibid., p. 76. m Ibid., pp. 15, 76 and 147. n RGVA, 1367/1/25, ‘Prisoner of war information’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info. htm?id=84530836 (accessed 4 May 2020). o Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, pp. 147–148. p Ibid., p. 16. q Ibid., p. 148. r TsAMO, 58/18004/761, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, 1946, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=59112066 (accessed 1 May 2020). s TsAMO, 58/18003/1580, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https:// obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=65725374 (accessed 4 May 2020); TsAMO, Odessa Runway/223247/17, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https:// obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=84269061 (accessed 4 May 2020). t Georgi Kondakov in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p.148. u Ibid., p. 149. e

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f

buried in unmarked graves uncovered during the 1961 exhumations but, in the absence of identification procedures at the time or since, this has never been confirmed.

Additional OT worker deaths In addition to the individuals who can be named, evidence exists to suggest further missing persons might lie in unmarked graves. First, we address the OT workers. Soviet records suggest that twenty members of the first group of Eastern European workers were dead by the time they arrived on the island in mid-March 1942, yet the first death of a Soviet citizen is not mentioned in surviving German documentation until July 1942.23 Of the 144 OT death certificates now available, only 13 record that individuals died in

332

Death

Table 9.5  Men who for whom ‘there is no evidence of leaving Alderney’ according to Georgi Kondakov, but who have no known graves. An * indicates that Kondakov obtained the information from a fellow inmate rather than via direct contact with the individual concerned

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Labourers for whom there is ‘no evidence of leaving Alderney’. a 1. Ivan/Iwan Kiritchenko* Born: Ukraine Camp(s): Sylt labour camp.b Further information: An Ivan Kirichenko was a prisoner in Dachau and was incarcerated no later than 26 June 1942. He was born in Pidwarki on 10 October 1924.c The name Ivan Kirichenko also appears in Dachau prisoner records that state he was incarcerated no later than 25 March 1944. He was born on 23 June 1925 in Rowne near Odessa.d It is not possible to confirm whether either of these men was the same person being referred to by Kondakov. 2. Livenko?* Born: Ukraine Camp(s): Sylt labour camp.e 3. Parkhomenko Born: Ukraine Camp(s): Sylt labour camp.f 4. Alexei Solvjev/Soloviov Born: Russian Camp(s): Helgoland.g 5. Pavel Stebakov Born: Russian Camp(s): Helgoland.h Further information: A Pavel Stebakov from Orel in Russia appears in documents relating to missing military personnel.i One of these documents states that he survived and arrived back to the USSR in July 1945.j It is unclear whether this is the same person referred to by Kondakov in the absence of further details. The information herein has been largely taken from Appendix 1 in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, pp. 145–150 which was based on research Kondakov undertook in Russia after 1980 and in the Russian Repatriation Centre in Paris in 1945. Further details about the men have been acquired from various archives cited within the table above in an attempt to clarify their fate. b Ibid., p.147. c NARA, RG242/A3355/136, ‘Dachau concentration camp prisoner lists’, https://obdmemorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=1978000495 (accessed 4 May 2020). d NARA, RG242/A3355/136, ‘Dachau concentration camp prisoner lists’, https:// obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=1978028773 (accessed 4 May 2020); ITS, 1.1.6/10131209, ‘Personal files – Concentration camp Dachau’, (accessed 4 May 2020). e Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 147. a



The missing 333 Table 9.5 (Continued)

Ibid., p.148. Ibid., p.149. h Ibid., p.149. i TsAMO, 58/18001/1248, ‘Irrevocable loss information’, https://obd-memorial.ru/ html/info.htm?id=6956023 (accessed 4 May 2020). j GARF, p-9526/6/1143, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https://obdmemorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=79493070 (accessed 4 May 2020). f

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g

Sylt labour camp.24 Yet, witnesses report that between 40 and 300 people died in this camp between August 1942 and March 1943 (Chapter 3), leaving many more potentially unaccounted for.25 There is also no mention on any death certificates of labourers having died in Helgoland, Borkum or any of the small camps (Chapters 3 and 6), even though many acts of brutality and deaths in these camps have been well-documented (perhaps with the exception of Borkum), with several described by Kondakov in relation to the named individuals already discussed. It is known that inmates from other camps were sent to Norderney prior to, or after, their deaths (as this was where the island ‘hospital’ was located) and thus some of those who died in these camps might be among those were buried in St Anne’s and Longy Common cemeteries. However, in the absence of conclusive evidence, the possibility remains that additional men housed in these camps remain missing. Death and burial records, along with data derived from the 1961 exhumations, suggest that only thirty-two OT workers (including eight Jewish inmates of Norderney) died after March 1943.26 Considering the death toll of OT workers prior to the arrival of the SS, and given that conditions for them did not dramatically improve afterwards, this number of deaths also appears low. Somewhat suspiciously, the death certificates belonging to OT workers who died during this period (known and unknown) were not among those found after liberation, suggesting that they must have been destroyed. Witness testimonies indicate a much higher death toll in 1943 and 1944 than the surviving official records suggest. For example, forced labourer Jan Szulc reported that five to six, sometimes ten, OT workers died every day during the first half of 1943 but burial registries suggest an average of only one OT worker death every four days up to the end of June 1943.27 Guernseyman Marshal George Johns was a volunteer labourer in Alderney for three years. During his time in the OT hospital at Norderney from July until September 1943, he recorded the deaths of seventy-three ‘Russians’, two Frenchmen and one woman; some deaths he saw with his own eyes, others he was informed about by the hospital orderlies.28 Yet, burial registries suggest a maximum of eleven OT workers died during

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334

Death

this period. Hence, in three months alone, Johns claimed that twice as many people died than the official records suggest did so over more than two years. His claims were corroborated by Thomas Robins, who reported that forty-one OT workers died in Norderney hospital in the seven weeks after 9 August 1943.29 Around 150 OT workers were sent to Sylt when it became a punishment camp for the SS and, when they were released between August and December 1943, the OT administration complained that their numbers were reduced and that at least ten to fifteen individuals from Helgoland had died.30 As these were OT prisoners, their deaths do not appear in the SS death registries, but neither are their death certificates available in OT records, and it is unclear what happened to their bodies. And what of two Frenchmen who were shot in Norderney in June 1944 for failing to take shelter from bombings?31 Although providing an exact number of missing is difficult, around 100–150 OT workers (in addition to those already named) may be unaccounted for according to the aforementioned accounts.

Jewish workers Although the Jewish workers known to have perished on Alderney have already been discussed in other chapters, this issue is worthy of further consideration here because estimates of the number of known and unmarked burials have varied considerably. As discussed in Chapter 7, the official death toll of Jews killed on Alderney stands at eight, based on the presence of the eight marked individual graves in the cemetery in Longy Common which were documented in 1945, and then subsequently exhumed in 1949 and 1961. Beyond this group, records are confusing. Overall, the official number of Jewish deaths does appear low, not least because of the brutality that was levied against these labourers. This included beatings, torture, attacks by dogs and other forms of ill-treatment in Helgoland and Norderney in particular (described at length in Chapters 3 and 5). Norderney’s Deputy Camp Commandant Evers regularly beat Jews and former inmate Théodore Haenel stated that he witnessed the deaths of ten to twelve Jews in this camp, none of whom appear in official burial lists.32 John Dalmau, a captured former officer of the Spanish Republican, and French, army, described how Jews were also among those shot when the Germans demanded a ‘dance’ following the bombing of German towns: organised by the SS, the ‘dance’ consisted of gathering 50 or more political prisoners or Jews and making them jump, firing bullets at their feet. When one



The missing 335

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was hit and fell, another bullet, this time in the head, finished him off. This frightful affair continued until the last man fell.33

Belgian labourer Norbert Beernaert also reported the death of a Ukrainian OT worker who died days after the Germans discovered he was Jewish.34 British citizen George Pope, who remained on the island during the occupation, also referred to Jewish deaths from dysentry in the summer of 1943.35 However, Benoit Luc – who has conducted the most authoritative study on the fate of French Jews on Alderney – has irrefutably demonstrated that 586 out of 590 Jewish labourers sent to the island after August 1943 and housed in Norderney survived.36 The four who perished were among the eight individuals already discussed, all of whom had marked graves. Given the conditions on Alderney and the high mortality rate among Jews in mainland Europe, this low mortality rate seems highly unlikely. However, considering Luc’s findings, any additional deceased Jews must have been sent to Alderney in other transports. Certainly, more Jews were on the island at other times; the number deported from Alderney to the mainland in May and July 1944 alone, which reportedly totalled close to 1,000 people, is evidence of this.37 The fate and numbers of Jews present in 1942 also remains unclear, as does what happened to the bodies of those who died in the boats, waiting to be transported.38 While some sources suggest that these individuals were buried in Longy Common cemetery, they were not identified there by name.39 Further deaths of Jews who sought to hide their religion from the Germans, including a small number who found themselves in SS BB1, also cannot be ruled out.40 Until more conclusive evidence comes to light, putting a precise or even an approximate figure on the number of Jews who might remain missing is extremely difficult. From the evidence presented here, this number could be anywhere between ten and several hundred. Certainly, there are no sources which suggest that a figure of 9,000–10,000 Jewish deaths is realistic as postulated in a number of more recent press articles.41 The authors of (or cited within) these articles base their figures on the mortality rates in French camps, where Jewish forced and slave labourers were also interned, as well as on measurements of potential mass graves on Longy Common (discussed in Chapter 8). However, there is no evidence to suggest that Jews were even sent to Alderney in such numbers, let alone killed at this rate.42 Likewise, estimating numbers based on the potential size of graves is problematic as, without excavation, there is no definitive way to establish how many bodies might be present or to whom these bodies belonged.

336

Death

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Additional SS prisoner deaths The number of SS prisoner deaths that occurred on Alderney has also been debated and there has been a consensus among witnesses that the death toll was higher than records and the 1961 exhumations suggest. In terms of the overall death toll of SS BB1 inmates from March 1943 until June 1944, former prisoner Otto Spehr suggested a figure of 350, based on his observation that around 650 of the original 1,000 SS BB1 prisoners were present when they were evacuated from Alderney in June 1944.43 However, to arrive at a more accurate number of deaths and missing persons, it is important to account for the movement of SS BB1 prisoners on and off the island between March 1943 and June 1944 – something which resulted in a reduction in numbers – and, conversely, the fact that some OT workers were sent to Sylt and brought under SS control between May and December 1943. This changing demographic was described in detail in Chapter 4 and has been discussed at length by Fings and Buggeln but is summarised here for clarity.44 According to the log of the Robert Müller 8, 1,027 SS BB1 prisoners were shipped to Alderney, arriving in two groups on 3 and 5 March 1943.45 When the SS evacuated the island in June 1944, an estimated 634 prisoners remained.46 The apparent discrepancy of 393 prisoners from when the SS arrived on Alderney and when they left can be partly explained by several transports to the mainland. Approximately 157 prisoners were transported back to Neuengamme in July 1943 as they were deemed ‘unfit for work’.47 Eight to ten of these died in the harbour before leaving Alderney (and it is unclear what happened to their bodies), while others escaped or died on the way.48 Some smaller transports back to the mainland may have also taken place, totalling some sixty people, according to witness testimonies.49 The Neuengamme death registries confirm that at least 103 prisoners died on Alderney, hence they too need to be deducted from the total (as the missing persons in this group have already been discussed).50 Allowing for these occurrences, this leaves at least seventy-three people unaccounted for. The deaths of these missing persons and their absence from official records is seemingly confirmed by several sources. Franz Dokter, who was in charge of the SS shop and Schnapps distillery in Sylt, suggested that 140 SS prisoners died between March and November 1943 alone, based on conversations he had with SS officer Usher Gessner; fifty-eight more than are recorded in the Neuengamme death registries for this period.51 The same number of deaths was reported independently by two Soviet prisoners interviewed by Captain Kent of the British army in 1945 and another witness Wilhelm Wisse testified that ‘132 detainees were buried when I was there’.52

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Two official SS reports also suggest that further deaths of prisoners might have occurred beyond the seventy-three already described. According to a report written in February 1944, 656 SS prisoners remained on Alderney.53 The same number were reportedly still on the island in April 1944, even though the death registries show that at least fifteen deaths had taken place since the February report was written; hence, this provides evidence that the SS modified some of their records to maintain the notion that the SS BB1 inmates were a high-functioning and well-cared for group.54 Sylwester Kukuła, a Polish SS prisoner housed in Sylt, suggests one reason why the number of deaths might have appeared reasonably static in official records: the new powers, trying to hide high death rates from their authorities in KL-Neuengamme, hit on an ingenious idea. In place of a dead prisoner they would ‘borrow’ a Russian or Ukrainian one from a civil camp, giving them the dead prisoner’s number. Since then the death rate officially did not get over 2–3 men a month.55

This practice of ‘borrowing’ prisoner numbers can be proven with several examples. Vasilii Podberesnyi, who was transported to Sollstedt following the evacuation of prisoners from Alderney, had the number formerly assigned to Mykola Popravka, a 23-year-old Ukrainian who died on 29 February 1944 and was buried in a grave on Longy Common.56 Likewise, after his death on Alderney on 7 April 1944, Eugen Pletschuk’s number was given to Longin Nowara, an inmate in Neuengamme concentration camp.57 To confuse the situation further, even though Nikolai Desiadiretschenko had a death certificate confirming that he died on Alderney, his name appears on a list of individuals transported from Alderney to Sollstedt in June 1944.58 Hence, it is not clear what happened to his body (as he has no marked grave), and whether another prisoner took his place on the transport or the SS simply falsified the transport lists to give the impression that more men had survived. The resulting conclusion from this analysis is that SS records concerning the number of SS BB1 prisoners that survived their time on Alderney are unreliable and, as such, the potential for the number of deaths to be higher than the official figures is evident. Records concerning how some of these missing SS prisoners died are less precise, although witness testimonies might offer some explanation. After Himmler initiated an inquiry into the disastrous transfer of prisoners back to Neuengamme in July 1943, Sylt’s commandant List appears to have decided to deal with the issue of sick or dissenting prisoners locally on Alderney. Around thirty prisoners were reportedly shot in the autumn of 1943.59 The deaths of these prisoners were not recorded in the central Neuengamme death registers, suggesting that they were likely omitted to

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cover them up. Spehr also refers to other shooting incidents of this type; one reportedly occurred in February 1944, but no shootings are recorded in the death registries at this time, and only ten deaths overall are logged for this period. However, Spehr did suggest that some of these deaths were spread throughout other months in the Neuengamme records to disguise them (Figure 7.2). The trial records of SS man Peter Bikar allude to thirtythree inmates of Sylt being shot in one night in 1944, while the ‘dances’ described previously by Dalmau also included SS BB1 prisoners.60 Again, it is possible that these deaths were not recorded to mask their occurrence and that they account for some of the missing individuals. Witnesses also report several deaths whereby the bodies of victims were buried where they fell or where bodies were found sometime after death (Chapters 7 and 8), and it is unlikely that these deaths were registered by the SS. Hence, more deaths were perhaps disguised in this way. It is also unclear what happened to the bodies of individuals who died in the harbour while awaiting the various evacuations from Alderney to the mainland, especially during the final transport off the island, as no burials were recorded after 22 June 1944.61

Deaths mentioned in official documents and post-war research Many other primary sources comprising witness accounts, court-martial and trial documents, and personal and official correspondence refer in more general terms to the death toll on Alderney among the forced, slave and lessthan-slave labourers. As many of these sources make similar claims, despite being written by different people from different countries and backgrounds, many of whom had no contact with each other, it is difficult to simply dismiss them. This is especially true as many of these claims were made by judicial authorities and even by the Germans themselves (for whom it would have been preferable to downplay the death toll, not elevate it). Most commonly, it has been suggested that several hundred more deaths took place on Alderney than the number of bodies found during the 1961 exhumations indicate. One of the first accounts provided by three former forced labourers to British intelligence division MI19 claimed that 843 out of 2,000 people died during the eighteen months prior to February 1944.62 Another source can be found in the Handbook of the Organisation Todt, a publication produced by British Military Intelligence and published in 1945, which states: an interesting sidelight is the disclosure that about half a dozen German overseers were sentenced to various penalties by court-martial in March 1944 (Commanding General of 319 Inf. Div. presiding). The court martial was held



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as a result of a written report that 600 Russians had died on the island within the space of nine months.63

As these figures were derived by the German administration, it seems unlikely that they would be unduly elevated when the crimes referred to were perpetrated by their own personnel. Some further indications of numbers come from members of the German garrison stationed on Alderney. For example, Hans Spann, an officer in charge of the detachment from FK515 who was on Alderney from April 1942 to March 1944, witnessed terrible conditions in Helgoland, Sylt and Norderney. His statement suggests at least 400 died from climatic conditions, harsh work, and poor rations during this period.64 Island Commandant Hoffman stated that 250–300 OT workers had already perished before November 1943.65 Paul Sanders, who completed one of the most comprehensive reviews of the occupation of the Channel Islands to date, affirms that ‘if we take into account that the Germans would have had a tendency to play down the exact number of deaths, that Hoffman’s figure only includes OT-workers, and more deaths occurred after November 1943 then a figure of around 700 deaths on Alderney seems plausible’.66 Other accounts come from Alderney internees. A censored telegram written during the war by a former labourer also reported around 900 deaths during a period of eight months (although he does not refer to the year that he believed this occurred) while labourer Ted Misiewicz suggested a figure of around 800.67 During his post-war trial in East Germany, SS man Peter Bikar was accused of participating in 600 deaths on Alderney in 1943 and 1944.68 Bikar was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment as the court felt that there was enough evidence that he had participated in these crimes. Also after the war, an association of French survivors known as Amicale anciens déportés de l’île anglo-normande d’Aurigny estimated that 687 deaths of ‘Russian’ prisoners occurred and a similar number (700) was suggested by Leonid Winogradow, a Soviet radio mechanic and prisoner of SS BB1 during his interrogation in November 1944.69 A statement by Englishman Eric Kibble, who was sent to Alderney for three months in 1945 and held in the prison, refers to 700–1,000 ‘Russians’ killed in different ways during the occupation.70 Likewise, a report compiled by another informant (based on information provided by seven of his fellow labourers) on 6 July 1944, also reported a death toll of over 700, making it the most commonly referred to figure among witness accounts.71 Some sources allude to deaths in the thousands. Major Gruzdev (the Assistant Representative of the Department for Repatriation of the Soviet People’s Commissars of the USSR) who joined the British team during their inquiries in June 1945, suggested around 1,780 Soviets who arrived on the island were unaccounted for.72 Rumours of thousands of deaths also reached

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340

labourers in other camps on the mainland. For example, Vasilii Krivotscheev, an inmate of Wilhelm Busch camp in Cherbourg, was told about several thousand deaths by another inmate who had been in Alderney.73 Such claims were also made by George Pope, but the list he reportedly made in support of this has never surfaced.74 Most recently, claims have been made of more than 40,000 people being sent to Alderney and 10,000 deaths.75 However, figures in the tens of thousands simply cannot be supported as there appears to be no known evidence indicating that these numbers are in any way viable, not least given the size of Alderney and the transportation difficulties the Germans would have faced in moving that many people to the island.76

Revising the numbers? The review of evidence connected to missing persons resulting from the forced and slave labour programme on Alderney clearly demonstrates the complexities of establishing a definitive number of victims. As outlined, analysis of this material is further complicated by the incomplete nature of the sources. That said, the consolidation of the evidence and the ability to identify the names of many individuals confirms that a minimum of between 385 and 670 people remain missing persons (Table 9.6). Even if the seventy-three unidentified bodies found during the 1961 exhumations in Longy Common cemetery are deducted from this figure, then a minimum of between 312 and 597 people have never been found. Therefore, when the 389 bodies exhumed by the VDK are considered, the minimum number Table 9.6  Potential numbers of missing persons on Alderney summarised from descriptions in Chapter 9 Group

Number of missing

Named missing persons OT labourers with death certificates

24

SS labourers with death certificates

27

Individuals named by witnesses

21–26 (as some might have survived)

Individuals named on reverse of/on discarded grave markers

8

Total number of named missing persons

Between 80 and 85

Unidentified missing persons* Soviet labourers that arrived in March 1942

c.20

Jews sent to the island in 1942

Unknown number

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Table 9.6 (Continued) Inmates of Sylt labour camp (died August 1942 to March 1943)

c.27–300

Inmates of Helgoland, Borkum or in unnamed camps (died 1942–45)

Unknown number

Individuals who died in Norderney hospital between July and September 1943

c.65

Inmates of Helgoland who were sent to Sylt concentration camp and did not return

c.10–15

Jewish inmates of Norderney killed in the camp in 1943

c.10–12 witnessed by Théodore Haenel plus an unknown number of others

Jews and political prisoners murdered during so-called ‘dance’ killings and cliff-edge shootings

c.100 (minimum as multiple actions may have occurred)

SS BB1 labourers (in addition to those in official death registries)

At least 73 (but this number is likely to be higher based on falsified SS records)

Likely comprises: c.58 deaths between March and November 1943 c.30 prisoners shot in autumn 1943 c.33 prisoners shot in 1944 An unknown number of people killed during transports on and off the island, buried where they fell or ‘dealt with’ by the SS Total number of potentially unnamed missing persons

At least 305 (but potentially 585+)

Overall total of missing persons

At least 385 (but potentially 670+)

* All numbers in this section are approximate in the absence of more detailed records. The number of known deaths in a given period (based on burial records) has been deducted from the figure suggested in primary sources to achieve these figures, thus limiting the likelihood that individuals might be counted twice.

of forced, slave and less-than-slave worker deaths on Alderney needs to be revised to a figure of between 701 and 986 deaths. This figure is conservative, based only on the sources that provide the most conclusive evidence that deaths took place. Notably, it agrees with many of the figures suggested in official documents (both German and British), most of which were not declassified until decades after the end of WW2. However, the possibility of further deaths cannot be ruled out given the observations made in

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Chapters 7 and 8, regarding the efforts made by the Germans to hide the evidence of their crimes.

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Establishing identities As a final point on the identification of missing persons, it is important to remember that in 1961 when exhumations were carried out on Alderney by the VDK, no formal identifications were carried out. In the absence of DNA profiling (which was not used in forensic casework until the mid-1980s) and other forensic methods to establish who was present in each grave, the bodies found in unmarked graves remained anonymous. Likewise, the VDK assumed that the bodies found in marked graves belonged to those individuals named on the grave markers. As demonstrated in Chapter 8, this assumption was likely incorrect as the crosses atop each grave were removed and re-erected (sometimes multiple times) in both St Anne’s and Longy Common cemeteries.77 Therefore, if the true forensic definition of a ‘missing person’ is drawn upon, one could argue that almost all of the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers on Alderney who perished remain missing or at the very least unidentified.78 The likely eternal anonymity or misidentification of at least some of the bodies that were moved to Mont d’Huisnes cemetery in France in 1961 is yet another cruel legacy of Nazi occupation and post-war responses to it.

Conclusions A review of the historical and archaeological evidence has facilitated several new insights into the treatment of forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers on Alderney after their deaths, clearly demonstrating that more people died than official figures suggest and that clandestine means were used to dispose of their bodies. Death certificates, witness testimonies, and other primary and secondary sources including numerous burial records relating to the official labourer cemeteries, confirm that a minimum of 701 people died during the occupation. However, convincing evidence that this should be increased by several hundred more deaths to 986 and beyond has been provided, alongside proof that many records describing the deceased were never produced, or were deliberately destroyed. When the number of unidentified bodies found during exhumations in the 1960s are deducted from these revised totals, then it becomes clear that the remains of between at least 312 and 597 people have never been found. Varying amounts of information exist about these individuals and those



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who may or may not have been found in unmarked graves in 1961. For the first time it has been possible to name and document the stories of some of these victims, but others remain anonymous because of efforts by the Germans to cover up their crimes. This is true for men governed by both the OT and SS, a fact that provides further evidence that labourers were subject to brutal treatment long before Alderney housed concentration camps.

Notes   1 Examples are provided throughout the chapter but for several testimonies on this topic, see TNA, WO311/11–13, ‘German Occupation of Channel Islands: death and ill treatment of slave labour and transportation of civilians to Germany’, Misc. dates.   2 T.X.H. Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island (Sussex: Phillimore, 1981), pp. 64–74.   3 For the two extremes, see ibid. and R. Kemp and J. Weigold, ‘Hitler’s British death island’, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4478574/Nazis-killed-40–000Alderney-chemical-weapons-island.html (accessed 5 May 2017).  4 The impact of not knowing the fate of loved ones has been documented in relation to the Holocaust and missing persons more generally. For examples, see P. Boss, ‘The Trauma and Complicated Grief of Ambiguous Loss’, Pastoral Psychology 59 (2010), 137–145 and L. Holmes, ‘Missing Someone: Exploring the Experiences of Family Members’, in S. Morewitz and C. Sturdy Colls, Handbook of Missing Persons (New York: Springer, 2016), pp. 105–126.   5 TNA, FCO 33/4872, ‘Exhumation and Removal. German Graves in the Channel Islands’, 23 February 1962.   6 Everts’s violent death was discussed in Chapter 7, while Zaiat’s story is described in the Introduction to this volume.   7 ITS, 1.1.3.0/3430219, ‘Edward Bobryk’, 30 June 1943; ITS, 1.1.3.0/3435926, ‘Iwan Dergunow’, 11 June 1943; AG-NG, ‘Totenbuch – Nikolaj Desjatiritschenko’, 6 June 1943.   8 Many of these individuals were mentioned by Major Pantcheff in his 1981 book: Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, p. 71.   9 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement made by Sajenko Vladimir’, 10 June 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement made by Balika Alexander’, 10 June 1945; It is possible that Vassilko was a former soldier, captured near Minsk in 1941 and first sent to Stalag IV B. See FSB-Smolensk, ‘Prisoner of war information’, https://obdmemorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=915423055&p=1 (accessed 20 April 2020). 10 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Civ. Cyprian Lipinski’, 28 July 1945; Lipinski also reported that another friend, Eugen Rusinski, had no known grave. However, his grave was situated on Longy Common. It is likely that the different spelling of his name (Eugen Roschenski) by the Germans made his grave difficult to identify. 11 For Lammel and Busch, see Pantcheff, Alderney Fortress Island, pp. 30 and 71. Dolgov is mentioned in ibid., p. 71 as having died on 7 November 1942 but

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Soviet records suggest 11 November 1942. See OBD, 70097, ‘Prisoner of war report’, 1952, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=66921678&p=234 (accessed 29 April 2020). Lammel is also discussed in ITS, 1.1.38.0/82151040, ‘Untitled manuscript of Mr Büge about his time in Sachsenhausen concentration camp’, undated. 12 Georgi Kondakov, in B. Bonnard, The Island of Dread: Story of Georgi Ivanovitch Kondakov (Stroud: Amberley Publishing Limited, 1991), p. 146. 13 Norbert Beernaert, in S. Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp (London: Granada, 1982), p. 177. 14 The memoirs of a French resistance fighter ‘Glaize’ cited in M. Bunting, The Model Occupation – The Channel Islands under German Rule 1940–1945 (London: Harper, 1995), p. 290. 15 Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, pp. 145–152. 16 Ibid., pp. 15, 60 and 146. 17 Ibid., pp. 17 and 147. 18 Ibid., pp. 15–16, 55, 60 and 81. Abdullah’s death is also described in Chapter 4. 19 Ibid., p. 16. 20 TsAMO, 58/18004/761, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, 1946, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=59112066 (accessed 1 May 2020). 21 TsAMO, 58/18003/1580, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=65725374 (accessed 4 May 2020); TsAMO, Odessa Runway/223247/17, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=84269061 (accessed 4 May 2020). 22 Appendix F in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 27 June 1945. 23 See Chapter 7; GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167, ‘The Island of Alderney’, 3 July 1945. 24 IA FK31–11, ‘OT Death Certificates’. Misc. dates. 25 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Civ. Cyprian Lipinski’, 28 July 1945; Ivan Kalganov, in Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 168. 26 Appendix 1; Appendix F in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 27 June 1945. 27 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement by Jan Szulc’, 28 July 1945. 28 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Marshal George Johns’, 1945. 29 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Statement of Thomas Robins’, 1945. Only four deaths were recorded in the official records for this period. 30 F. Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands during the German Occupation 1940–45 (Jersey and London: Jersey Museums Service, 2000), p. 131; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945. 31 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Wilfred Henry Dupont’, 1945. 32 Theodore Haénel interviewed in Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands, p. 153. Although he refers to the fact that he knew the names of two people, unfortunately these are not provided in his testimony.

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33 TNA, WO106/5248B, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2253, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 5 July 1944; J. Dalmau, Slave Worker in the Channel Islands (Guernsey: Guernsey Press Co. Ltd, 1945), p. 19. 34 Norbert Beernaert, in Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp, p. 177. 35 TNA, WO311/13, Statement of Mr. Pope’, June 1945. Pope refers to ‘1,000 Jews and political prisoners’ arriving on Alderney with the SS in the summer of 1943. However, the SS arrived on Alderney in March 1943 with SS BB1 who, as discussed in Chapter 1, mostly comprised of non-Jewish labourers. Therefore, the accuracy of his statements about these deaths can be called into question. The British government also had doubts about his testimony as a whole. See Chapter 10 for further discussion. 36 B. Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny (La Hague: Editions Eurocibles, 2010). 37 Some 479 were transported on 8 May 1944 as evidenced in ITS, 2.2.3.0./ 82360564, ‘Überstellung von 479 jüdischen Arbeiten von Adolf nach Hatzebruck’, 8 May 1944; See also: Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands, p. 144; YV 3687663, O.51/ file 226, ‘The War of 1939–1945; Historical Facts on Alderney (Channel Islands) – written by Colin Partridge with assistance from members of ‘Amicale anciens déportés de l’île anglo-normande d’Aurigny (Alderney)’, Paris, undated; B. Bonnard, Alderney at War (Stroud: The History Press, 1993), p. 93. 38 Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands, p. 130. 39 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Josef Welkerling’, 19 July 1945. 40 Chapters 1 and 4. 41 R. Philpot, ‘In Nazi-occupied Britain, graves at Alderney’s “Little Auschwitz” may be defiled’, www.timesofisrael.com/in-nazi-occupied-britain-graves-at-alderneyslittle-auschwitz-may-be-defiled/ (accessed 16 October 2017). 42 See discussion in Chapters 1, 4 and 5. 43 TNA, WO199/3303, ‘Report on the interrogation of Otto Spehr’, 13 December 1944; T.X.H. Pantcheff, ‘Sylt camp, Alderney (1943–44)’, Alderney Society and Museum Bulletin 17:3 (1982), 19. 44 K. Fings, Krieg, Gesellschaft und KZ: Himmler’s SS-Baubrigaden. (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2005), p. 212; M. Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 85–86. 45 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Testimony of the K. Hinrichsen, Captain of the Ship “Robert Muller 8”’, 15 June 1945. 46 ITS, 1.1.0.2/82342175, ‘Bericht Nr. 6’, 14 February 1944; ITS, 1.1.30/82132691, ‘Report of Curt Hille former prisoner of the flying squad (Baubrigade I) attached to CC Neuengamme’, 10 March 1950; IA, AQ875/03, ‘Extract from the Cargo Log of the ship “Gerfried”’, 15 June 1945; BA-B, NS19/14, ‘Situation Report’, 7 August 1944. 47 AG-NG, ‘Personalverfügung SS Hauptsturmführer Maximillian List’, 25 February 1944. 48 Buggeln, Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps, pp. 85–86.

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49 Fings, Krieg, Gesellschaft und KZ, p. 212; TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945. Fings suggests a total of 210 people were transported off Alderney (including the 157 in the July transport). 50 AG-NG, ‘Totenbuch’, Misc. dates. 51 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Franz Dokter’, 19 May 1945. 52 USHMM, RG-14.068*97, ‘Criminal case against Peter Bikar’, 1946–1951. 53 ITS, 1.1.0.2/82342175, ‘Bericht Nr. 6’, 14 February 1944; ITS, 1.1.30/82132691, ‘Report of Curt Hille former prisoner of the flying squad (Baubrigade I) attached to CC Neuengamme’, 10 March 1950; Fings, ‘Alderney (Kanalinsel) (SS -BB1)’, in G. Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2009), p. 1362. 54 Ibid. 55 Sylvester Kukuła in J. Boot, ‘Alderney and Sylt Camp – The Memoirs of Sylvester Kukuła’, Channel Islands Occupation Review 32 (2014), 11. 56 ITS, 1.1.30./3411088, ‘List of Transfer from 1. SS Baubrigade Island Alderney to Sollstedt’, 1944; Information about his periods of incarceration before Alderney can be found in ITS, 1.1.5.3/6860164, ‘Mikola Poprawka’, Misc. dates. 57 ITS, 1.1.30/3411088, ‘List of Transfer from 1. SS Baubrigade Island Alderney to Sollstedt’, 1944. Also spelt Lesigirnes Nowars. 58 Ibid.; AG-NG, ‘Totenbuch – Nikolaj Desjatiritschenko’, 6 June 1943. 59 StLA, LKA/NW, Dez.15, ‘Zeugenvernehmung Otto Spehr’, 22 December 1964. 60 USHMM, RG-14.068*97, ‘Criminal case against Peter Bikar’, 1946–1951; Dalmau, Slave Worker in the Channel Islands, p. 19. 61 The shooting of an SS prisoner who wanted to go to the toilet during the final evacuation from Sylt is described in IA, AQ875/03, ‘Short notes from the verbal translation from the investigation documents of Captain Kent about the island of Alderney’, June 1945. 62 TNA, WO106/5248B, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2253, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 5 July 1944. 63 C. John, Organisation Todt: From Autobahns to the Atlantic Wall (Stroud: Amberly Publishing, 2014), loc. 1340. 64 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Translation of statement by Mil. Vorw. O/Insp. Hans Spann’, 5 September 1945. 65 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Translation of statement by Karl Hoffmann’, 2 September 1945. 66 P. Sanders, The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation 1940–45 (Jersey: Jersey Heritage Trust, 2005), p. 219. 67 TNA, TS26/89, ‘EMS Postal and Telegraph Censorship. Transit Mail. Summary of a letter written by a former Russian slave worker in Alderney’, 30 May 1945. 68 For the trial records of Peter Bikar, see: USHMM, RG-14.068*97, ‘Criminal case against Peter Bikar’, 1946–1951. 69 JA, L/C/24/B/1, ‘Historique Sur Aurigny: Ile anglo-normande d’Alderney (C.L)’, undated; TNA, WO199/3303 ‘Report on the interrogation of PW KP 176829 Civilian Winogradow, Leonid. SS Bau Brig. 1, 14 November 1944. 70 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Ernest Charles Kibble, 1945.

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71 TNA, WO199/2090B, ‘Report. German Atrocities in Eastern Europe’, 6 July 1944. 72 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Ernest Charles Kibble, 1945. 73 ITS, 2.2.3.0/ 82361036, ‘Kriwotschejew Wassili, 2 February 1944. 74 Guardian, ‘Nazi crimes on Alderney: mass burials’, 17 May 1945; TNA, WO311/13, Statement of Mr. Pope’, June 1945. Pope states that only about 222 out of a group of 2,000 Ukrainians who were sent to the island in 1941 survived. Eastern European workers were not sent to Alderney until 1942. 75 R. Kemp and J. Weigold, ‘Hitler’s British death island’, www.dailymail.co.uk/ news/article-4478574/Nazis-killed-40–000-Alderney-chemical-weapons-island. html (accessed 5 May 2017); R. Philpot, ‘In Nazi-occupied Britain, graves at Alderney’s “Little Auschwitz” may be defiled’, www.timesofisrael.com/in-nazioccupied-britain-graves-at-alderneys-little-auschwitz-may-be-defiled/ (accessed 16 October 2017). 76 Although this has not been confirmed by Kemp and Weigold, it is possible that the suggestion of 40,000 inmates was derived from a document housed in the UK National Archives which states that ‘The following information has been obtained from two Oberst PW who were connected with the Paris Feldkommandantur, and who were captured recently … There had been as many as 40,000 individuals including Todt organisation in the Islands, but the present figure is perhaps 30,000 without Todt’. However, this document refers to all persons present and quite clearly refers to 10,000 Organisation Todt workers housed across all of the Channel Islands (not just Alderney). See: TNA, WO199/3303, ‘PW Interrogation Reports’, 8 September 1944. 77 TNA, WO311/13 ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/709, Periodical Report on Alderney Atrocities No. 4’, 11 September 1945. 78 S. Morewitz and C. Sturdy Colls, Handbook of Missing Persons (New York: Springer, 2016).

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Part IV

Aftermath

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10

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The final phases of occupation

With contributions from Daria Cherkaska By July 1944, most surviving labourers had been transported from Alderney to mainland Europe. Except for Borkum, the camps they were housed in had largely been abandoned.1 However, these withdrawals did not mark the end of Alderney’s role as a place of incarceration. An estimated 200 labourers remained on the island at the mercy of the OT and German garrison.2 These final months of occupation also saw considerable changes to Alderney’s landscape as attempts were made by the Germans to survive with fewer supplies, disguise the true nature of the labour programme, and to carry out offensive and defensive operations. By the time the British military arrived on 16 May 1945, the island had been decimated. Thus, the end of the occupation marked the start of a new phase in which investigations of the sites of forced and slave labour took place. As for the labourers themselves, the end of the war did not necessarily mean freedom. Having endured the Nazi regime, many were sent back to their homelands where other oppressive regimes were quick to interrogate and, in many cases, incarcerate them. This chapter focuses on these final phases of Alderney’s occupation history in order to assess the effect that these events had on people and the landscape. The experiences of the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers after June 1944 are considered, drawing on testimonies, post-war records relating to displaced persons and repatriation, and landscape analysis. In the years since liberation, there has been much speculation about what the  world knew about the crimes perpetrated on Alderney. Hence, the nature of investigations carried out during the occupation and in its aftermath are discussed in order to assess how these enquiries influenced the presentation and perceptions of the labourers the years since.

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Deportations Due to Allied victories, and the increased presence of British warships in the Channel, Alderney became increasingly isolated throughout 1944. Efforts to destroy the evidence of the atrocities perpetrated under the guise of the labour programme were escalated and the supervision of labourers and prisoners tightened; official documents were clear that ‘attempts to escape are to be prevented through firearms’ with regards to concentration camp prisoners and Moroccan prisoners of war.3 Especially after the D-Day landings, supply chains were cut or interrupted, making it difficult for those who remained to acquire food and other provisions.4 Therefore, although some deportations began earlier in the year, it is no coincidence that the majority of forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers were transported off the island in June and July 1944. With their departure, many documents relating to the labour programme were also removed.5 While WW2 raged on, these men endured terrible journeys throughout the Channel Islands, France, Germany and Austria, during which they experienced further ill-treatment and incarceration (Figure 10.1; Profiles 19–21). For the SS BB1 prisoners from Sylt who were deported on 24 and 25 June, their evacuation was characterised by violence. Franz Doktor observed how an SS guard named Hey kicked prisoners and civilian workers in the harbour before departure.6 Josef Wankeler stated: ‘I saw a Russian in the port, he wanted to go to the toilet, an SS man shot him.’7 A number of former Kapos were also included in this transport some of whom were notorious for their ill-treatment of the prisoners.8 Pantcheff recorded in his post-liberation notes that ‘on one of the ships used as transports each prisoner was allowed one square metre of deck space below hatches; on another, each had 2½ cubic metres of air space in the hold’.9 SS BB1 prisoner Helmut Knöller described how the inmates ‘were alive in a big coffin’ in which people gasped for air, struggled with diarrhoea, sea sickness and a range of pre-existing afflictions acquired while on Alderney, and they fought with each other.10 The prisoners were transported to Guernsey and Jersey, before arriving in St Malo on 1 July 1944.11 The group then left by train on 4 July 1944 for the next leg of their arduous journey. Of the 634 men who set out, 572 remained by the time they reached Kortemark, Belgium on 28 July 1944, due to escape attempts and deaths during the journey (which included a mass shooting in Toul, France).12 Here, they were assigned to V1 construction works.13 On 5 August 1944, those who survived were once again moved backwards and forwards across the Continent. This harrowing journey, which was documented at length in a diary by Carl Hille, ended in Sollstedt, in Germany on 10 September 1944, and it was defined by mass shootings, bombings and terrible conditions

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Figure 10.1  The journeys of three forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers after they left Alderney illustrated on a modern map of Europe

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within packed trains.14 In Sollstedt (a subcamp first of Buchenwald and then of Mittelbau-Dora and Sachsenhausen), the former Sylt prisoners were incorporated into SS Baubrigade 5 (SS BB5) and were forced once again to undertake harsh forced labour in a potash mine.15 Many did not survive in these conditions, while others died during the equally treacherous evacuation that occurred from this camp and its subcamps to Steyr-Münichholz, a subcamp of Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, where they arrived two days before liberation on 5 May 1945.16 The prisoners transported from Norderney back to the mainland in early 1944 experienced a similarly tumultuous journey. Twelve men died during the evacuations in March 1944.17 While some were able to escape during the transports from 6 to 8 May, others died en route as a result of the cramped conditions aboard trains.18 Although the intention was to send the Jewish inmates to Neuengamme concentration camp in Germany, one of the trains was repeatedly bombed while travelling through France, forcing it to change its original course. It eventually stopped in Hazebrouck, from where older prisoners were taken to Marette School in Boulogne and younger ones to Gneisenau camp in Dannes near Camiers where they were forced to participate in construction projects and the removal of unexploded ordnance.19 Another attempt to transport Jews to Neuengamme (including those formerly in Alderney) was undertaken on 1 September 1944 but, after three days of marching and a short train journey, the group was rescued by the Belgian resistance and Red Cross in Dirksmuide in Belgium.20

The last stages of occupation After July 1944, 3,500 members of the German garrison remained on Alderney along with a few hundred labourers and civilians.21 Despite claims that these labourers were all German, the majority were actually from the Soviet Union, Spain and Italy.22 As conditions on the island worsened, an increasing number of men (military and civilians) were convicted of criminal activities relating to the theft of food and provisions, after which they were sent to the island prison.23 A number of new transports also arrived, comprising mostly German ‘999’ brigade members, French North African POWs and Channel Islanders sent via Guernsey to carry out their jail ­sentences.24 As already described in Chapters 1 and 9, many of these incarcerated men also had to endure terrible conditions, which sometimes resulted in their deaths. When the British military arrived on 16 May 1945, twenty-four men were in the prison in St Anne and close to 200 military personnel and labourers were injured or sick (mostly from malnutrition).25

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The final phases of occupation 355

Figure 10.2  Damaged buildings in Braye Harbour in 1945

It was during this final phase of the occupation that the most damage was caused to Alderney’s buildings.26 Because of the aforementioned supply issues, the German garrison stripped houses and other structures to acquire firewood (Figure 10.2).27 Several of the surviving barracks from the former camps, including Sylt and Norderney, met the same fate which, coupled with earlier efforts to demolish them in order to disguise their existence and purpose, meant that much evidence connected to the forced, slave and lessthan-slave labourers was destroyed in this final phase.28 Houses in Platte Saline, which had already suffered damage earlier in the war, were completely demolished to improve the line of fire along the north coast.29 Some relatively minor military skirmishes also took place during this period, including some efforts by the Germans to fire at the Normandy beaches.30 The most significant attack on Alderney was the bombardment launched by HMS Rodney on 12 August 1944 in retaliation, the damage caused by which can clearly be seen in aerial photographs of Battery Blücher.31 The seventy-two shells, fired from long-range guns twenty miles away close to the Cherbourg peninsula, narrowly missed the nearby Borkum camp but resulted in the deaths of two German military personnel.32

What Britain knew Sources declassified at various times over the last forty years clearly demonstrate that the British government were aware of the forced and slave labour

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programme on Alderney long before the military arrived on the island in May 1945. In 1943, a Home Forces map recorded the presence of the four main camps (Sylt, Helgoland, Norderney and Borkum), although they were not referred to by name.33 Hundreds of aerial photographs were also taken over Alderney, some deliberately for the purposes of monitoring the fortification programme and some to check and finish rolls of film during reconnaissance flights over mainland Europe.34 Not all of these images were analysed during (or indeed after) the war. However, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) did create a series of Martian traces (drawings of features present on aerial photographs), annotated aerial images and reports documenting the visible fortifications and several camps in 1943 and 1944 (Figure 10.3).35 Such was the detail of these annotations that the number of huts present in the camps were recorded. Evidently, these records were passed to other British government departments as references to them were also made in a number of reports written by British military intelligence division MI19.36 These reports were based on interviews carried out by MI19 in 1944 and 1945 with former Alderney labourers (escapees or deportees) and former members of the German ­garrison.37 For example, a report dated 12 April 1944 consists of an interview with two fisherman from Guernsey who went to Alderney in 1943.38 These men described how 1,000 Jews and some 5,000 political prisoners were present on the island until December 1943 and they provided information about camp clothing, the use of labour from the other Channel Islands and the demographic of the workers that remained when they left.39 By 19 April 1944, MI19 had prepared a map with an accompanying key documenting the camps (including the smaller and unnamed sites), the buildings taken over or demolished by the Germans, fortifications and the cemetery on Longy Common (see map in front matter; described at length in Chapter 6).40 Another report from 25 July 1944 – based on interviews with around 200 ‘Russian’ OT workers previously held on Alderney and interrogated after they were evacuated from Normandy after D-Day – describes the atrocities committed on the island, including the high numbers of deaths, beatings, starvation and other forms of ill-treatment.41 A sizeable group of these former Alderney prisoners were held in Butterwick POW camp near Malton in Yorkshire.42 A document entitled ‘German Atrocities in Eastern Europe’, written by MI19 on 6 July 1944, refers to the deaths of 700 out of 2,000 Russian labourers from the Orel and Tula regions who were sent to Alderney in July 1942.43 Another report from around the same time speaks of 843 deaths among this group.44 Interviews with Dutch labourers – who had spent a year on Alderney working under the governance of OT for Dutch firm Bosland and De Wolf – identified the camps Norderney, Sylt, Borkum and Helgoland by name and provided

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The final phases of occupation

Figure 10.3 Examples of some of the Martian traces created by SHAEF and contained within the files of the British Combined Operations Headquarters and the Ministry of Defence. Many of the camps and other sites associated with forced and slave labour were documented: sites in existence in August 1942 (top and middle) and January 1943 (bottom)

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details regarding the functions of some of the buildings in Norderney camp where the informants had been housed.45 Several former SS BB1 prisoners were also interviewed in the autumn and winter of 1944/45.46 One of these men was Otto Spehr who went on to provide one of the most detailed accounts of life in Sylt under the control of the SS and the burials that took place on Alderney (Chapters 4 and 7). Crucially, Spehr recalled the shootings that took place on the island and provided coordinates for many of the camps in his December 1944 interview.47 Other reports included information regarding maritime matters, supplies, air raid precautions, infrastructure and mines.48 Several German officers previously stationed on Alderney were also interviewed by MI19 in 1944 and provided information about the size of the German garrison and transports off the island.49 By the time Alderney was liberated, MI19 were already aware of the existence of the camps and their names, the diverse demographic of the labourers held on the island and many of the acts of brutality that had been carried out. Not only did they possess hundreds of witness testimonies describing the atrocities perpetrated, but they had visual reference points in the form of maps and aerial photographs that provided information about the extent and nature of the crime scenes related to them. Documents connected to Operation Nestegg, the plan to liberate the Channel Islands also demonstrate that SHAEF and the British government were in possession of detailed information concerning the operations of the OT (as demonstrated by the existence of a comprehensive manual outlining its structure and personnel), the extent of the fortification programme, the number and ranks of German soldiers on the island, estimates about the nationalities of labourers, and the locations of some ammunition dumps.50 Hence, even before on-site inspections took place, the British government had considerable evidence that crimes against humanity had been carried out on Alderney.

Capitulation On 9 May 1945, the day after the Germans capitulated in Europe, representatives of the British and German military signed an agreement for the surrender of the Channel Islands aboard HMS Bulldog.51 A week later, on 16 May, British troops from Force 135 (led by Brigadier Snow) and a number of journalists arrived on Alderney.52 This ‘liberation’ was somewhat less eventful than expected. A group of German officers met the British party on the jetty at Braye Harbour and surrendered immediately (Figure 10.4).53 Within minutes of their arrival, the British were alerted to the crimes committed by the Germans by a group of civilians, one of

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Figure 10.4  Artwork called The Surrender: the British landing party approaching the jetty at Alderney in May 1945 created in 1945 by war artist Harold William Hailstone

whom loudly pronounced ‘you’ve got a lot to see here. Cruelty! Murder! Russians are buried here!’54 Brigadier Snow and his colleagues were given a tour of the island and it is notable that Oberstleutnant Schwalm, who was undoubtedly keen to give the impression of a ‘model occupation’, dutifully took them to major fortification sites and the cemetery on Longy Common.55 The devastation caused in the preceding months, plus the considerable landscape change resulting from the fortification of the island and labour programme, was immediately noticeable. Nick Allen (who piloted the minesweeper that cleared the way for the main British military party on 16 May) and his brother Dick (a former pilot who arrived on Alderney on 17 May), noted that: the whole island is guns, guns, guns, right from Telegraph Bay to Mannez Hill. From Les Rochers to the Arsenal are white posts where the mines are … Poor old Alderney! Nothing but guns, and God knows what else they will find.56

One of the journalists who accompanied the British military reported that the Roman Catholic church had been desecrated. He observed that the building itself had been used as a store and ‘on the altar was a beer bottle’.57

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Special correspondent John B. Huges reported that the Germans had evidently taken steps to hide their crimes. Speaking about a concentration camp he visited (presumably Sylt), he stated:

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they smashed the huts down to the concrete foundations, and obviously sought to remove all traces of what may have been done there. There was a heap of charred canvas right in the middle of the parade ground. What was destroyed there one can only conjecture.58

Another correspondent reported that sledgehammers or explosive charges had likely been used to remove the traces of the buildings in ‘the concentration camp known as the “Cassette” at the east end of the island at Longy’.59 This description suggests the reporter was referring to Norderney. However, he describes how remnants of blue and white ‘pyjamas’ were located, clothing which was thought to have been reserved for inmates from Sylt.60 In the days after the liberation of Alderney, these journalists began to publish articles in the British press claiming that widespread atrocities had been carried out against foreign labourers and that additional graves (including a mass grave) existed on the island.61 George Pope, an Englishman who had been present on Alderney with his family throughout the occupation, was quick to tell reporters that he had kept a record of 1,000–2,000 deaths, and that a mass grave existed on Longy Common.62 One reporter, most likely aware of the approach of the British at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp (which was liberated just a month before Alderney), declared that ‘Germans will almost certainly be employed in excavating what are said to be mass graves and also other suspicious-looking spots. All buildings will be examined.’63

Investigating German crimes As a direct response to these press reports, Brigadier Snow quickly compiled a team tasked with investigating the accusations. On 17 May 1945, Major Cotton (Chief of the Public Safety Detachment of Island Civil Affairs and a former Sheffield Central Intelligence Division police inspector), Major Haddock (of the Military Judge Advocates Court and a solicitor) and Captain Kent (a Metropolitan police inspector) arrived on Alderney.64 Force 135 was entrusted with rounding up German military personnel and labourers who were scattered all over the island. Snow proudly proclaimed that ‘no German will leave the island. There will be a complete investigation and the Press will have a front seat.’65 A British military report demonstrates that, in total, 3,432 members of the German garrison were found.66 The men comprised Germans from

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the army, navy, air force, as well as prison officials and four men believed to be SS guards. A total of 137 Georgian auxiliaries belonging to the East Legion of the German army were also present, fifteen of whom were found incarcerated in the island prison along with a number of former l­abourers – a Frenchman, two Algerians, three Moroccans and three Italian POWs  – all accused of stealing food. Also present were 47 ‘Russian’ POWs, 30 Spaniards, 27 Italians (mostly sailors), 3 ‘Russians’ (not employed by OT), 6 Frenchmen, 1 Pole and 4 Germans, also labourers, alongside 18 British citizens. Thirteen German and one Austrian OT worker also remained, all of whom were members of the 999 Brigade – the so-called ‘anti-Nazi’ ‘B-men’ who were deemed unfit for military service.67 Four French women who went to Alderney voluntarily because of the paucity of work in France were also present.68 British investigators suspected that they were likely prostitutes or mistresses of the German guards.69 Initially, the German military, OT workers and other individuals who remained on Alderney were viewed with suspicion. An official Force 135 instruction stated that all captured persons should be classed as POWs until their exact function had been established.70 Before liberation, the British government decided that ‘aliens (other than Ps/W [prisoners of war]) will be retained on the Island pending further instructions, with the exception of those whose detailed interrogation by the Security Service you consider essential’.71 It was therefore decided that 47 ‘Russian’ POWs, 1 British citizen and 2,332 members of the German garrison would be evacuated, and this took place between 18 and 20 May 1945.72 Others were evacuated in the months that followed.73 Most were sent to Kempton Park Camp or a holding camp in Guernsey to be interviewed.74 In these camps, German ­personnel were not always separated from the Eastern European labourers  that they had incarcerated.75 Because of this – and because former captives of the Germans felt that they were being treated as collaborators – riots sometimes broke out.76 Those who remained on Alderney were interviewed by Captain Kent of the Civil Affairs Unit (CAU) of the Liberation Force.77 These interrogations resulted in more than 3,000 interviews with former prisoners, guards and military personnel.78 They were dominated by details relating to the terrible living conditions in the camps, the harsh labour the workers were forced to carry out, and the beatings and acts of murder that they endured. As observed in Chapter 8, many witnesses (who had usually never met each other) recalled incidents whereby bodies were buried in mass graves or thrown in the sea. While Captain Kent was tasked with interviewing the remaining German POWs, British citizens and foreign labourers, Major Cotton and Major Haddock visited the former camps and burial sites associated with the forced and slave labour programme.79 An initial report by Haddock

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on 21  May 1945 identified all four of the main camps by name and described the brutal treatment of the prisoners on the island.80 Additionally, Haddock’s reports and several others written by Sergeant Francis Bennett and Captain John Allwork provided detailed information about the deaths of the labourers, their purported burial locations (including witness accounts describing how more than one body was buried in the same grave) and the arrival of the Berlin Commission who visited the island in December 1942.81 During this initial phase of investigation, it appears that there was impetus to fully investigate the atrocities, to gather evidence against the perpetrators and to identify the number of victims and their graves. This is supported by two subsequent letters between Haddock and the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Military Deputy, Brigadier Shapcott, whose department was ‘responsible for the collection of evidence against and the prosecution of … criminals before military court’.82 Dated 26 and 28 May 1945, these letters discussed the collection of evidence to ensure: ‘(a) charges of mal-administration against those Germans in authority who permitted or exercised a policy of systematic cruelty and starvation in the four camps … (b) charges of assault and in some cases murder against such person’.83 Haddock expressed his view at this stage that ‘it may become desirable to open some graves in Longy Cemetery in order to ascertain numbers buried there’.84 Following this correspondence, Shapcott suggested to the War Crimes Branch of the Treasury Solicitor’s Office that the crimes perpetrated on Alderney should be dealt with in a similar fashion to those perpetrated at Bergen-Belsen because they occurred in an area liberated by the British and on British territory.85 However, soon after, Haddock was replaced. Writing once again to Shapcott, he stated that: the investigation of atrocities on that island has been continued by Captain Pantcheff of M.I.19 who claims to have been briefed by you, and a Major Gruzdev and Captain Wallis of the Soviet Military Commission … I know nothing of the results of their investigations and as arranged I am taking no further action at present concerning Alderney.86

Captain Pantcheff, a young officer whose uncle lived in Alderney before the occupation, arrived to undertake what he referred to as ‘the preliminary stage of what will be a lengthy and complicated investigation’ between 5 and 16 June 1945.87 An employee of MI19, it might be assumed that Pantcheff had sight of the aforementioned wide range of reports produced in 1944 and early 1945 concerning the crimes perpetrated in Alderney, although he never referred to them in his reports. In his ‘Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney’ – the first of several documents outlining his findings – Pantcheff stated that he had been appointed:

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The final phases of occupation 363 1) to obtain a general picture and background of conditions in ALDERNEY for the last four years, against which individual incidents should be judged in perspective; 2) to screen all PW [prisoners of war] in the islands, with a view to discovering witnesses and potential accused persons; 3) to take signed statements from as many witnesses as possible; 4)  to select for detailed interrogation in the UK a number of potential witnesses; 5) to make a personal reconnaissance of the ground, where all these incidents took place.88

Initially at least, further periodical reports indicate that these aims were achieved. Site visits to the cemeteries and camps, further interviews with witnesses and a thorough review of the surviving documentation led Pantcheff to make important observations about the nature of the camps, the treatment of the prisoners and labourers held in them, and the nationalities of those killed.89 In particular, he carried out a detailed investigation at Sylt concentration camp, creating the first plan of the camp and report on its operations.90 He quickly determined that ‘crimes of a systematically brutal and callous nature were committed on British soil’.91 Over several months, he also compiled numerous lists of suspects wanted for interrogation and attempted to locate them.92 Documents were also collected from across the island, although Sergeant Bennett of Force 135 observed that many more were destroyed by the Germans prior to the arrival of the British military.93 All were catalogued, including ‘a number of diaries and notebooks confiscated when the prisoners were “processed”’.94 Unfortunately, these materials have not been found and it seems that they might have been among files that went ‘missing at transfer’ during transport from the UK Ministry of Defence to the UK National Archives, alongside further correspondence concerning the findings of the British investigators.95 On 10 June 1945, Major Gruzdev, the Assistant Representative of the Department for Repatriation of the Soviet People’s Commissars of the USSR, arrived on Alderney.96 During his visit, he undertook the following works with the assistance of British War Office Representative Captain Wallis: all the places where the Soviet citizens worked and lived were investigated, as was the graveyard where the official number of dead were buried … Possible burial sites were investigated and five graves were exhumed, as were several supposed burial sites … Freed Soviet citizens, local people and the imprisoned German – Major Hoffman, one of those responsible for the atrocities on Alderney, were questioned … I went through the documents of the investigation produced by the British authorities about Alderney … With the help of the English authorities and partially with the help of the liberated Soviet ­citizens we tidied up the graveyard.97

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Unfortunately, further details were not provided regarding where the exhumations were carried out and Gruzdev noted that that Wallis ‘refused to sign a document about the opening of graves, which took place on Alderney in his presence’.98 In his main report, Pantcheff noted only that ‘some 4 or 5 of these graves, including the unidentified ones, were opened in my presence and found to contain one skeleton each.’99 However, he failed to specify the areas that were searched. Curiously, in the account of his visit, Gruzdev claimed that ‘the special investigatory commission into the atrocities by the Germans on the islands was not present’, which included Pantcheff.100 Yet, interviews with four former labourers from Soviet territories, and the accounts of the opening of graves, indicate that Gruzdev and Pantcheff were in each other’s company.101 It seems the relationship between the British and Soviet authorities was somewhat strained during these investigations and Gruzdev later stated that he would make a complaint about his treatment.102 Following his inspection on Alderney, Gruzdev went to Guernsey to interrogate ‘Soviet citizens’ formerly housed in Alderney where he had further clashes with British officials. As British investigations continued, doubt was cast upon the initial claims made by George Pope; not only was he unable to provide the list of deaths to which he referred but he was suspected of collaborating with the Germans.103 Although many witnesses alluded to the presence of mass graves, it seems that this was not considered sufficient enough to prove that they existed.104 Yet, no further excavations were proposed, despite the fact that the searches witnessed by Pantcheff and Gruzdev involved the ­inspection of just a few graves. A major turning point in the investigation occurred in early July 1945. P. Dean of the UK Foreign Office wrote to Brigadier Shapcott asking for further information about the nationalities of the labourers held in each of the camps.105 In his letter, he outlined the different procedures that would need to be followed depending upon Shapcott’s findings: if the victims were of various nationalities, we could I think agree to approach the Soviet authorities with a suggestion that the staffs of these camps should be tried by a Special British Military Court. If however, they were solely Russians, we shall have to consider whether we can in fact make any such proposal to the Soviet Government for the trial of these staffs, in spite of the obvious advantage in the way of witnesses etc. which a local trial would have.106

Thus, it appears that there was an incentive in the Foreign Office to pursue prosecutions and further investigations; in fact, Dean also pointed out that, based on his understanding, the crimes perpetrated on Alderney ‘might probably be considered as a parallel with those of concentration camps elsewhere’.107



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However, Shapcott’s response was to change the course of the British approach. Despite, the information contained in Haddock and Pantcheff’s reports, which clearly highlighted that forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers from close to 30 countries were present on Alderney, Shapcott stated: so far as I can trace all the inmates of these camps were Russian workers who were treated as volunteers. In addition, there was one concentration camp which contained, according to some witnesses, German nationals as well as Russian nationals. There is no evidence to show that the concentration camp held other non-German nationals while the Russians were there.108

With regard to the fate of French Jews held on Alderney, the Judge Advocate General’s Office told the Foreign Office that ‘they were treated better than others working for the Germans’, despite the evidence clearly existing to the contrary.109 Therefore, a decision was taken by the British government to hand over both the investigation into what occurred on Alderney and the responsibility for any trials to the Soviet government. This officially occurred on 8 October 1945, although British efforts to trace war criminals continued beyond this date.110 Referring to the Moscow Declaration on Atrocities which had been signed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill (UK), President Franklin D. Roosevelt (USA) and General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR Joseph Stalin (USSR), the British government claimed that this decision was made so that the perpetrators could be ‘judged on the spot by the peoples whom they have outraged’.111 Unfortunately, the Soviets were not entirely ‘outraged’ for reasons that will be discussed in more detail shortly, nor did they wish to navigate the complex processes involved in deporting the accused or witnesses, most of whom were held in British POW camps or holding centres. According to Bunting, who carried out extensive research into the fate of Alderney’s camp guards, only one former Kapo was knowingly tried by the Soviets.112 Vladimir Konopelko, a Kapo in Norderney, was sentenced to twenty-five years hard labour.113 It is hard to imagine that the Judge Advocate General made an innocent mistake in declaring that all of those who suffered on Alderney were ‘Russian’, as they had been kept informed about the crimes committed since the day of liberation. Hence, it must be assumed that their decision to encourage the British Foreign Office not to pursue trials was influenced by several factors. The desire to avoid the embarrassment of acknowledging that such brutal crimes had taken place on British soil would undoubtedly have played a part. Certainly, the events on Alderney did not chime with the sentiment expressed by the government and general population ‘that Britain had remained steadfast against the Nazis for all of the conflict’.114

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The costs involved, the desire (as Pantcheff put it) to avoid ‘Gerry-style trials where people were put up against a wall and shot’, and a political will to repair relations with Germany also likely contributed to the cessation of ­investigations.115 Bunting has also referred to Britain’s changing relationship with the Soviet Union and the fact that ‘the British did not relish the prospect of the Soviet Union exploiting British trials for its own political advantage’ as additional factors.116 This handover further entrenched the notion that all the people persecuted by the Germans on Alderney were ‘Russian’ and that the only place where inmates experienced ill-treatment was Sylt concentration camp. In the months and years that followed, whenever the British government received enquiries regarding the events on Alderney, their responses failed to acknowledge the more nuanced nature of the crimes perpetrated. For example, responding to an inquiry by the British Army Staff in France, the JAG’s Office stated that: 1. this office did conduct an investigation in to the concentration camp set up by the Germans in Alderney, but, as it was found that no British nationals were involved and that the majority of the internees were Russians, the completed reports were handed over to the Russian authorities for such action as they might think fit. I regret, therefore, that no list of the men responsible is in the possession of this office. 2. Consequently, I regret that the only information we can give you on this matter is the general statement that the Russians were treated with great cruelty and that not only were many tortures inflicted on them, but they were also allowed to die as a result of starvation.117

As the findings of Haddock’s early investigations and most of the materials collated by Pantcheff remained classified for almost forty years, public knowledge about the events was shaped by this official government ­position.118 Even once it became clear that the Soviets would not pursue trials, the British government did not attempt any prosecutions. Once again, Bunting provides further insights: ‘fifteen of the suspected German war criminals had been in the British POW camps, along with the witnesses needed to convict them’ in 1945, an embarrassing fact (documented in Pantcheff’s report that he sent to Moscow) which the British government would not have wanted brought to light.119 In fact, at least eighteen suspects had been held by the British.120 Among these men was ‘senior HQ officer on Alderney during the time of mass deaths 1942–43’, Major Karl Hoffman, who escaped justice and died of old age in 1974.121 In 1947, the Deputy Commandant of Sylt, Kurt Klebeck, was tried, convicted and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment by the British for crimes committed in HanoverAhlem, Germany in 1944 and 1945 (Figure 4.3).122 However, his actions

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on Alderney were overlooked. Klebeck only served five years of his sentence before he was released and, although further proceedings were pursued against him, he died in 2004 without being tried for the crimes he committed in Alderney.123 Likewise, Sylt Commandant Maximillian List escaped justice and died in the 1980s in West Germany.124 In the years since the war, the British government had repeatedly claimed  that all three men had died – List and Klebeck before the war ended, and  Hoffman by execution in 1945 – despite the fact that they had detailed records about their true fate and whereabouts.125 Following the declassification of documents and detailed investigations by Solomon Steckoll and Bunting, these facts were made public in the 1980s and 1990s. Yet, the British government still maintained that they had not known the whereabouts of any of the perpetrators on Alderney ‘before the cessation of war crimes trials in 1948’.126 It should also be noted that several witnesses held by the British in 1945 were in fact implicated by others for crimes committed on Alderney but they too were never tried. This included OT Bauleiter Leo Ackermann and Commandant of Helgoland OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann.127 Aside from the Soviet trial, few other criminal proceedings were pursued against Alderney’s accused in the years that followed WW2. The Commandant and Deputy Commandant of Norderney, SS Untersturmführer/ OT Hauptruppführer Adam Adler and OT Meister Heinrich Evers, were sentenced to ten years and seven years respectively at the Tribunal Militaire Permanent de Paris at Caserne de Reuilly in 1949 for the ill-treatment of French Jews.128 In 1949, Peter Bikar was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in East Germany for ‘abuse and torture of inmates in the SS camp’ where ‘his only job was to make sure people did not escape’.129 Another guard at Sylt concentration camp, SS Lagerführer Puhr, was executed in 1963 while SS-Hauptscharführer Otto Högelow and prisoner Kapo Adolf Fehrenbacher were given short sentences in 1949 and 1955 respectively, but all for crimes committed elsewhere as opposed to on Alderney.130

Repatriation While the perpetrators mostly lived as free men in the years after the war, many of the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers housed on Alderney did not share the same fate. For men from Soviet territories, repatriation to the Soviet Union commonly followed liberation. Hence, as well as determining the extent of the crimes perpetrated against Soviet citizens, the aforementioned visit by Gruzdev served another purpose: to establish whether any so-called ‘traitors to the Motherland’ remained in the Channel

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Islands.131 According to Stalin’s order of 16 August 1941, Soviet POWs and some civilians were deemed to be treacherous ‘because they had not fought to the death’.132 Others were seen as Nazi collaborators because they had worked for the Third Reich, even though they had been forced to in most cases; thus, the Soviet government determined that they should be captured and punished. Additionally, as Serhii Plokhy argues, ‘Moscow was eager to avoid leaving large numbers of former Soviet citizens in the West, as they might provide a basis for a massive anti-Soviet movement like the one that had developed in Europe after the Russian Revolution’.133 In February 1945, a reciprocal agreement had been signed at the Yalta Conference between the Soviet, British and American governments guaranteeing the repatriation of liberated Soviet POWs and regular citizens.134 Under the terms of this agreement, Soviet officials were granted access to camps all over Europe to ensure all POWs and citizens were found.135 As the majority of labourers had already been transported away from Alderney, Gruzdev visited a holding camp in Guernsey where, accompanied by British officials, he screened some potential Soviet c­itizens.136 Others were interviewed in various camps and reception centres in Britain, France, Germany, Austria and elsewhere by members of the Soviet Repatriation Mission (the organisation responsible for repatriation) to determine their status.137 This followed a wave of repatriations of former Alderney inmates (liberated from camps in France) from Liverpool to Odesa and Kovel (to name but a few examples) that had already taken place prior to the end of WW2.138 Soviet POWs and ordinary citizens originating from the Soviet Union who had worked for the Germans were aware of the fate that would await them if they returned home.139 Fear of repression by the totalitarian regime, the poor economic state of the Soviet economy, relationships they had made in the West or the desire for religious freedom all motivated their desire not to return.140 Rather than face another period of persecution and incarceration, some people all over Europe (including in the UK) opted for suicide.141 One such example was documented on Alderney immediately after liberation. A Georgian legionary captured by the British ‘thought so little of his future chances if ever he got home again’ that he ‘walked into the sea and drowned himself’.142 Some individuals were able to avoid repatriation if they were from territories occupied by the Soviets after 1 September 1939, as this meant that they were not Soviet citizens according to the definition adopted by the Allies (something which still met with protests from the Soviet ­government).143 Hence, many Poles, Ukrainians from eastern Ukraine (which was formerly part of Poland), the Baltic States, north Bukovina and Bessarabia were able to remain in the UK.144 However, ensuring this

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was upheld was not always an easy process. For example, Captain Wallis (representing the British government) made a formal complaint against Gruzdev who: (1) falsely claimed that two former Alderney prisoners had signed declarations stating that they wished to return voluntarily to the Soviet Union and (2) attempted to remove the men to a Soviet camp in the UK for repatriation.145 These men – Cyprian Lipinski and Jan Szulc – had already been classed as ­‘disputed cases’ by the British government because they came from Rivne which was not occupied by the Soviets until after the start of WW2.146 Following Wallis’s intervention, the men were eventually transferred to Kempton Park camp for interview by the British authorities where they declared that they had no desire to return to the Soviet Union.147 Those who were not so lucky were quickly transported from the UK or from other collection points in France and Germany. These journeys were often lengthy and sanitation and clothing provision were poor.148 Once they returned to the Soviet Union, POWs and civilians were often held in so-called ‘verification and filtration camps’ located across Soviet territory where they were interrogated further by the NKVD (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) about their capture and incarceration by the Germans.149 While some former labourers housed on Alderney went on to lead relatively normal lives (Profile 12 in Chapter 2 and Profile 19), many were not so fortunate. Drawing upon Article 58 of the Penal Code of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), many were prosecuted as ‘political prisoners’; their crime was surviving Nazi occupation and incarceration.150 If found guilty, most entered the Gulag – the prison camp system of the Soviet Union – and they were sent to Siberia or the Arctic where they experienced terrible living and working conditions once again.151 Some were incarcerated until mass releases and the eventual closure of the camps took place in the aftermath of Stalin’s death in 1953.152 Others died before they could be freed as a result of ill-treatment. Even after release, many of these men were stigmatised and disadvantaged for the rest of their lives.153 Displacement, a lack of job prospects, the absence of a military pension and travel restrictions were just some of the limitations that were placed upon many of them.154 Profiles 20 and 21 provide examples of ex-Alderney prisoners who experienced this process and illustrate the traumatic and complex nature of incarceration experienced by Soviet citizens under two oppressive regimes. Even if individuals voluntarily returned to the Soviet Union, rather than being forcibly repatriated, they still faced the prospect of incarceration on their return, in spite of the fact that many risked their lives to escape back to their homeland.155 Details about the journeys of a group of men from the Orel region in Russia, formerly housed in Alderney, are recalled at length

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Profile 19  Ivan Alaiev Ivan Alaiev’s journey to reach home was a long one and illustrates a range of experiences of oppression during WW2 (Figure 10.1). Alaiev was born in Filipowka in the Tula region of the Russian Federation on 20 January 1921.156 He joined the Red Army in 1939 when he was 18 years old.157 Curiously, records relating to the fate of Red Army military personnel state that Alaiev was missing in action; one set of documents suggest that he died in Latvia on 31 March 1945 and was buried in a mass grave there, another that he died in Austria in 1946.158 However, other Soviet documents and the recollections of a relative reveal a different story. Alaiev was arrested during his military service on 9 July 1942 and sent to Stapo Dresden, a Gestapo prison located in the former Continental Hotel in Dresden, Lower Saxony.159 Having been registered in Buchenwald and Neuengamme concentration camps on 30 July 1942 and 5 January 1943 respectively, he was sent to Alderney with SS BB1 in early March 1943.160 After fifteen months on Alderney undertaking slave labour, Alaiev returned to Neuengamme (5 August 1944) and Buchenwald (21 August 1944) and his name then appears on a transport list to Sollstedt on 12 September 1944, where initially he had to pack and store clothing for the WVHA in the tunnels of a potash mine.161 In February 1945, SS BB1 at Sollstedt had to undertake railway construction works and then, on 5 April 1945, the prisoners had to march forty-five miles to Hohlstedt subcamp.162 This was followed by a treacherous train journey which lasted more than two weeks before Alaiev finally arrived in Mauthausen in Austria two days before the camp was liberated by American forces.163 As the Americans had made the same agreement with the Soviets regarding repatriation, Alaiev was handed over to the Soviet Union. Rather than being transported directly, it seems that he was registered with the Ministry of Non-Ferrous Metallurgy USSR within the Soviet occupation zone in Germany in April 1946.164 Afterwards, he was sent to Kovel Displaced Persons Control Point from Döbeln in Germany, most likely in April 1947, from where he returned to his native village to work as a mechanic and head of the tractor branch on a collective farm.165 He married and had two sons. After moving with his family to the Krasnyi Kut Saratov Region (Russia), he worked as an operator of a drilling rig. He died around 2000.



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Profile 20  Kalistrat Sharai Kalistrat Sharai, born in 1918, was a lieutenant in the Soviet army before he was captured and sent to Alderney as a member of SS BB1.166 After fifteen months undertaking slave labour on the island, he left at the end of June 1944, enduring a five-week journey across Europe before being registered in Neuengamme (5 August 1944) and Buchenwald (21 August 1944).167 His name then appears on a transport list to Sollstedt on 12 September 1944, before he was registered in Buchenwald once again on 21 September 1944.168 The exact details of how he got there are not clear but he was incarcerated in Sagan (the infamous Stalag Luft III) for the remainder of the war. On 10 October 1945, as part of the r­ epatriation process, he was sent to Kovel and then on to Moscow, most likely to work for a company involved in gas production.169 On 29 March 1946, he was arrested in Kulebiaki (Nizhnii Novgorod region), where he lived and worked in a metalware plant. Just under four months later, he was tried at a regional court under Article 58-10 of the Penal Code of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) for offences related to ‘Anti-Soviet Agitation and Propaganda’.170 He was sentenced to eight years imprisonment (most likely in a camp) and ‘deprivation of liberty’ for three years, meaning that, as well as other limitations, he was unable to live in large cities or hold certain jobs after his release.171

by Bonnard and Bunting but are worth summarising here as they represent the plight of many labourers who tried to return home.172 Having become members of the French resistance after their release from Alderney, two of these young men – Georgi Kondakov and Ivan Kalganov (Profile 14 in Chapter 3) – recalled how they managed to arrange transport to get them and others close to the border of the Soviet Union.173 From there, they endured a 75-mile walk along a route where robbery and murder were commonplace only to be met by NKVD or SMERSH (a counterintelligence agency of the Red Army) officials who confiscated their documents and transported them across the border and territory of the Soviet Union.174 When they finally made it home, they found their houses in ruins and their families depleted. They also received a hostile reception since they could not prove that they had not volunteered to work for the Germans. Even after the daily interrogations ceased, the men were still viewed with suspicion, even by their own families, and several were arrested in the years that followed their return and found themselves in Gulag camps. Between July 1947 and November 1951, Kondakov was sentenced to

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Profile 21  Fedor Konoplia Fedor Konoplia was born in 1926 in Semenivka near Hlukhiv in the Sumy region of Ukraine.175 On 22 July 1942, he was captured in Hlukhiv (where he was working on a collective farm) at his home address, 58, Puzhyevska Street. From there, he was sent to Alderney as part of a large group of men from the Soviet Union. Upon arrival, he was housed in camp one (Helgoland) and he was forced to build fortifications under the control of the OT. On 20(?) May 1945, he was sent from Liverpool to a transit camp in Odesa in line with the agreement between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union with regard the repatriation of Soviet citizens (Figure 10.1). From there, he was sent to an army or Security Service base in Bilokorovychi in the Zhytomir region of Ukraine. On 16 July 1945, he was deported to Chernogorsk in Siberia (Khakassia) where he worked in a coal mine. Prisoners working there lived in one of eleven labour camps which had been set up by the NKVD to house people convicted under Article 58-10.176 Inmates worked a minimum of twelve hours a day under close scrutiny of the NKVD guards.177 The camp system was abolished in Chernogorsk in 1955.178 However, Konoplia’s fate after his arrival there is unknown.

hard labour on the so-called ‘Construction Project 501’, building a railroad from Vorkuta to Igarka in northern Siberia that Stalin hoped would provide access to the easternmost territories of the Soviet Union.179 This railroad is now referred to as the ‘Road of Death’ because a train service was never launched and the line remained incomplete; hence, the harsh labour in ‘winter permafrost’ and ‘summer mud’ was a fruitless endeavour that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Gulag prisoners.180 Kondakov and his fellow prisoners had to live in flimsy wooden barracks or tents along the railway track in temperatures that plummeted to −50 degrees Celsius.181 As the Soviet economy relied greatly on free labour during Stalin’s rule, the prisoners were essentially used as slaves. After his release, Kondakov returned to his hometown once again and got a job in the same factory where he had been making artillery shells at the beginning of the war. His hopes of completing an engineering degree were never realised as a result of his experiences during WW2 and instead he worked as a turner and steel miller for thirty-four years.182 It was not until the late 1980s that many former Alderney labourers living in the Soviet Union were able to acquire documentation to prove that they had not collaborated with the enemy (and thus regain the respect of their communities). The words

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of Albert Pothugine perhaps best illustrate the injustice against many of Alderney’s survivors from eastern Europe: ‘when I returned to Russia I was only eighteen years old, and I was already judged as a second-class citizen for the rest of my life’.183 Liberation from Nazi occupation also failed to bring freedom for other OT labourers. These men were scattered all over Europe and their status depended upon several factors in the post-war period. Richard Cleminson provides a detailed account of how ‘anti-fascist’ and ‘Republican’ Spaniards captured in the Channel Islands were detained as POWs by the British government because they were ‘captured as serving members of an enemy paramilitary organisation’ and due to a desire to maintain good relations with Francoist Spain.184 The conditions in the camps they were consequently housed in were so terrible, and the treatment of the prisoners so unjust, that it sparked a widespread movement in Britain campaigning for their release. For many Poles, liberation either in Alderney or in Europe meant that they faced displacement or life in exile; like many others from Soviet-occupied territories, they refused to return to their homeland for fear of reprisals (because, as members of OT, they had worked for the Germans) or because they felt it no longer resembled the Poland they had known.185 Some former Alderney internees were able to remain in the UK after the war, responding to the British government’s call for workers in light of labour shortages in 1945.186 Others, like Ted Misiewicz, obtained citizenship in the UK under the Polish Resettlement Act (1947).187 Many former Alderney prisoners of various nationalities faced years of complex negotiations regarding their citizenship in their homelands or the countries in which they decided to settle.188 For others who wanted to go home, the process of getting there was usually arduous due to the number of displaced persons across Europe.189

Conclusions The final stages of Alderney’s occupation, like those before it, were defined by the harsh treatment of labourers and prisoners. While those who remained on the island continued to experience brutality and hardship, many of those who left went on to experience further periods of i­ncarceration and abuse at the hands of their overseers. Given the complex routes that they travelled, and the ongoing detention, many were not able to tell the stories of their imprisonment or find out exactly where they had been held. Many simply knew the island as ‘Adolf’ and thus had no idea where they had been incarcerated. Others had to wait decades (many until the end of Communism in the early 1990s) to tell their story or find out the truth – only to discover that

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what happened on Alderney was not widely known owing to efforts by the Germans to hide the traces of their crimes, and the failure by the British and Soviet governments to prosecute those responsible. The remarkable story told by Kondakov – who first learnt of Alderney’s location at an international exhibition in 1969 – provides but one example.190 As the testimonies of those men who were interviewed by the British military after the war remained classified for decades, the voices of those who witnessed and experienced the atrocities perpetrated by OT and the SS were often absent from narratives concerning the occupation. In part, this explains why the history of forced and slave labour on Alderney was not widely known in the aftermath of WW2 and why there were few activists who could encourage the protection of the sites to which these narratives relate. Unfortunately, the downplaying of the atrocities in the official narratives that were borne out of the post-war investigations also contributed to the marginalisation and forgetting of the labourers’ experiences. This chapter has attempted to highlight these processes, while also ensuring that the stories of these labourers have finally been told.

Notes 1 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 21 May 1945. 2 M. Packe and M. Dreyfus, The Alderney Story 1939–1949 (Guernsey: Guernsey Press, 1971), p. 75. 3 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Besondere Anordnungen Nr. 4’, 10 May 1944; See also Chapters 5 and 6. 4 B. Bonnard, Alderney at War (Stroud: Alan Sutton, 1993), p. 115. 5 TNA, KV4/78, ‘The I(b) Reports on the Channel Islands’, 8 August 1945. 6 TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Franz Dokter’, 19 May 1945. 7 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Short notes from the verbal translation from the investigation documents of Captain Kent about the island of Alderney’, June 1945. 8 These men also accompanied the men to Sollstedt where they continued their brutal treatment. K. Fings, ‘Sollstedt (Mittelbau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen) (SS-BB1)’, in G. Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2009), p. 1395. 9 JA, L/D/25/A/4, ‘Notes on the Occupation’, 2 December 1969. 10 AG-NG, Interview 1317, ‘Helmut Knöller’, undated. 11 Fings, ‘Alderney (Kanalinsel) (SS BB I)’, in Megargee (ed.), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, p. 1362. 12 ITS, 1.1.30/82132691, ‘Report of Curt Hille former prisoner of the flying squad (Baubrigade I) attached to CC Neuengamme’, 10 March 1950.

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13 P. Sanders, The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation 1940–45 (Jersey: Jersey Heritage Trust, 2005), p. 199. 14 ITS, 1.1.30/82132691, ‘Report of Curt Hille former prisoner of the flying squad (Baubrigade I) attached to CC Neuengamme’, 10 March 1950. 15 Fings, ‘Sollstedt (Mittelbau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen) (SS-BB1)’, p. 1395. 16 Ibid., p. 1396. 17 Sanders, The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation, p. 221. 18 ITS, 2.2.3.0./82360564, ‘Ü berstellung von 479 jüdischen Arbeiten von Adolf nach Hatzebruck’, 8 May 1944; See also: F. Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands During the German Occupation 1940–1945 (Jersey: Jersey Museums Service, 2000), p. 144; YV 3687663, O.51/ file 226, ‘The War of 1939–1945; Historical Facts on Alderney (Channel Islands) – written by Colin Partridge with assistance from members of ‘Amicale Anciens Déportés de l’île anglonormande d’Aurigny (Alderney)’, Paris, undated. 19 Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands During the German Occupation 1940–1945, p.  27; B. Luc, Les déportés de France vers Aurigny (Marigny: Eurocibles, 2010), p. 163. 20 Ibid. 21 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Copy of report to IO I(b) HQ Force from Sjt Bennet, Alderney’, 23 May 1945. 22 Ibid. 23 B. Bonnard, The Island of Dread in the Channel: Story of Georgi Ivanovitch Kondakov (Stroud: Amberley Publishing Limited, 1991), p. 39. 24 See Chapter 1, this volume. 25 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 117. 26 Ibid., p. 115. 27 TNA, CRES35/1768, ‘Committee of Inquiry on Alderney’, 11 July 1945. 28 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Appendix “H” comprising Section V extracted from Report LDC477, relating to report on concentration camp at Alderney’, 27 June 1945. 29 Compare NCAP, ACIU MF C1479, 12 August 1943 and NCAP ACIU MF C3910, 7 February 1945. 30 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 113. 31 NCAP, ACIU MF C4344 and 4345, 18 April 1945; T. Davenport and T. Gander, ‘Alderney’, Channel Islands Occupation Review 33 (2005), p. 19. 32 T. Davenport, Festung Alderney (Jersey: Barnes Publishing Limited, 2003), p. 65; Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 113. 33 JA, L/D/25/G/1A, ‘Home Forces map’, 1943. 34 NCAP, pers. comm. The main source of aerial photography is NCAP; 426 images of Alderney are now available online (as of 27 January 2020) but many are in their main repository and are viewable on site. Other collections are in AMA and TNA, DEFE2/1374. 35 For an example of the use of aerial photographs in MI19 reports, see: TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19

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April 1944; TNA, HO144/22237, Further Interrogations of Informants of M.I.19 RPS 2141. Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 5 May 1944; TNA, WO106/5248B, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2253, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 5 July 1944; TNA,  WO106/5248B, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2298, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 27 July 1944; TNA, WO199/3303, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2440, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 2 October 1944; TNA, WO199/3303, ‘M.I.19(a)/DIS/86’, 20 April 1945. 36 For an example, see TNA, WO199/2090B, ‘M.I.19 (RPS) 2280. Report. France. Tsarist Intrigues in Paris’, 17 July 1944. 37 TNA, WO199/2090A, ‘Russian Round-Up. Forced Labour – Prison – Atrocities. RPS 2293’, 25 July 1944. 38 TNA, HO 144/22237, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2122, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 12 April 1944. 39 Ibid. 40 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944. 41 TNA, WO199/2090A, ‘Russian Round-Up. Forced Labour – Prison – Atrocities. RPS 2293’, 25 July 1944. 42 N. Tolstoy, Victims of Yalta: The Secret Betrayal of the Allies, 1944–1947 (Ebook: Open Road Media, 2013); TNA, WO166/17819, ‘136 Prisoner of War Camp at Butterwick, Yorkshire’, January–September 1945. 43 TNA, WO199/2090B, ‘Report. German Atrocities in Eastern Europe. (RPS) 2255’, 6 July 1944; The arrival of labourers from France to the UK reception centres is discussed in TNA, KV4/25, ‘London Reception Centre: monthly summaries of aliens and British subjects interviewed’, 1939–1945. 44 TNA, WO106/5248B, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2253, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 5 July 1944. 45 TNA, WO199/2090A, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2298, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 27 July 1944. 46 TNA, WO199/3303, ‘Report on the interrogation of PW KP 176829 Civilian Winogradow, Leonid. SS Bau Brig. 1’, 4 November 1944; TNA, WO199/3303, ‘Consolidated report on interrogation of PW KP 814050, Czech civilian Robert Prokop and PW LD 157 Spanish civilian Salvador Rerpina on defences on Alderney’, 1945; TNA, WO311/677, ‘Report on the Interrogation of Two PW Kempton Park Camp 18 Nov 1944’, 19 November 1944. 47 TNA, WO199/3303, ‘Report on the interrogation of Otto Spehr’, 13 December 1944. 48 TNA, HO 144/22237, ‘M.I.19 (R.P.S.) 2136, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney’, 17 April 1944. 49 For examples, see TNA, WO199/3303, ‘First report on interrogation of PW KP 48174 O/Gef Alfred Schmidt’, 24 August 1944; TNA, WO199/3303, ‘PW Interrogation Reports’, 8 September 1944; TNA, WO199/3303, ‘Interrogation of German Officers’, 20 April 1945.

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50 This information was contained within the MI19 reports already cited, TNA, WO208/5042, ‘Handbook of the Organisation Todt (O.T.)’, March 1945; and a range of documents connected to Operation Nestegg in the TNA, WO219 series. 51 JA, L/C/14/C/5, ‘War diary of Brigadier Snow’, 9 May 1945. 52 Curiously, Nick Allen – a former Alderney resident and fisherman who cleared the way for British ships – was the first man to set foot on Alderney, shortly before Brigadier Snow. See Packe and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story, p. 74. 53 A detailed account of the arrival of British troops is provided in ibid., pp. 74–78. Further details are also provided in JA, L/C/199/A1/4, ‘Incomplete typescript of a letter from Brigadier A E Snow’, 1 July 1945 and Bonnard, Alderney at War, pp. 115–126. 54 Packe and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story, p. 75. 55 M. Lamerton, ‘Alderney “Merit” Liberated’, Channel Islands Occupation Review 36 (2008), pp. 5–9. 56 Packe and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story, p. 80. 57 Evening Chronicle, ‘British probing Alderney crimes’, 18 May 1945. 58 Ibid. 59 The Citizen, ‘Probe into island murders: search continues on Alderney’, 18 May 1945. 60 Ibid. 61 For examples see Evening Chronicle, ‘British probing Alderney crimes’, 18 May 1945; Guardian, ‘Nazi crimes on Alderney: mass burials’, 17 May 1945. 62 Evening Chronicle, ‘Belsen on British Soil’, 17 May 1945. 63 Guardian, ‘Nazi crimes on Alderney: mass burials’, 17 May 1945. 64 The Citizen, ‘Probe into island murders: search continues on Alderney’, 18 May 1945. 65 The Citizen, ‘Atrocities in Alderney alleged’, 17 May 1945. 66 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Copy of report to IO I(b) HQ Force from Sjt Bennet, Alderney’, 23 May 1945. 67 Profile 4 in Chapter 1. 68 Profile 5 in Chapter 1. 69 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Report on Alderney’, June 1945. 70 JA, L/C/14/A/5/17, ‘Report Force 135 ADM Instruction No. 12. Adm Arrangements for PW’ 5 May 1945. 71 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Retention of Aliens on the Island’, 12 August 1944. 72 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 117; A photograph of the German POWs arriving in Southampton appeared in the Birmingham Mail on 24 May 1945. 73 TNA, CAB121/367, ‘Channel Islands Progress Reports’, 8 and 15 August 1945. 74 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 117. 75 TNA, FO371/47898, ‘Treatment of Soviet nationals by British military authorities’, 25 April 1945. 76 For an example from Butterwick camp, see TNA, WO166/17819, ‘136 Prisoner of War Camp at Butterwick, Yorkshire’, January-September 1945;

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Unknown author, ‘Uprising of Soviet Citizens in the English camp Butterwick’ (23 March 2019), https://zen.yandex.ru/media/nectonlab/vosstanie-sovetskihgrajdan-v-angliiskom-lagere-battervik-5c966049ececd500b30f60c7 (accessed 7 May 2020). 77 TNA, FO939/98, ‘9 Base Camp, Quorn Camp, Leicestershire and 9 Reception Camp, Kempton Park Camp, Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex’, Misc. dates; TNA, KV4/78, ‘Copy of report to IO I(b) HQ Force from Sjt Bennet, Alderney’, 23 May 1945. 78 Interrogation reports can be found in numerous archive files, most notably: WO311/11, WO311/12 and WO311/13, ‘German occupation of Channel Islands: death and ill treatment of slave labour and transportation of civilians to Germany’; TNA, WO 208/3629, ‘Prisoner of War Interrogation Section (Home) Kempton Park: interrogation reports, K.P’; TNA, WO311/106, ‘Alderney, Channel Islands: Ill-treatment of Russian Forced Labourers’; GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167. 79 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 21 May 1945. 80 Ibid. 81 Ibid.; TNA, KV4/78, ‘Copy of report to IO I(b) HQ Force from Sjt Bennet, Alderney’, 23 May 1945; TNA, WO311/12, ‘Alderney Concentration Camps’, 23 May 1945. 82 Prime Minister’s speech cited in A.P.  Rogers, ‘War Crimes Trials under the Royal Warrant: British Practice 1945–1949’, International & Comparative Law Quarterly 39:4 (1990), 786. 83 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Brigadier Shapcott to Major Haddock’, 26 May 1945; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 28 May 1945. 84 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 21 May 1945. 85 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Brigadier Shapcott to the Treasury’s Solicitor’, 2 June 1945. 86 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 15 June 1945. 87 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/702. Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 88 Ibid. This report was long thought to be missing from the British archives. However, a copy was located in the National Archives by the author in 2009. 89 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report on Island Atrocities (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/703, ‘Periodical Report on Island Atrocities. Report 1’, 5 July 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/ KP/704 on Alderney Atrocities No. 2’, 18 July 1945; IA, AQ875/03, ‘Regular Report about the Crimes on the Island of Alderney’, 27 July 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/KP/707, Periodical Report on Alderney Atrocities No. 3’, 12 August 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report No. PWIS(H)/ KP/709, Periodical Report on Alderney Atrocities No. 4’, 11 September 1945.

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90 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Appendix “H” comprising section V extracted from Report LDC477, relating to report on concentration camp at Alderney’, 27 June 1945. 91 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report on Island Atrocities (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 92 Many of these lists are included in TNA, WO311/13, ‘Analysis’, Misc. dates. 93 TNA, KV4/78, ‘The I(b) Reports on the Channel Islands’, 8 August 1945. 94 TNA, KV4/78, ‘Report on Alderney’, June 1945. 95 TNA, WO311/14, ‘War Crimes: policy and administrative matters’, 1945–1948. 96 JA, JA, L/C/14/C/18, ‘War diary of 614 Regiment RA under Lt Colonel E Jones in Alderney’, 10 June 1945. 97 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Letter addressed to the Ambassador of the USSR in GB, Comrade F.T. Gusev’, 3 July 1945. 98 Ibid. 99 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report on Island Atrocities (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 100 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Letter addressed to the Ambassador of the USSR in GB, Comrade F.T. Gusev’, 3 July 1945. 101 For an example, see TNA, WO311/12, ‘Statement of Emil Sulikowski’, 10 June 1945. 102 TNA, FO371/47904, ‘Report about repatriation by rail 11’, 19 August 1945. 103 TNA, WO311/677, ‘Alleged Atrocities on the Island of Alderney’, 30 May 1945; TNA, KV4/78, ‘Report on Alderney’, June 1945. 104 Ibid.; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report on Island Atrocities (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945. 105 TNA, WO311/11, Untitled letter from P. Dean to Brigadier Shapcott’, 11 July 1945. 106 Ibid. 107 Ibid.; TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Brigadier Shapcott to the Treasury’s Solicitor’, 2 June 1945. 108 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter to P. Dean from Brigadier Shapcott’, 16 July 1945. 109 M. Bunting, The Model Occupation: The Channel Islands Under German Rule 1940–1945 (London: Harper Collins, 1995), p. 296. 110 TNA, WO311/107, ‘German war crimes’, 8 October 1945. 111 Moscow Declaration on Atrocities, 1 November 1943, www.cvce.eu/content/ publication/2004/2/12/699fc03f-19a1–47f0-aec0–73220489efcd/publishable_ en.pdf (accessed 7 July 2019). 112 Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 293. 113 Kirill Nevrov describes identifying Konopelko when asked by the KGB, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p.  92; ITS, 1.1.5/6323212, ‘Wladimir Konopielko’, 9 March 1944. 114 D. Cesarani and T. Kushner, The Internment of Aliens in the Twentieth Century (London: Routledge 1993), p. 10. 115 IWM, MISC 2826 189/2, Nr. 4402, ‘Interview with Bunny Pantcheff’, undated. 116 Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 199. 117 TNA, WO311/106, ‘Alderney concentration camp’, 24 March 1947.

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118 Many of the documents relating to these investigations were declassified in the early 1980s and were the subject of Steckoll’s book: S. Steckoll, The Alderney Death Camp (London: Granada, 1982). 119 Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 298. 120 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report on Island Atrocities (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945; TNA, WO311/677, ‘Alderney – location of witnesses and accused’, 11 September 1945. 121 Ibid. 122 ‘Kurt Klebeck’, http://media.offenes-archiv.de/kurtklebeck.pdf (accessed 12 July 2017); TNA, WO309/402, ‘Ahlem-Hannover Concentration Camp: killing and ill-treatment of Allied nationals’, 1945–1948. 123 ‘Kurt Klebeck’, http://media.offenes-archiv.de/kurtklebeck.pdf. Copies of documents gathered by German prosecutors regarding Klebeck from 1983 can be found in AG-NG, IV 404 AR-Z, 81/93, ‘Beschuldigter Kleebeck I and II’, Misc. Dates. 124 Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 297. 125 Ibid., p. 298. 126 Ibid. 127 TNA, WO311/13, ‘Report on Island Atrocities (1942–1945)’, 23 June 1945; TNA, WO311/13, ‘Statement by OT Frontführer Johann Hoffmann’, 1 August 1945; TNA, WO311/106, ‘Statement of Bauleiter Leo Ackermann’, 8 June 1945. 128 JA, L/C24/B/1, ‘Tribunal militaire permanent de Paris Caserne de Reuilly. Acte d’accusation dans l’affaire Heinrich Evers et Adam Adler, inculpés de coups et blessures volontaires et de vol’, 20 September 1949. 129 USHMM, RG-14.068*97, ‘Trial records of Peter Bikar’, 1946–1951. 130 Cohen, The Jews in the Channel Islands, p. 154, footnote 276; Fings, ‘Sollstedt (Mittelbau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen) (SS-BB1)’, p. 1396. 131 T.E. Porter, ‘Hitler’s forgotten genocides: The fate of Soviet POWS’, Elon Law Review 5 (2013), 373; Chapter 9 this volume. 132 R. Otto, ‘The fate of Soviet soldiers in German captivity’. The Holocaust in the Soviet Union: Symposium presentations, 2015, p.  134, www.ushmm.org/m/ pdfs/Publication_OP_2005–10.pdf (accessed 19 November 2018). 133 S.M. Plohky, Yalta: The Price of Peace (London: Penguin, 2010), p. 299. 134 Ibid. 135 Department of State, Liberated Persons, 1. 136 IA, AQ875/03, ‘Letter addressed to the Ambassador of the USSR in GB, Comrade F.T. Gusev’, 3 July 1945. 137 Information about the interrogations of former Alderney prisoners carried out in Guernsey can be found in IA, AQ875/03 translated into English or GARF, Fond 7021, Opis 149, Delo 167. Further information about the Soviet repatriation mission and its activities in the UK and Europe can be found in various files in the UK National Archives, for example: TNA, FO 371/43321, FO 181/1016/10, FO 371/47897, FO 371/47899, FO 371/478901, FO 371/47902 and FO 371/47895.

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138 For example, Vassili Kormilitsyn, Grigorii Koriachka, Stepan Zakrewski and Fedor Konoplia (Profile 21) were among a group of prisoners transported from Liverpool to Odesa in April and May 1945. Files relating to these deportations can be found in FZSP and AZSP, Box No. 013035, ‘Index card files’,: https:// obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=85455438&p=1 (accessed 7 May 2020). 139 M. Elliott, ‘The United States and Forced Repatriation of Soviet Citizens, ­1944–47’, Political Science Quarterly 88:2 (1973), 253–275. DOI:10.2307/2149110; B. Van Dijk, ‘The Great Humanitarian’: The Soviet Union, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Geneva Conventions of 1949’, Law and History Review 37:1 (2019), 209–235. DOI:10.1017/S0738248019000014. 140 For the testimony of one former Alderney prisoner on his topic, see ITS, 2.2.3.0/82361039, ‘Rosowski Valentin’, 2 February 1944; P.  Ahonen, J.  Kochanowski, G. Corni, T. Stark, R. Schulze and B. Stelzl-Marx, People on the Move: Forced Population Movements in Europe in the Second World War and its Aftermath (Oxford: Berg, 2008), pp. 185–186; Elliott, ‘The United States and Forced Repatriation of Soviet Citizens’, 257–258. 141 K.C. Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine under Nazi Rule (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004), p.  90; For British examples, see: K. Sword, ‘The Repatriation of Soviet Citizens at the End of the Second World War’, in R. Cohen. The Cambridge Survey of World Migration (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), p.  324; For examples from the US, see: Elliott, ‘The United States and Forced Repatriation of Soviet Citizens, pp. 253–275. 142 Packe and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story, p. 88. 143 TNA, FO1020/3349, ‘Soviet Repatriation Mission’, 21 December 1948. 144 Sword, ‘The Repatriation of Soviet Citizens at the End of the Second World War’, p. 325. 145 TNA, FO 371/47902, ‘Complaint of Soviet repatriation officer’s behaviour in Channel Islands’, 17 July 1945. 146 Ibid. 147 TNA, FO 371/47902, ‘Letter regarding complaint of Soviet repatriation officer’s behaviour in Channel Islands’, 14 July 1945. 148 TNA, FO371/47904, ‘Voyage from Faslane to Trondheim’, 7 August 1945. 149 N. Baron, ‘Remaking Soviet Society: The Filtration of Returnees from Nazi Germany, 1944–49’, in P. Gatrell and N. Baron (eds), Warlands: Population Resettlement and State Reconstruction in the Soviet-East European Borderlands, 1945–50 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), pp.  89–116; T.E. Porter, ‘Hitler’s forgotten genocides’, p. 374; R. Otto, ‘The fate of Soviet soldiers in German captivity’, p. 134. 150 ‘Article 58 of the Penal Code of the RSFSR’, www.mnemosyne.ee/hc.ee/ pdf/appendixes/329–331.pdf (accessed 3 February 2020); F. Exeler, ‘The Ambivalent State: Determining Guilt in the Post-World War II Soviet Union’, Slavic Review 75:3 (2016), 606–629.

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151 C. Pagenstecher, ‘‘We were treated like slaves’: remembering forced labor for Nazi Germany’, in G. Mackenthun and R. Hörmann (eds), Human Bondage in the Cultural Contact Zone: Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Slavery and its Discourses (Münster: Waxmann, 2010), pp. 275–291. 152 M. Dobson, ‘Show the Bandit-Enemies no Mercy! Amnesty, Criminality and Public Response in 1953’, in P. Jones (ed.). The Dilemmas of De-Stalinization: Negotiating Cultural and Social Change in the Khrushchev era (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 22. 153 Otto, ‘The fate of Soviet soldiers in German captivity’, p. 134. 154 Ibid. 155 Ahonen et al., People on the Move, p. 187. 156 TsAMO, 58/18003/796, ‘Irrevocable loss information’, https://obd-memorial. ru/html/info.htm?id=4452021 (accessed 4 May 2020). 157 Andrei Shumeiko, pers. comm. 158 TsAMO, 58/18003/796, ‘Irrevocable loss information’, https://obd-memorial. ru/html/info.htm?id=4452021 (accessed 4 May 2020); TsAMO, 58/A-64238, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/ info.htm?id=67409692 (accessed 7 May 2020). 159 Andrei Shumeiko, pers. comm.; ITS, 1.1.5/5419116, ‘Individual files (male) – Concentration Camp Buchenwald’, 30 July 1942. 160 ITS, 1.1.5/5419110, ‘Individual files (male) – Concentration Camp Buchenwald’, 30 July 1942; ITS, 1.1.5/5419110, ‘Individual files (male) – Concentration Camp Buchenwald’, 5 January 1943. 161 ITS, 1.1.30/3411088, ‘List of Transfer from 1. SS Baubrigade Island Alderney to Sollstedt’, 12 September 1944; ITS, 1.1.5/5419109, ‘Individual files (male) – Concentration Camp Buchenwald’, 5 August 1944; ITS, 1.1.5/5419115, ‘Individual files (male) – Concentration Camp Buchenwald’, 21 September 1944; ITS, 1.1.27/2543929, Personal Files – Mittelbau (Dora) Concentration Camp, undated. It appears he was housed in Block 43 when he joined SS BB5. See YV, ‘Nachtrag zur Veränderungsmeldung vom 22.9.44’, http://yadmedia.yad vashem.org/D1/3512407_08002058/219.pdf (accessed 15 November 2019). 162 Fings, ‘Sollstedt (Mittelbau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen) (SS-BB1)’, p. 1396. 163 Ibid., p. 1396 164 GARF, r-7317/20/41, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https:// obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=79322181 (accessed 15 November 2019). 165 GARF, p-9526/6/1176, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https:// obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=79338645 (accessed 3 March 2020); GARF, p-9526/6/1176, ‘Information from loss clarification documents’, https:// obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=79338847; Andrei Shumeiko, pers. comm. 166 OBD, ‘Loss clarification document’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info. htm?id=79655548&p=186 (accessed 15 November 2019). 167 Chapter 4 this volume; Fings, ‘Sollstedt (Mittelbau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen) (SS-BB1)’, p. 1395.

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168 ITS, 1.1.30/3411088, ‘List of Transfer from 1. SS Baubrigade Island Alderney to Sollstedt’, 12 September 1944; ITS, 1,1,5/7021474, ‘Sharaj Kalistra’, 21 September 1944. 169 OBD, ‘Loss clarification document’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info. htm?id=79655548&p=186 (accessed 15 November 2019). 170 ‘Article 58 of the Penal Code of the RSFSR’, www.mnemosyne.ee/hc.ee/pdf/ appendixes/329–331.pdf (accessed 3 February 2020). 171 Ibid.; ‘Kalistrat Sharaj, https://nekropole.info/en/Kalistrat-Sharaj (accessed 3 February 2020), ‘Kalistrat Sharaj’, http://lists.memo.ru/d36/f263.htm (accessed 3 February 2020); For further information about Article 58 and the classification of convicts, see A. Applebaum, Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps (London: Penguin, 2012), p. 292. 172 Bunting, The Model Occupation, pp. 270–275; Georgi Kondakov, in Bonnard, The Island of Dread, pp. 116–128. 173 Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 271. 174 Ibid., p. 272. 175 Unless otherwise stated, this profile is derived from FZSP and AZSP, 013035, ‘Fedor  Konoplia’, https://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=85455 438&p=2090 (accessed 5 December 2019). 176 Krasnoyarsk Society ‘Memorial’, ‘Book of memory of victims of political repressions of the Republic of Khakassia Volume 2’, www.memorial.krsk.ru/ Articles/XKP/2/11.htm (accessed 4 May 2020). 177 Ibid. 178 ‘Chernogorsk’, https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A7%D0%B5%D1%80 %D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B3%D0%BE%D1%80%D1%81%D0%BA (accessed 4 May 2020). 179 G. Kondakov (ed. T. Chernakova), ‘Alderney Island (Great Britain) and France’, in N. Komolova (ed.), Soviet People in the European Resistance (Memoirs and documents). Part II (Moscow: Institute of World History at Soviet Academy of Science, 1991), p. 291 (Original language title: Кондаков Г.И. Остров Олдерни (Великобритания) и Франция/Публ.Т. А.Чернаковой // Комолова Н.П. (Отв. ред.). Советские люди в Европейском сопротивлении. (Воспоминания и документы). Часть II. М., 1991. —С. 291). 180 Applebaum, Gulag, p. 230. 181 L. Ash, ‘Joseph Stalin’s deadly railway to nowhere’, www.bbc.co.uk/news/ magazine-18116112 (accessed 10 May 2020). 182 Kondakov, ‘Alderney Island (Great Britain) and France’, p. 291. 183 Ibid., p. 275. 184 R. Cleminson, ‘Spanish anti-fascist prisoners of war in Lancashire, 1944–46 International Journal of Iberian Studies 22:3 (2009), 169; J. Lawson, Hansard, 9 October 1945, http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/ written answers/1945/ oct/09/spanish-nationals-detention (accessed 18 November 2020). 185 G.D. Cohen, In War's Wake: Europe's Displaced Persons in the Postwar Order (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp.  3–12; S. Knapton, ‘A Paradoxical People’: Britain’s Responses to Polish DPs, 1945–1951’, http://

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refugeehistory.org/blog/a-pparadoxical-people-britains-responses-to-polishdps (accessed 3 February 2020). 186 L. McDowell, ‘Workers, Migrants, Aliens or Citizens? State Constructions and Discourses of Identity Among Post-war European Labour Migrants in Britain’, Political Geography 22:8 (2003), 863–886. 187 Ted Misiewicz, in M. Bunting, The Model Occupation, p. 175; A. Blaszczyk, ‘The resettlement of Polish refugees after the Second World War’, Forced Migration Review 54 (2017), 71. 188 For example, see the case of Francisco Font who faced years of uncertainty over his citizenship even though he married a woman from Jersey immediately after liberation: ‘Interview with Francisco Font’, www.jerseyheritagetrust.org/ edu/resources/index.html (5 December 2008). 189 For information about Italian repatriations, see: B. Moore, ‘Enforced Diaspora: The Fate of Italian Prisoners of War during the Second World War’. War in History’ 22:2 (2015), 174–190, DOI:10.1177/0968344514521789. 190 Bonnard, The Island of Dread, p. 1.

11

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Legacies

The liberation of Alderney necessitated gargantuan efforts to restore the island to a habitable state.1 When Alderney’s pre-war population returned in December 1945, evidence of occupation still dominated the landscape and clean-up operations continued for years afterwards. In the decades since, the islanders, local government and British government have grappled with this legacy and the issue of forced and slave labour.2 Accounts provided after liberation (and up to present day), photographs, aerial reconnaissance materials, archaeological walkover survey and the authors’ experiences during fieldwork have facilitated an assessment of the effects of the occupation. Several issues were considered. First, how was this landscape modified in the aftermath of liberation and after Alderney’s population returned? How did this affect the appearance of the camps, fortifications and other modifications made by the Germans, and what impact did this consequently have on the narratives created around these sites? Second, what impact did the much-altered, post-occupation landscape have on returning islanders? And finally, to what extent are the remains related to forced and slave labour viewed as heritage in the present and what reactions have they, and studies of them, elicited in the years since the end of WW2?

A tortured landscape As well as investigating the crimes perpetrated, the British forces who arrived in Alderney in May 1945 faced a daunting task: making safe and cleaning up the island so that the evacuated residents could eventually return. Alderney’s leader, Judge French, visited a few days after liberation to assess the situation. He recalled that this had been a ‘grim experience’: the first impression was of damage, destruction, devastation of everything the islanders hold dear. Houses were broken and ruined, streets were full of indescribable dirt and rubble; weeds everywhere. It was not a happy homecoming.3

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In June, this devastation was still evident to the Committee of Inquiry, the body set up by the British Home Office to assist with Alderney’s resettlement:

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the general impression gained from a tour of the Island is one of desolation. Some houses were destroyed by the Germans for defensive purposes, and others were damaged by bombardment. Many have been damaged by the occupying Germans.4

They reported that ‘the damage was not therefore superficial’ and that terrible sanitary conditions existed due to the failure of the Germans to use an available waterborne sewage disposal system.5 Overflowing toilets and cesspits, contaminated water supplies and rat and fly infestations were just some of the problems they encountered.6 Photographs taken by Major G.E. Rice and other members of the British military illustrate the extent of the damage (Figure 10.2).7 British military Situational Reports reveal the scale and complexity of the clean-up process. More than 37,000 mines needed to be lifted, the breakwater in Braye harbour was in a terrible state of disrepair, huge piles of rubble needed to be moved, roofs needed to be fixed, walls rebuilt, the airfield cleared and sanitation restored.8 The demining process was particularly difficult; it took more than six weeks to remove half of the existing mines.9 It would be another few months before the remainder were cleared, although several more have surfaced in the years since the war along with other unexploded ordnance.10 Demining and repair works were carried out with the assistance of the captured German POWs and there were many injuries.11 On 4 June, two POWs were killed and on 21 June, British sapper George Onions met the same fate.12 Other priority works included the repair of ammunition tunnels to facilitate the removal of ordnance, making buildings habitable to provide accommodation and other facilities for the British military and captured German personnel, and the collection of beach obstacles and barbed wire.13 For the most part, St Anne was habitable as it had been reasonably well maintained and, as the British noted, even improved by the Germans.14 However, it was placed ‘out of bounds to troops of both sides’, presumably to ensure that it remained this way.15 The officers among the German POWs were temporarily housed in Chateau L’Etoc in the north-east corner of the island.16 The majority of the German garrison were already living in the buildings within, and surrounding, Borkum labour camp and they remained there until the site was converted into the main British billet and renamed Minerva.17 The remainder of the former labour and concentration camps were deemed to be uninhabitable:



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numerous camps consisting of prefabricated huts were built to house German troops and Todt workers. These camps will not in my opinion serve any useful civilian purpose for several reasons. The huts themselves are rather flimsy and have only a few years of useful life; they are very dirty, and most important of all their cooking and sanitary arrangements do not conform with our standards. The Germans appear to have lived almost entirely on stews, and their main cooking appliances consist of large steamers.18

On 24 June, the remaining captured Germans were mostly moved to 802 POW Camp Alderney which comprised Fort Albert (a late Victorian fort which became Battery Elsass during the German occupation) and Fort Tourgis (known as Strongpoint Türkenberg by the Germans) (Figure 2.13).19 Others resided in the former OT farm Gutshof where they undertook agricultural duties.20 Major Arnold, who was tasked with overseeing these camps, focused on rebuilding order and civility.21 A newspaper ‘Der Tag: Türkenburg, Albertburg, Gutshof’ (Tourgis Times and Albert Alert) was set up to report on events across the various camps and to provide the opportunity for POWs to discuss important issues. The editor announced that it should be ‘a mirror of our daily life and lead the foundation of a new day in our country’.22 Football games were also organised, plays were performed and an orchestra was established.23 Life in these POW camps was generally calm but, perhaps unsurprisingly, occasional riots, acts of violence and general unrest broke out. Most notable were incidents in the aftermath of Major Arnold’s announcement that the use of military ranks among the Germans would be abolished, a declaration that resulted in lower-ranking soldiers enacting revenge upon their former officers and NCOs.24 At times during these first months after liberation, the tasks involved in rebuilding the island seemed insurmountable. In fact, the situation was so bad that Judge French considered abandoning the idea of a homecoming in favour of leaving the island uninhabited.25 Interestingly, Pantcheff depicted a somewhat rosier picture of events in his letters to family who remained on the mainland, stating that ‘there is little damage that cannot be eliminated by some glass, a new window frame, some tiles and a coat of paint’.26 Noting newly built infrastructure such as a ‘magnificent’ refrigerated slaughterhouse, bakery and ‘luxury’ cinema (Figure 11.1), he even went as far as to suggest that ‘the average value of property is probably higher now than in 1939’.27 Seemingly, he did not wish to dishearten those who were anxiously awaiting news of home.

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Figure 11.1  Existing buildings on Alderney which were taken over by the German occupiers: the newly renovated island cinema completed by soldiers and OT workers (top left) and its interior (lower left); the Convent School which was converted into a soldiers’ hostel (top and lower right)

Homecoming and legacies In December 1945, the island was finally deemed safe and the first inhabitants arrived on 2, 4 and 6 December 1945 in three advance parties.28 When large groups of islanders returned from 10 December onwards (Figure  11.2), temporary accommodation was required as the rebuilding continued. Thus, the Grand Hotel and the Belle Vue Hotel became reception centres and the Arsenal became a distribution centre for basic supplies such as bedding, cleaning equipment and cutlery.29 POWs helped to carry furniture and other items to the islanders’ houses and continued to carry out building and repair works (Figure 11.3 and 11.4). Even though much work had been done, returning residents were still shocked by the condition of their island. Ruth Herivel described the situation as ‘desperate’ because of the level of damage to houses that the Germans caused.30 Many buildings had no roofs, internal and external walls had been demolished, and rubble littered the floors and outside spaces.31 People were initially asked where they wanted to live and were then tasked with cleaning and carrying out repair works themselves  – a difficult endeavour given the amount of dirt and damage that had

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Figure 11.2  Alderney’s residents return home on 10 December 1945

Figure 11.3  German POWs carrying furniture to the houses of islanders after they returned home in December 1945

occurred over the five years of occupation.32 One resident described the scene: it was hard to believe that we had once looked upon this shambles as our home; gun emplacements, foxholes, dug-outs, trenches, an enormous Invasion Wall right across our once beautiful herbaceous border, this was 8ft high and

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Figure 11.4  A German POW levelling ground to make a new football pitch for returning islanders 4ft 6’ thick and surmounted with a network of barbed wire of the most vicious German type plus trip-wire; all the walls were down and there was a grisly relic of a German lavatory on the front lawn.33

Documents relating to a planned reparation claim  after liberation concluded that more than £858,800 of damage had taken place (the equivalent of more than £30 million pounds today based on rates in 2017), £715,800 of which related to domestic properties and household effects.34 Even if this damage was ultimately repaired,  many of  the islanders who returned felt that their homes and businesses had been forever scarred by the occupation. Marion Bates referred to a ‘deadly hush everywhere’ in the absence of many of the birds that had formerly frequented the island, although she noted that the silence was often broken at night due to the prevalence of the rats that had (conversely) flourished.35 Many people had to sleep on the floor, several people to a room, accompanied by vermin for several months.36 Elsewhere, rolled and barbed wire was still everywhere. Photographs show huge piles of furniture, waste and rubble in the streets.37 Accounts by returnees demonstrate that, even though intensive clearance works had taken place, the fear of encountering mines and the prevalence of military installations remained.38 Concrete fortifications could not be avoided to the extent that ‘you hardly knew where to walk for bunkers’ and foxholes (Figure 11.5).39 Beda Sebire, who was 17 when she returned to Alderney,

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Figure 11.5  A man walks a cow close to one of the many fortifications that remained on Alderney after the occupation

noted that ‘all the German concrete made it dreary and dull, everywhere you went. You hardly recognised some places.’40 The iconic island forts had been modified, huge defensive installations had been constructed and important buildings such as churches, community halls, banks and shops had been used for a variety of purposes connected to the German administration of the island (Figure 11.1).41 The cemetery on Longy Common containing the labourers’ graves and the German military cemetery were other notable elements observed by returning islanders in the post-occupation landscape, as were the traces of the various camps that survived.42 For the individuals whose homes had been incorporated into camps, this must have been particularly shocking, although details concerning what happened did not emerge until sometime later in many cases.43 Many of the changes caused by the occupation were

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Figure 11.6  A team searches for land boundaries after liberation. The Germans had removed marker stones that had divided the land for hundreds of years

permanent. Complex negotiations over land boundaries and ownership ensued in the years after the war since the Germans had removed many preexisting field boundaries and properties had taken on new functions after liberation (Figure 11.6).44 Many islanders chose not to return to Alderney while others ‘saw it and turned round and never came back’, something which had a permanent effect on the population (both physically and mentally).45 In spite of damage caused, returnee Jim Hammond was not alone in suggesting that not all changes were negative. He recalled how ‘the Germans left us with many advantages, running water, pipe water, electricity’ that formed the foundations of systems still in operation well into the 2010s.46 Elsewhere on the island, some other forms of infrastructure had been repaired or built anew by the occupiers. These are recalled at length in a publication by Bonnard, and included new causeways, a telephone system, repaired roads, a bakery and of course an abundance of bunkers that could be used for a variety of purposes.47 As well as trepidation, the altered landscape was also met with curiosity. Many returnees noted that the bunkers, tunnels and even former camp buildings were like playgrounds for some of the children that returned to the island.48 Similarly, there was a sense of awe concerning some of the big guns, a feeling that turned to disappointment when they were later removed.49

Occupation heritage? In the years since liberation, the seen and unseen sites and physical traces relating to the occupation era and Nazi persecution have elicited many responses. These have varied depending upon the type of materials being discussed and the extent to which physical remains and narratives are



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connected to forced and slave labour. The reasons for these reactions are equally complex and relate both to the post-memory of returning islanders and efforts by incomers/outsiders to engage with and shape the history of this period.

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Fortifications Like the military installations in the neighbouring islands of Jersey and Guernsey, Alderney’s fortifications have been through what Carr defines as ‘erasure, amnesia and disguise, rehabilitation and restoration, contestation and memorialisation’, albeit to slightly differing degrees.50 The British liberating troops and returning islanders made some initial efforts made to destroy them; in fact, as one returnee put it, some people ‘derived great joy in demolishing’ concrete fortifications after seeing what the Germans had done to their island.51 However, the ‘erasure’ phase was relatively shortlived once it became clear how difficult this task would be.52 Hence, the substantive nature of the bunkers and other occupation-era fortifications has meant that many survive in the landscape today, albeit it in an altered state.53 Many residents reused materials taken from these structures; for example, one account describes how German tripwire and stones covering gun emplacements were used to build a garden wall.54 In the years that followed homecoming, and due to the wider financial crisis in the UK, a ‘post-war scrap drive’ occurred and Davenport has recalled how many of the metal components from Alderney’s fortifications – such as rangefinders, observation domes and the like – also became useful resources.55 As people tried to instil some sense of normality back into their lives, paradoxically, they permanently imprinted some aspects of the occupation into the landscape through the incorporation of building materials and structures. Bereft of their military paraphernalia, the bunkers and other concrete structures have undergone numerous transformations in the years since. Most came under private ownership once the land divisions in Alderney had been re-established in the late 1940s. Some were abandoned or buried. Others were reused for a variety of purposes or were demolished by Territorial Army sappers during annual visits to the island that continued well into the 1960s.56 Two local historians, Colin Partridge and Trevor Davenport, have produced several monographs on the fortifications, while several articles have appeared on this topic in the Channel Islands Occupation Society Review in an attempt to raise awareness of the importance of these sites as military heritage.57 Emerging several decades later than their counterparts in Jersey and Guernsey, only a handful of more recent initiatives have sought to restore and protect Alderney’s fortifications. In early 2002, the Alderney Wildlife

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Trust restored a bunker close to Alderney’s south coast which they continue to maintain. Although the original purpose of the structure is alluded to in literature about the site, the narrative around the bunker is dominated by Alderney’s natural history. Alderney Wildlife Trust’s website describes it as ‘home to nesting swallows every Spring. It is always a great place to stop off along your walk around the headland and on a clear day you get fantastic view of all the other Channel Islands.’58 Other structures were initially preserved only to be neglected later. For example, the OT hospital, used by Alderney’s Civil Defence Unit and the Royal Alderney Militia since the 1980s, was maintained and retains many original fixtures.59 However, in recent years, it has been used as a storage facility by the States of Alderney.60 During archaeological fieldwork between 2010 and 2017, it was commonly observed that most of the fortifications continued to be used for other purposes (Figure 11.7). The majority are used as storage facilities but more unusual transformations include a pub, a children’s playhouse and unofficial nightclubs that form part of the popular ‘bunker party’ movement that has existed in the Channel Islands for decades.61 The latter, coupled

Figure 11.7  Occupation heritage in 2015: a bunker with a greenhouse extension (top left), one of many bunkers used for bunker parties (top right), a Nazi eagle repainted by the owner of the bunker to preserve it (bottom right) and one of several recently spray-painted swastikas

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with the fact that the fortifications are often used as local hangouts, has resulted in graffiti, litter, human excrement, posters and other detritus. Antisemitic markings and several spray-painted swastikas were also noted during fieldwork.62 Some private owners have attempted to protect the wartime history, cleaning up fortifications on their land and preserving occupation-era inscriptions and motifs, but these remain in the minority. Locals have salvaged military paraphernalia and items that may have belonged to the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers; some following serendipitous discoveries (e.g. when working the land, or due to erosion), others with a view to adding to their private collections. Some bunkers have taken on the ‘aesthetics of disappearance’, having been left to become overgrown or buried.63 It should be noted that, although all the pre-war forts on Alderney have survived along with most of their German additions, several have been abandoned and are in a terrible state of disrepair (Figure 2.13). Some have been turned into private homes and holiday lets (Figure 2.3). Others, like Fort Albert and Fort Grosnez, are used by the Rifle Club Trust, States of Alderney Works Department and port authorities.64 Hence, neglect or reuse of heritage sites has not been exclusive to occupation-era structures, again likely as a result of Alderney’s unique geography and political status (discussed further below). Over the course of the 2010s, there has been a notable shift in approach and the fortifications at Douglas Quay, Bibette Head and Fort Tourgis Battery have all been restored. Information panels have also been installed by the Living Islands project and as part of the Bunker Day initiative in order to highlight their functions during WW2.65 The Alderney Society and Visit Alderney (Alderney’s tourist board) also recently joined the European Network ‘Atlantikwall Europe’ in order to ‘commemorate this aspect of history and preserve its heritage’.66 What is notable, however, is the fact that this network makes no reference to those who built the Atlantic Wall on its website.67 Alderney’s focus too remains on the military aspects of this heritage. The treatment of the fortifications has resulted from several factors. On a practical level, these structures represented resources that islanders could reuse in the years following liberation and since. On a small island, where space and resources remain limited, they continue to fulfil individual and collective needs. Beyond this, and consistent with other Nazi geographies in Europe, the fortifications have been – and to a certain extent continue to be – seen as ‘uncomfortable heritage’.68 For many, they were, and are, painful reminders of the devastation of Alderney and the hardships faced by the islanders who came back.69 Carr has argued that, after liberation, and throughout the Channel Islands, many islanders made a decision to

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‘identify with the Churchillian paradigm, namely that the British were not a nation of victims, but of victors’, an approach that led to certain narratives and sites being diluted, forgotten and marginalised.70 Even though time has seemingly altered local approaches to the fortifications as heritage, their dual roles as both military objects and sites of trauma has still not been acknowledged.71 As a former President of the States of Alderney noted, 'Alderney has found it hard to comprehend the evil that was brought to the Island’, an ‘evil’ that for many was embodied by the fortifications.72

Camps and cemeteries Even though the condition of the fortifications vary, these structures remain prominent in the landscape; hence, it is more difficult for them to become erased from public consciousness. Conversely, with regards to the camps connected to forced and slave labour, their physical condition has allowed them to be overlooked and ignored. The evolution of these sites has already been documented at length but in short, all fell into disrepair in the years after the war. Remaining barracks were sold off and re-erected, becoming unrecognisable in the years that followed as ‘standardisation also made it easy to re-erect them with different door and window positions’.73 The  former sites of the camps were put to a variety of reuses, including (but not limited to) a campsite (Norderney), holiday park (Le Vallée), farm and rubbish dump (Borkum), airport (Sylt), housing development (Helgoland) and lumberyard (camp off Le Val). That is not to say that the experiences of the labourers within them were totally ignored after the war. The 1970s, 1980s and 1990s were marked by the return of several survivors and their families to the island and the emergence of an active survivor society – the Amicale Anciens Déportés de l’île anglo-normande d’Aurigny – comprised largely of French Jews who had been housed in Norderney.74 Many survivors were supported by local historians and politicians – most notably Jon Kay-Mouat, Brian Bonnard, Peter Arnold and Colin Partridge – who facilitated visits, events and the publication of memoirs.75 In 1990, the States of Alderney even financed a visit by former OT labourer Georgi Kondakov.76 Yet, the sites themselves are largely ‘forgotten’ ‘non-sites of memory’ (according to Lanzmann and Sendyka’s definition) in that they remain overgrown and abandoned, with ‘no memorial markers or inadequate ones’.77 In the early 1990s, former prisoner Otto Spehr expressed his confusion concerning the situation in Alderney to journalist Madeleine Bunting: ‘in Germany … the sites of the SS camps have become carefully tended gardens of remembrance, often with well-funded museums and archives attached. But the site of the SS Sylt camp on Alderney is a wasteland covered with

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brambles.’78 His disbelief was compounded by the fact that he had managed to get the German government to commit half of the funding for a memorial at Sylt, yet he claimed that the States of Alderney would not agree to its creation.79 It would take until 2008 for a memorial plaque to be erected, this time on the initiative of former SS BB1 prisoner Sylwester Kukuła (Figure 11.8, top left).80 This remains the only marker at any of the camps which directly refers back to its former use and, despite its presence, Sylt remains ‘covered in brambles’.81 The Hammond Memorial, situated close to Norderney camp (but not directly referring to it), is one of only three other memorials that refer to the presence of forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers on Alderney (Figure 11.8, top right). It too was built on the initiative of private individuals (the Hammond family) and remains a focus of annual commemorative ceremonies honouring the labourers from many countries who suffered and died on the island.82 The only other reminders are a small plaque on the side of the Alderney Museum, which includes a map showing the locations of the four main camps, and another on the side of St Anne’s church, originally erected to honour Soviet citizens buried in the churchyard (now exhumed)

Figure 11.8  Memorials honouring the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers sent to Alderney: on the gateposts at Sylt (top left), the Hammond Memorial (top right), on the side of the Alderney Museum (bottom left) and St Anne’s church (bottom right)

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(Figure 11.8, bottom left and right). To return to Sylt, in the absence of a formal heritage strategy, some of the private landowners who own the site and other members of the local population have been keen to ensure that its history is not forgotten. From ensuring that vegetation over the surviving concrete traces is cut back (especially following archaeological works in 2013) and leaving flowers next to the camp gate, through to supporting the archaeological investigations proposed by the authors, these individuals are heritage activists.83 The forced and slave worker cemeteries in St Anne and Longy share a similarly tumultuous post-liberation history. As already noted in Chapter 8, between 1945 and 1952, debates ensued concerning who was responsible for these sites – in particular, who should pay for their upkeep – and their condition deteriorated as a result.84 The Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC) believed that the Soviet Union would have little interest in the graves because the individuals buried there were captured by the Germans, while the States of Alderney refused to meet the costs associated with the erection of new markers because the bodies were of foreign nationals and because they doubted testimonies about the presence of additional graves.85 When the Soviet government was eventually approached, some funds were forthcoming but no major investment was made, most likely (as the IWGC suggested) because the graves were deemed to belong to so-called ‘traitors to the motherland’ (Chapter 10).86 We have found no record of any attempt by the British or local Alderney government to contact representatives from the other countries from which the deceased workers came, thus further embedding the narrative that they were all ‘Russian’. Hence, the cemeteries – and the individuals buried within them – became ‘orphan heritage’, for which there was little interest in taking responsibility.87 The cemeteries were – and still are – viewed as ‘places of pain and shame’, as they are a reminder of actions that ran contrary to the preferred ‘official history’ of occupation developed in the aftermath of the war.88 Once the graves were exhumed in 1961, the cemeteries also became ‘non-sites’ in the minds of the local and British government, and they have remained unmarked in the years since.89 Such an approach illustrates that it was the bodies, as opposed to the site itself, which were deemed to have bestowed significance upon these locations. This outlook is problematic on several levels. First, it has contributed to the diminishing memory of the forced, slave and less-than-slave workers by literally erasing them from the landscape. Second, in Judaism, cemeteries retain their significance in perpetuity, regardless of whether bodies are buried therein; hence, for the Jewish community, the failure to mark the cemetery and protect it from damage is highly offensive.90 Third, such an approach fails to account for the fact that further bodies that were

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­ verlooked or only partially removed during the 1961 exhumations are o most likely still present (Chapter 8). Because the importance of the site is no longer recognised, it has been disturbed on several occasions since the end of WW2. Geophysical survey confirmed the presence of a pipe that runs through the centre of its former area (Chapter 8), while some of the archaeological works were inhibited by the fact that animal paddocks sometimes covered the site. In 2016, the lack of protection was again highlighted when the installation of an electricity cable (FAB Link) was proposed from France to England via Alderney. A failure to acknowledge the ongoing importance of the site and a lack of markers defining its location meant that the original planned cable route was set to go through the former cemetery area.91 Although several reports concerning the findings of archaeological works in this area already existed and were known to the local authorities, ground testing works commenced. Following interventions by concerned locals, the authors and representatives from the Jewish community in the UK, the FAB Link management team did quickly agree to adopt a buffer/no excavation zone around the cemetery and the planned cable route was revised.92 However, it is regrettable that the site’s significance was not acknowledged before this area was even considered as a potential development site and that outside interventions were needed to highlight this. In the years since liberation, complex debates have ensued about how/if Alderney’s occupation-era heritage should be protected at all and whether tourism connected to it should be permitted. Although the sites of the former camps were marked on free tourist maps produced by Visit Alderney when we first visited Alderney in 2010, they were later removed suggesting that in recent years they did not form part of the approved tourism offering. Debates on this topic were perhaps most sharply brought into focus during discussions as to whether Sylt should be registered as a conservation area in 2015. Most members of the voting committee of the States of Alderney agreed that it was necessary to ‘protect this unique part of our history in the name of compassion and sympathy’, considering its local, national and international significance.93 Post-austerity, there have been more calls to develop the occupation sites because of the financial benefits that tourism would have: there should be some sort of memorial put up there, and some sort of indication that that was happening. People would visit sites like these … if they were more aware of the island’s ‘unique wartime interest’. Look at the prisoner-ofwar camps in Poland and in Germany which attract an enormous amount of visitors every year and bring in much-needed revenue …We need that sort of thing.94

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However, the Vice-President (in 2015) argued that:

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we're supposed to be a lovely island, going forward … I'm more interested in the future, basically, than what’s gone on in the past, because the past is gone. We can’t change it, and do we want to continue to drag up the downside of what went on in Alderney all those years ago?95

This desire to move forward continues to reflect many attitudes after homecoming and, during many discussions with States members by the authors, it became evident that there is a desire (understandably) not to upset the older generation that returned.96 The camps thus became and remain taboo. This is partly due to their ‘associations with death, suffering and the seemingly macabre’, but also because they became ‘unwanted’ and ‘difficult’ heritage as they drew attention to aspects of history that some members of the population feel do not align with their efforts to achieve a ‘positive, self-affirming contemporary identity’.97 The desire not to see the island ‘tainted’ by the occupation history does seem to be a prevalent opinion among many government officials, members of the local historical society and (to a lesser extent) the general populace. Other arguments against preserving Sylt expressed in 2015 centred on the belief that nothing survived: ‘if there were buildings or something there worth conserving, I might have a different opinion; but there is nothing, apart from a broken old wash trough […] and a load of brambles’.98 While this view was challenged by other States members, it is interesting to note that the findings of archaeological works carried out at the site by the authors in the years immediately prior (which uncovered an abundance of traces) were not referred to as a counter-argument. Allowing tourists to visit the sites is also seen by some community members as ‘ghoulish’ or likely to ‘glorify the Nazis’ wonderful achievements’.99 While these important considerations should be borne in mind when developing heritage offerings, these views banish the sites of forced and slave labour to the narrow definition of ‘dark tourism’, thus ignoring the other reasons why individuals might want to visit.100 This failure to consider the needs of the descendants of the labourers (who survived and died), students, educators or the wide range of individuals who wish to pay their respects to those who perished is consistent with the approach that has been taken since the end of the war.101 One respondent to Sylt being made a Conservation Area argued, ‘just leave it to get even more overgrown, stop advertising slave camps, pass an ordinance to make it illegal to excavate or interfere with old German structures’ as it simply draws unwanted attention to the sites.102 As Carr has argued, ‘vegetation has been an active agent in promoting the forgetting of these sites’, not just in Alderney but all over Europe.103



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Heritage legislation Thus far, most efforts to protect the occupation-era sites have come from interested locals (most of whom are not affiliated with government) and outside sources. In part, this is due to the lack of adequate protection for the sites via planning and heritage legislation on Alderney. Although Alderney is a British Crown Dependency, the local government is able to devise its own laws relating to most aspects of everyday life; thus, heritage sites do not fall under the auspice of organisations such as Historic England or the National Trust, nor are they subject to UK planning and heritage laws. The Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments (Alderney) Law which made reference to ‘heritage assets’ was only created in 1989 and its first entries were not added to the Historic Buildings, Ancient Monuments and  Conservation Areas List until 1991.104 As of 2016, Alderney’s renamed Register of Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments (henceforth referred to as the Register) contained only two sites dating to WW2 –an Odeon direction finder and a water tower.105 Some of the fortifications built by the Germans were included in the Register as a consequence of being attached to earlier constructions, such as the Victorian forts and residential properties (most of which were not registered until 2006), but their occupation-era elements were not specifically protected. Likewise, although Longy Common is on the Register as a Conservation Area, its inclusion relates more to its value as a natural asset rather than its archaeological importance. Only one subterranean archaeological site was included in the Register overall, suggesting a general lack of protection for anything other than standing structures; hence, limited heritage protection is not something unique to occupationera sites.106 That said, the fact that none of the former labour and concentration camps were included on this list suggests that they were not considered areas ‘of special historic or architectural interest – the character or ­appearance of which is judged should be preserved or enhanced as a matter of public importance’.107 Although new research emerged in relation to the occupation-era sites following archaeological works between 2006 and 2017, no new entries were added to the Register during this period. Approaches to Alderney’s heritage are also influenced by the Land Use Plan (LUP). Prepared and implemented by the Building and Development Control Committee (BDCC) under Section 4 of the BDC Law, the LUP sets out a vision for the development of Alderney and considerations during the planning process.108 During the period in which the 2006 LUP was in place (until 2017), ‘if a proposed development is likely to infringe upon a potentially important archaeological site listed within the “Sites and Monuments Record”, then the Committee shall seek the advice of

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an appropriate organisation on how best to proceed’.109 However, this approach did little to protect the sites connected to forced and slave labour. First, it relied on sites already being listed within the Register or Sites and Monuments Record (a separate list of archaeological sites maintained by the Alderney Museum in which only seven occupation-era sites, including Sylt, were listed).110 Second, the ‘appropriate organisation’ selected by the States of Alderney was the Alderney Society comprising local historians and volunteers who, although knowledgeable about local heritage including the occupation, did not engage in detail with the history of the forced and slave labour programme. Finally, the aforementioned FAB Link proposal – test drilling for which had already been undertaken by the time opposition was raised – demonstrates that even locations like Longy Common (which are listed as Conservation Areas due to its natural assets) can still be developed in certain circumstances.111 In 2016, a new LUP was drafted by international consultancy firm Arup. Following site visits and consultations with a wide range of heritage professionals and other experts (including the authors, the director of the National Anglo-Jewish Heritage Trail and local historians), the LUP 2017 recognised that ‘some heritage assets on the island suffer from a lack of maintenance’, including those from WW2.112 The LUP called for greater protection and precautionary measures in relation to these sites ‘reflecting that once lost they are irreplaceable’, while an accompanying Built Environment and Heritage Strategy observed that ‘it is important that where warranted WW2 areas of significance and the sites of war time relevance are appropriately protected to ensure that those who died on the Island are afforded the respect they deserve’.113 The latter Strategy included an audit of Alderney’s heritage assets.114 This represented an important milestone in gaining greater recognition for occupation-era sites, particularly those related to forced and slave labour. Following acceptance of this document by the States of Alderney, a Call for Sites was announced with the aim of eliciting information about places that might be missing from the Register and which remained under threat.115 Sixty-five sites were suggested by the public and experts, the majority of which were recommended for ‘protection measures’ by Arup on the basis of the occupation-era remains (including materials connected to forced and slave labour) that survived there.116 Of these, it was recommended that some were included in the Register and that precautionary measures be taken in the meantime, should planning applications propose to affect them. This included Sylt, Norderney, Borkum and Helgoland camps, the potential camp at La Corvée, several clusters of fortifications (such as Bibette Head and Giffoine) and the cemetery area on Longy Common.117 The potential ‘V1 site’ adjacent and within the tunnels off

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Water Lane (discussed in Chapter 6) was not recommended for entry on the Register at this stage but precautionary measures were suggested in light of the detailed information provided in the Call for Sites submission.118 Unfortunately, however, the recommendations made in both the LUP and the Call for Sites have resulted in very little in the way of practical protection measures for the places relating to forced and slave labour. Although Sylt was meant to be designed a Conservation Area in December 2017, it has since emerged that this did not occur until June 2021 and none of the other recommended sites have yet been knowingly included in the Register or received other forms of protection at the time of writing.119 The LUP also does not account for the fact that the existence of archaeological sites may not be known or (in the case of many sites connected to forced and slave labour) may still be ignored. Additionally, as with the LUP 2006, inclusion in the Register still does not guarantee that a site will not be redeveloped, only that its status be considered should any applications be made to do so.120 Many occupation-era structures and camps fall within the ‘Building Area’ defined by the LUP and so have already been affected by development. Examples include the camps in Le Val, Newtown, St Anne and on Longy Road (Chapter 6) as well as Helgoland (Chapter 3). Six of the Victorian forts (all of which have WW2 additions) and the German Battery at Platte Saline are all included in a list entitled ‘other opportunity areas’, which are considered suitable for redevelopment.121 While any permitted development would be expected to respect the historic character of these buildings and ‘reinstate lost features of value as far as possible’, archaeological features such as the marks made by the forced and slave labourers, military slogans and paintings made by German personnel could be put at risk.122 Finally, the LUP also recognises that the various ‘heritage assets’ on the island are ‘rich, diverse and plentiful assets which can be sensitively re-used to provide economic benefit for the island’.123 Although this creates opportunities for restoration works and further research at these sites, it also opens up the possibility that sites relating to forced and slave labour could be developed and made into tourist attractions in the future. This has the potential to ensure that the labourers’ experiences are commemorated but, depending on the nature of the tourism strategy, to lead to damage and/or modifications to surviving remains.

Responses to archaeological proposals and works Many of the arguments against raising awareness of occupation-era sites described were presented to us on numerous occasions in response to our requests to undertake archaeological research at sites of forced and slave labour on Alderney. Unpacking these reactions is important, not only in terms of understanding the implications of undertaking archaeological

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work, but also in terms of devising future strategies for the sites and associated educational initiatives that balance local concerns with a need to commemorate the victims. When archaeological research was initially proposed in 2009, the Alderney Society (the island’s historical society) wrote to us stating that ‘the proposed areas of investigation have already been exhaustively covered and would NOT provide a viable research project. It was firmly held that this would be waste [sic] of your department’s time and money.’124 After extensive discussions – and presentations concerning the potential of the archaeological methods and the importance of learning more about the labourers’ experiences – the research and fieldwork was permitted. Undoubtedly the non-invasive nature of the works played a role in this because they avoided the physical and metaphorical unearthing of the still-painful remains of the occupation. However, as described by Carr and Sturdy Colls, ‘the archaeological work and associated programme of historical research has, in many ways, made the legacies of the occupation even more taboo’ by bringing to light information about the crimes perpetrated.125 The result was that – although many members of the community were supportive (with local landowners facilitating our work in a variety of ways [and some members of the States of Alderney and the Alderney Society speaking in favour of external research and permitting various works to go ahead]) – more resistance to the works was encountered in the years that followed. Ultimately, all requests to excavate on States-owned land have been denied. Some noninvasive­works at Sylt, Norderney and Longy Common were also not permitted on the grounds that these sites were ‘too sensitive’; highlighting their existence, it was suggested, would bring unwanted attention to the island.126 It has regularly been proposed by the States of Alderney and the Alderney Society that islanders should be the ones to write the history of this period, not ­outsiders – a view not uncommon in small communities or among groups dealing with contested heritage.127 In 2015, the States of Alderney and others cited a forthcoming historical review on the occupation as a reason to delay on-site investigations at Sylt and other occupationera sites; unfortunately, this review was never made public.128 In the context of occupation research more widely, representatives of the States of Alderney have also argued that the declassification of further British and German documents represents the only means by which a clearer picture of the occupation will emerge.129 While undoubtedly more source material would enhance our knowledge of the occupation, these claims fail to acknowledge that: (a) the documents that remain classified appear to be predominantly ones where a portion of the file has been redacted because they contain sensitive personal information (e.g. about disabled persons); (b) copies of many redacted files can be found in other archival holdings

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and documents long-thought missing have now been found, for example Pantcheff’s ‘Report on Atrocities Committed in Alderney (1942–1945)’; (c) an abundance of material is already available in archives all over the world (as shown in this volume) that clearly illustrate the terrible plight of the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers; and (d) it is precisely because some documents are missing that archaeological investigations represent such an important means through which to reveal new information.130 The reactions to a documentary about the archaeological investigations made by the Smithsonian Channel and aired in 2019, and responses to an article in 2020 about the works at Sylt, further confirm the divided opinion about the future of the sites connected to forced and slave labour as they exist between the local government and community. The film set out to document some of the historical and archaeological investigations relating to the labourers on Alderney and to raise awareness of the events, given the aforementioned issues with a lack of protection for the sites and the failure of both the local and British government to fully acknowledge the crimes perpetrated on British soil. Although filming took place in 2017, production had begun in 2015 and the film was informed by historical research and archaeological fieldwork undertaken since 2010. Although the States of Alderney had initially allowed some aspects of the filming and accompanying fieldwork to go ahead in 2015 and 2016, in 2017 they opposed plans to carry out a small-scale excavation of the toilet block at Sylt concentration camp (where objects were already visible on the surface and thus under threat), undertake drone surveys and carry out further non-invasive research on Longy Common. The Alderney Society also ‘made attempts ‘to stop the crew’s surveys’.131 Ultimately, after extensive negotiations, only limited investigations were permitted once again. Shortly after the filming, an article appeared in the Guernsey Press in which a representative of the States of Alderney stated: we welcome academic research and supervised, archaeological investigation to high professional standards … But I’m not sure a TV documentary is the way to do it. The States of Alderney need to develop a coherent policy on how we deal with archaeological research, who we want and what we want.132

For some, the presence of the media devalued the archaeological research, even though all of the work proposed was to be carried out in accordance with recognised national and international standards. What followed shortly thereafter in 2018 was the Alderney Archaeology – Code of Practice, the first document in the island’s history to stipulate the procedures for applying for and carrying out archaeological works on Alderney. While having recognised standards is clearly an important form of heritage protection, the content of the Code of Practice does indicate that future

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work relating to the forced and slave workers may be even more difficult to initiate. For example, the document states that ‘sensationalist work can bring the island into disrepute’ and this will be considered when the States of Alderney decide whether to permit archaeological excavations.133 If any work related to the forced and slave labourers is deemed to be ‘sensationalist’ by default, this begs the question whether permission for research on this topic will be granted in the future. Interestingly, the document states that ‘non-intrusive survey work would not normally require permission of the States of Alderney but this would be recommended in order to ensure the quality of the work and protect the reputation of the island’.134 When the documentary film aired in 2019, some local historians also pushed back against the findings – some even before they had seen the film outlining what they were – claiming that they were incorrect, biased and formulated by non-experts.135 Following the publication of an academic paper about our work at Sylt in the journal Antiquity in 2020, calls were once again made for the re-establishment of the Alderney Heritage group and one local historian suggested that Alderney needed to ‘take control of the situation and … set out a programme for balancing the interrogation of all surviving records with an approved plan for further site investigation, subject to established protocols, before any site interpretation is feasible’. These reactions give cause to reflect on what the archaeological works and efforts by other heritage activists have achieved on Alderney if sites remain unprotected and some local opinions about the history of this period remain unchanged. It is certainly unfortunate that the opposition directed towards those who seek to discuss the issue of forced and slave labour continue to dominate discussions (and therefore press coverage) relating to the crimes perpetrated on Alderney, as this serves to further detract from the stories of those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime. Yet, perhaps in this case, as McAtackney has argued, the contestation over sites and the accompanying discussions that take place mean that these places become heritage (albeit ‘unresolved’) by default.136 Certainly, wider academic and public awareness of these sites – and most importantly the people ­connected to them – has emerged as a result of the archaeological works and a number of educational programmes in the UK and USA have been spawned as a result. Particularly following the airing of the 2019 documentary and 2020 publication, individual current and former States members have come forward to express their own views, which often differ from the official local government position. Some have argued that ‘the time has now come to work together’ rather than opposing outside interest in the topic, confirming that ‘the island will not look very good unless it does face up to the facts’.137 Likewise, many members of the local (and international) community wrote to us in support of future work and to highlight the fact

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that the film and our publications have informed them about several aspects of history about which they were previously unaware.138 Work by Kerti, Sturdy Colls and Swetnam, and Sturdy Colls and Colls, has also involved the development of digital heritage tools concerning Sylt and Norderney labour and concentration camps, some of which have been user-tested in a number of UK secondary schools and at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM).139 Hence, while the sites themselves are not necessarily accessible to everyone or preserved, the archaeological works, coupled with publications and the television documentary, have facilitated other forms of access and inspired others to share information about them. As further publications (including this book) are released, and the States of Alderney progresses with the implementation of the 2017 LUP, it remains to be seen whether the archaeological research will inform decisions concerning the future of these sites and influence historical narratives about this period. One of the key challenges we have faced during our work is the changing membership of the States of Alderney which impacted upon responses to the works in each of our field seasons and to the reception of our results thereafter. Likewise, local developments and pressures that emerged independently of any dynamics specifically associated with attitudes towards the occupation affected the reception we received and, at times, rendered  many of the widely accepted forms of community engagement we employed mute. Our work on Alderney has highlighted the need for a responsive and wide-ranging approach to both the acquisition of archaeological data and its dissemination in an environment with a complex and difficult history.

Future challenges and approaches The legacies highlighted in this chapter clearly illustrate the far-reaching impact that the occupation had, and continues to have, on both Alderney’s population and its landscape. Attempts by the local population to come to terms with their homecoming and with the changes caused by the presence of the both the German garrison and an oppressed labour force (which still persist to this day) have been accompanied by the efforts of subsequent generations and incomers to variably negotiate, appropriate, ignore and promote the physical traces left behind. The scale of the fortifications has in many ways made the heritage of the occupation inescapable, while simultaneously overshadowing the less permanent sites connected to forced and slave labour, and the experiences of those connected to them. Although some have staunchly advocated for the protection of occupation-era sites (including the camps and cemeteries), there also appears to be a sense of

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disconnect between some members of the local population (and the wider British public) and the labourers sent to the island. This disconnect has materialised in responses to the ‘orphan heritage’ that they left behind.140 Many sites have become overgrown or buried, and many have been redeveloped. Very little information is available for visitors (local and international) about the experiences of the labourers who suffered on the island and the camps and burial sites remain particularly controversial. Although historical and archaeological research has begun to illustrate the potential to reveal more information about these sites and individuals, the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers are still not adequately commemorated at either a local, national or international level. While many of the reasons why sites of forced and slave labour remain unprotected relate directly to the ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘taboo’ nature of this heritage, several other factors have been shown to be influential. Consistent with the findings of many studies centred on attitudes towards heritage and tourism, it appears that the issue of proximity in Alderney has also come to bear upon the way occupation-era sites are perceived.141 Being a small, densely populated island, which is relatively difficult to access and where space is limited, issues of land ownership, development pressures and fears over the negative impact of dark tourism are prevalent. Owing to these geographic and demographic conditions, after WW2 many of the traces of the occupation also became (and continue to be) resources to be recycled. Discussions concerning heritage – and not just that pertaining to the occupation period – have often been secondary to wider concerns about sustaining and providing for the population. These conclusions raise important questions about how the memory of the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers can be satisfactorily honoured and how educational strategies can capture the complex legacies of the occupation period, while also taking into account the concerns of the local community and the pressures they face. As interest in the occupation of Alderney grows (particularly in the media) and as more physical evidence is revealed, several future challenges and opportunities in addition to those discussed above will undoubtedly arise. Some locals have begun to recognise that, if ‘handled correctly it [the German occupation of Alderney] could contribute a great deal to the recovery of our economy’. This acknowledgement opens up the possibility that the sites and history of the occupation will receive greater attention, but also has the potential to result in further distortion and marginalisation. Encouragingly, international interest in Alderney’s occupation and Holocaust heritage is growing, and a sense of shared heritage is emerging among communities in the UK and across the world. Recent interest in Alderney by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation (UKHMF) has already

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begun to spark discussions about heritage management and the presentation of the history of the occupation locally, nationally and internationally.142 However, as Britain moves forward with plans for a Holocaust Learning Centre and Memorial (most likely next to the Houses of Parliament), a key question remains: how will the British government approach this difficult part of our shared European history? Recent discussions with the authors have illustrated a commitment to address these events and to highlight the stories of the labourers who suffered as a result, suggesting a key turning point has been reached in moving away from the ‘official history’ cemented at local and national level after WW2. But in doing so, several challenges remain. First, the results presented in this volume have included considerable evidence that human remains resulting from the Nazi occupation are most likely still on British soil. This raises the question of whether these possible graves will, and should, be investigated further and/or whether they will be memorialised. It should be noted that no excavations of Longy Common cemetery have been proposed by the authors owing to the complexities surrounding who the victims might be and where any recovered bodies would be reinterred. Jewish leaders in the UK have requested that the site remain untouched as it is possible that Jewish victims might be buried there. This request stems from the need to uphold Halacha (Jewish law) which stipulates that Jewish remains buried in a grave should not be disturbed.143 Instead, rabbinical leaders have stressed the need for further protection measures at the site in order to prevent any future development works that might threaten the integrity of any graves that are present. Similarly, as already noted, in Jewish law, a cemetery remains a cemetery in perpetuity, and just because human remains have been removed, it does not render a cemetery a ‘non-site’ nor lessen the need to protect it.144 Such requests to avoid excavation do, however, raise a number of important ethical questions concerning the fate of missing persons who are not Jewish and who might still be buried on Longy Common (or indeed elsewhere on the island), not least because research outlined in Chapter 9 suggests that they represent the majority of the individuals who remain missing persons.145 As yet, there have been no calls from the relatives or communities affiliated with non-Jewish victims to undertake exhumations, suggesting that protection measures present an acceptable solution that will ensure that the remains will not be further affected by development while also facilitating new commemorative and educational opportunities, and discussions are ongoing in this regard. Questions also remain over who should decide the fate of the camps and cemeteries. How should they be presented? How can meaningful educational and commemorative offerings be created when few physical

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remains survive above the ground? Will archaeological research related to the forced and slave labour programme be permitted in the future and who will be permitted to undertake it? Can these sites be investigated further or presented to the public when they remain so contested? As we have argued elsewhere as part of our wider research on the ethical issues surrounding the investigation of episodes of mass violence, these questions have no simple answers.146 A number of these issues have arisen at other sites connected to Nazi persecution in Europe. Certainly, in planning future approaches, inspiration can be drawn from similar contexts around the world where more comfortable heritage or subtle interventions have been used to provide an in-road to more uncomfortable topics. For example, numerous initiatives in Europe – many of which are connected to Alderney through shared or similar events and experiences – highlight the potential to utilise military sites as a point of departure to discuss the stories of individuals who may have suffered at these locations. Notable cases include the Route de la Liberation, an international remembrance trail that follows the route taken by the Western Allies and documents the suffering experienced in pursuit of the liberation of Europe, and the Valentin Bunker Memorial, which has utilised the largest free-standing bunker in Europe built by forced labourers and concentration camp inmates in order to offer an insight into the human cost of the Nazis’ military and economic aspirations.147 A similar approach in Alderney would also offer the means to acknowledge both military significance of the fortifications, while recognising and highlighting the plight of the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers for whom they became ‘traumascapes’ and ‘deathscapes’.148 Similarly, non-invasive survey work, further on-site information, local educational initiatives and the dissemination of new research in relation to the camps and cemeteries could also contribute to raising awareness of the events that took place and rehumanise the victims. Countless archaeological projects and Holocaust and genocide memorials and museums have illustrated the power of connecting sites, objects and personal stories as a means of allowing visitors to identify with individuals as people and not just numbers.149 Many have done so in ways that do not require large-scale, overbearing interventions in the landscape and have utilised surviving archaeological evidence in order to convey the architecture and experiences associated with sites of oppression and mass violence.150 Future plans should take into account the fact that – as we have repeatedly argued throughout this book – Alderney was part of a network of sites across Europe, and thus there are opportunities to connect with and draw inspiration from a range of memorials and museums at former camps and sites of forced labour. As examples from Bergen-Belsen, Janowska and Alderney itself demonstrate, as both an intermediary measure while these

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discussions continue and as a complementary resource, digital tools offer new opportunities to share information about sites where few obvious visible traces remain and/or which are otherwise difficult or impossible to access.151 What is clear is that future discussions concerning the sites connected to forced and slave labour on Alderney – in particular any unidentified graves and places of persecution – requires a coordinated, international, multifaith and cross-government approach that considers all local, national and international ramifications of this history as well as the religious and cultural issues associated with it. Community-led initiatives, with international support, should form part of future strategies to ensure that local concerns can be addressed, and the desire for knowledge that clearly exists can be satisfied. Unless such an approach occurs, it is likely that the same patterns are destined to be repeated, with the effect that the memory of the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers will continue to be diluted and distorted. Fortunately, at the time of writing, such discussions are going ahead and offer hope for the future.

Notes 1 B. Bonnard, Alderney at War (Stroud: Alan Sutton, 1993), pp. 132–135. 2 G. Carr and C. Sturdy Colls, ‘Taboo and Sensitive Heritage: Labour Camps, Burials and the Role of Activism in the Channel Islands’, International Journal of Heritage Studies (2016). DOI:10.1080/13527258.2016.1191524. 3 M. Packe, and M. Dreyfus, The Alderney Story 1939–1949 (Guernsey: Guernsey Press, 1971), p. 84. 4 TNA, CRES35/1768, ‘Committee of Inquiry on Alderney’, 11 July 1945. 5 Ibid. 6 JA, L/C/14/C/16, ‘Hygiene Report – Alderney’, 6 June 1945. 7 TNA, DEFE2/1296, ‘Coastal Defence of the Channel Islands’, 1945; AMA, 96/265.17/18. 8 TNA, HO45/25927, ‘Appreciation of the Situation by Commander, Force 135. Brigadier Snow’, 20 May 1945. 9 JA, L/C/14/C/19, ‘War diary of the Alderney Force under Lt. Colonel E Jones’, 30 June 1945. 10 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 135; Barney Winder, pers. comm. 11 JA, L/C/14/C/19, ‘War diary of the Alderney Force under Lt. Colonel E Jones’, 21 June 1945. 12 Ibid.; JA, L/C/14/C/5, ‘War diary of Lt Col. W.B. Churchill-Longman. Unit 810PW Camp’, June 1945. 13 JA, L/C/14/C/5, Various reports entitled ‘COSITINTREP’, May–June 1945; TNA, CAB121/367, ‘Channel Islands Progress Reports’, 8 and 15 August 1945.

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14 Packe, and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story, p. 79. 15 Ibid., p. 83. 16 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 117. 17 TNA, WO311/11, ‘Letter from Major Haddock to Brigadier Shapcott’, 21 May 1945. 18 TNA, CRES35/1768, ‘Committee of Inquiry on Alderney’, 11 July 1945. 19 JA, L/C/14/C/19, ‘War diary of the Alderney Force under Lt Colonel E. Jones’, 24 June 1945; Packe and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story, p. 86. 20 JA, L/D/25/A/4, ‘The Alderney Story’, 1945–1968; T. Davenport, Alderney’s Victorian Forts and Harbour (Alderney: Alderney Society and Museum, 2013, 2nd edn), p.  29; T. Davenport, Festung Alderney (Jersey: Barnes Publishing Limited, 2003), p. 35. 21 Packe and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story, pp.  86–90; JA, L/D/25/A/4, ‘Letter from the editor’, 9 September 1945. 22 JA, L/D/25/A/4, ‘How our Newspaper got its Title’, 9 September 1945. 23 For examples, see JA, L/D/25/A/4, ‘Der Tag: Türkenburg, Albertburg, Gutshof’ (Tourgis Times and Albert Alert)’, 9 September 1945 and 29 September 1945. 24 Packe and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story, p. 87. 25 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 118. 26 Packe and Dreyfus, The Alderney Story, p. 82. 27 Ibid. 28 Bonnard, Alderney at War, p. 143. 29 AMA, ‘Impressions of Alderney on First Site After Five Years of German Occupation’, undated. 30 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, Interview 4406, ‘Interview with Ruth Herivel’, undated. 31 TNA, HO45/25927, ‘Alderney: Repatriations Claims’, 1945. 32 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, Interview 4404, ‘Interview with Jim Hammond’, undated. 33 AMA, ‘Impressions of Alderney on First Site After Five Years of German Occupation’, undated. 34 TNA, HO45/25927, ‘Alderney: Repatriations Claims’, 1945. 35 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, Interview 4410, ‘Interview with Marion Bates’, undated. Rats were also discussed by Ruth Herivel in IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, Interview 4406, ‘Interview with Ruth Herivel’, undated. 36 AMA, ‘Impressions of life at Houmet Herbe: Alderney: Channel Islands and our first glimpse of the place after our return on Sunday morning March 3 1946’, undated. 37 Photographs of showing Alderney after liberation can be found in AMA, 76/009/18; AMA, 97/312.4. AMA, 96/265.3/18 and PL, Carel Toms Collection for example. 38 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, Interview 4406, ‘Interview with Ruth Herivel’, undated; IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, Interview 4404, ‘Interview with Jim Hammond’, undated.

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39 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, Interview 4406, ‘Interview with Ruth Herivel’, undated; PL, Carel Toms Collection, 1945. 40 Beda Sabire quoted in Bailiwick Express, ‘Homecoming memories shared’, https://gsy.bailiwickexpress.com/gsy/news/homecoming-memories-shared/#. XjmW8nd2vD4 (accessed 14 July 2019). 41 TNA, HO 144/22834, ‘M.I.19 RPS 2141, Report, Channel Islands, Alderney: Further interrogation of informants of M.I.19 (RPS) 2122 and 2136’, 19 April 1944. 42 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, Interview 4404, ‘Interview with Jim Hammond’, undated. 43 For examples, see Chapter 6, this volume. 44 Bonnard, Alderney at War, pp. 150–167. 45 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, Interview 4404, ‘Interview with Jim Hammond’, undated; Beda Sabire quoted in Bailiwick Express, ‘Homecoming memories shared’, https://gsy.bailiwickexpress.com/gsy/news/homecoming-memories-sh ared/#.XjmW8nd2vD4 (accessed 14 July 2019). 46 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, Interview 4404, ‘Interview with Jim Hammond’, undated. 47 Bonnard, Alderney at War, pp. 121–125, 132–142. 48 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, Interview 4410, ‘Interview with Marion Bates’, undated; ‘More memories of Homecoming’, https://binged.it/2GVeblO (accessed 3 February 2020); ‘Homecoming 65 – Reflections’ https://binged. it/2SlvWjo (accessed 3 February 2020). 49 IWM, MISC 2826 189/1–2, Interview 4406, ‘Interview with Ruth Herivel’, undated. 50 G. Carr, Legacies of Occupation: Heritage, Memory and Archaeology in the Channel Islands (New York: Springer, 2014), pp. 93–114. 51 AMA, ‘Impressions of Life at Houmet Herbe: Alderney: Channel Islands and our first glimpse of the place after our return on Sunday morning March 3 1946’, undated. 52 Letter to Gilly Carr from JM, 9 February 2009 cited in Carr, Legacies of Occupation, p. 113. 53 Extensive documentation of the fortifications is included in Davenport, Festung Alderney. 54 AMA, ‘Impressions of Life at Houmet Herbe: Alderney: Channel Islands and our first glimpse of the place after our return on Sunday morning March 3 1946’, undated. 55 Davenport, Festung Alderney, p. 45. 56 Coventry Evening Telegraph, ‘T.A. sappers will aid islanders’, 5 February 1962. 57 Davenport, Alderney’s Victorian Forts and Harbour, p. 29; Davenport, Festung Alderney; C. Partridge and T. Davenport, The Fortifications of Alderney (Alderney: Alderney Publishers, 1993); P. Schenk, ‘Alderney’s German Jetty’, Channel Islands Occupation Review (1988), 9–20; T. Davenport, ‘Tidying up Alderney’s Fortifications and Strongpoint Biberkopf’, Channel Islands

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Occupation Review 44 (2016); T. Davenport and T. Gander, ‘Alderney’, Channel Islands Occupation Review 33 (2005), 8–16. 58 Visit Alderney, ‘Wildlife Bunker’, www.visitalderney.com/see-do/things-to-do/ wildlife-bunker/ (accessed 3 February 2020). 59 For a detailed description of the fixtures, see N. Catford, ‘Alderney Civil Defence’, www.subbrit.org.uk/sites/alderney-cd/ (accessed 3 February 2020). 60 States of Alderney, ‘General Services Committee Minutes’, 10 September 2019, http://alderney.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=121175&p=0 (accessed 3 February 2020). 61 Alderney Bunker Parties, www.facebook.com/AlderneyBunkerParties/ (accessed 10 November 2019). 62 C. Sturdy Colls, R. Bolton-King, K. Colls, T. Harris and C. Weston, ‘Proof of Life: Mark-Making Practices on the Island of Alderney’, European Journal of Archaeology 22:2 (2018), 245. 63 P.  Virilio, Bunker Archaeology (Paris: Les Éditions du DemiCercle, 1975), p. 167. 64 The internal barracks at Fort Albert have long been removed. 65 These areas are highlighted as ‘Things to do’ on Alderney’s tourism website: www.visitalderney.com/see-do/things-to-do/ (accessed 3 February 2020); The Journal, ‘Bunker Day’,14 June 2019. 66 Visit Alderney, ‘Heritage’, www.visitalderney.com/our-island/heritage/ (accessed 3 February 2020). 67 www.atlantikwalleurope.eu/en/entries. 68 L. Schmidt, Architectural Conservation: An Introduction (Berlin/Bonn: Westkreuz-Verlag, 2008), p. 110. 69 AMA, ‘Impressions of Life at Houmet Herbe: Alderney: Channel Islands and our first glimpse of the place after our return on Sunday morning March 3 1946’, undated. 70 Carr, Legacies of Occupation, pp. 88–89. 71 Notable exceptions being M. Ginns, ‘The Organisation Todt and the Fortress Engineers in the Channel Islands’, Channel Islands Occupation Society Archive Book 8 and W. Ramsey, War in the Channel Islands Then and Now (London: Battle of Britain Prints, 1981), pp. 92–116. 72 J. Kay-Mouat, ‘Memorial Service at Jersey Synagogue’, 1998. 73 AMA, 96/028, ‘The Alderney Society Records’, 27 November 1995. 74 For example, L/F/64/A/2, ‘Papers Relating to the Ceremony that Took Place at the Hammond Memorial in Alderney on 25 May 1974 …’, 1973–1974. 75 For example, Brian Bonnard engaged in extensive letter exchanges with Georgi Kondakov and published his memoirs in English along with an accompanying narrative in B. Bonnard, The Island of Dread in the Channel: Story of Georgi Ivanovitch Kondakov (Stroud: Amberley Publishing Limited, 1991); Colin Partridge assisted the Amicale Anciens Déportés de l’île anglo-normande d’Aurigny (Alderney) and letters in AMA show that Peter Arnold exchanged corresponded with Sylwester Kukuła, M. Francis Alföldi, Piotr Zadko and others.

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76 Bonnard, The Island of Dread, pp. 136–143. 77 R. Sendyka, ‘Sites That Haunt: Affects and Non-sites of Memory’, East European Politics and Societies 30:4 (2016), 687. 78 M. Bunting, The Model Occupation – The Channel Islands under German Rule 1940–1945 (London: HarperCollins, 1995), pp. 323–324. 79 Ibid., p. 324. 80 L. Vanaker (ed.), ‘The Striped at Alderney’ (unpublished manuscript, 2008). 81 The Hammond Memorial, which commemorates the forced and slave workers, is located close to Norderney but does not directly refer to the presence of the nearby camp. 82 Visit Alderney, ‘The Hammond Memorial’, www.visitalderney.com/see-do/ things-to-do/hammond-war-memorial/ (accessed 3 February 2020). 83 Carr and Sturdy Colls, ‘Taboo and Sensitive Heritage’, p. 712. 84 CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Letter to IWGC from HG Evans, Garrison Engineer’, 25 July 1947 85 TNA, FO371/100916, ‘Alderney Channel Islands, Alderney, Russian Cemetery, Foreign Workers’, 1952. 86 Ibid.; CWGC, 7/4/2/10823, ‘Members of the German Todt Organisation. Alderney Russian Cemetery’, 7 December 1961; CWGC, 7/4/2/10821, ‘German War Graves. Alderney. St Anne Churchyard’, 8 December 1961; R. Otto, ‘The fate of Soviet soldiers in German captivity’, The Holocaust in the Soviet Union: Symposium presentations, 2015, p. 134, www.ushmm.org/m/pdfs/20050908holocaust-soviet-union-symposium.pdf (accessed 19 November 2018). 87 J. Price, ‘Orphan Heritage: Issues in Managing the Heritage of the Great War in Northern France and Belgium’, Journal of Conflict Archaeology 1 (2015), 181–196. 88 W. Logan and K. Reeves, Places of Pain and Shame: Dealing with ‘Difficult Heritage’ (London: Routledge, 2009). 89 R. Sendyka, ‘Sites that haunt’, 687–702. 90 E. Schlesinger, ‘The Sacred Obligation of Burial Life after Death in Jewish Belief’, in European Agudas Yisroel, Jewish Cemeteries and Mass Graves in Europe (Antwerp: European Agudas Yisroel, 2008), p.  5; E. Schlesinger, ‘Halachic Ruling Relative to the Treatment of Discovered Jewish Graves and Discovered Bones of Jewish Victims (Shoah victims, mass graves …)’, in European Agudas Yisroel, Jewish Cemeteries and Mass Graves in Europe (Antwerp: European Agudas Yisroel, 2008), p. 9. 91 Early findings relating to Longy Common cemetery were presented by the authors in Sturdy Colls, ‘Holocaust Archaeology: Archaeology Approaches to Landscapes of Nazi Genocide and Persecution’, chapter 5 (PhD dissertation, University of Birmingham, 2012); C. Sturdy Colls, Holocaust Archaeologies: Approaches and Future Directions (New York: Springer, 2015); C. Sturdy Colls and K. Colls, ‘Burial Sites on Longy Common, Alderney’ (unpublished report written to inform the States of Alderney and UKHMF, 2015) and a number of Written Schemes of Investigation (WSIs) following fieldwork in Alderney in 2010, 2014 and 2015.

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92 FAB Project, ‘Response from FAB Link Limited to those questions directed at FAB Link Limited’, 13 September 2017, www.fablink.net/wp-content/ uploads/2015/03/FAB-Response-to-Chief-Pleas-September-2017.pdf (accessed 12 November 2018); FAB Link, ‘Archaeology and Cultural Heritage’, www. fablink.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Chapter-4-Archaeology-andCultural-Heritage-1.pdf (accessed 12 November 2018). 93 States of Alderney, ‘Official Report of the States of the Island of Alderney. The Court House, Alderney, Wednesday, 18 March 2015’, www.alderney.gov.gg/ CHttpHandler.ashx?id=95454&p=0. (accessed 3 March 2018). 94 BBC News, ‘Should Alderney make its wartime camps tourist attractions?’ (20 October 2017), www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-guernsey-40940531 (accessed 20 October 2017). 95 Ibid. 96 Victor Brownlees, pers. comm. 97 S. Macdonald, Difficult Heritage: Negotiating the Nazi Past in Nuremberg and Beyond (Abingdon: Routledge, 2009); D. Light, ‘An Unwanted Past: Contemporary Tourism and the Heritage of Communism in Romania’, International Journal of Heritage Studies 6:2 (2000), 145–160; Carr and Sturdy Colls, ‘Taboo and Sensitive Heritage’, p. 703. 98 S. Kelly, S. 2015. ‘Official report of the States of the Island of Alderney’. The Court House, Alderney, Wednesday, 18 March 2015, www.alderney.gov.gg/ CHttpHandler.ashx?id=95454&p=0 (accessed 21 January 2020). 99 Carr and Sturdy Colls, ‘Taboo and Sensitive Heritage’, p. 711; Alderney Press, ‘Letters to the editor’. Issue 247, November 2017, pp. 14–15. 100 This issue is discussed in D. Dimitrovski, V. Senić, D. Marić and V. Marinković, ‘Commemorative Events at Destination Memorials – a Dark (Heritage) Tourism Context’, International Journal of Heritage Studies 23:8 (2009), 695–708, DOI:10.1080/13527258.2017.1317645. 101 S. Thomas, V.P.  Herva, O. Seitsonen and E. Koskinen-Koivisto, ‘Dark Heritage’, C. Smith (ed.), Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology (New York: Springer, 2019). DOI:10.1007/978–3-319–51726–1_3197–1. 102 Alderney Press, ‘Leave Sylt alone’, p. 26. 103 Carr, Legacies of Occupation, p. 157. 104 Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments (Alderney) Law, 1989, www. guernseylegalresources.gg/article/95134/Historic-Buildings-and-AncientMonuments-Alderney-Law-1989 (accessed 14 November 2019). 105 States of Alderney, ‘Historic Buildings, Ancient Monuments and Conservation Areas List’, www.alderney.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=105036&p=0 (accessed 10 April 2009); ARUP and States of Alderney, Alderney Land Use Plan 2017 (Alderney: States of Alderney, 2017), 5–4, 5–11 and Appendix B2, www.alderney.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=111884&p=0 (accessed 13 April 2018). 106 While a further 186 ‘known archaeological sites’ had been documented, these were not deemed worthy of formal registration; this included the area

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s­ urrounding the Nunnery – Britain’s largest surviving Roman fort – as well as a number of prehistoric burials and settlements. 107 Arup and States of Alderney, Alderney Land Use Plan, 1–6. 108 States of Alderney, ‘Land Use Plan’, www.alderney.gov.gg/.../BUILDINGAND-DEVELOPMENT-COMMITTEE-06-fs-12-fs-2007 (2007) (accessed 15 September 2009); States of Alderney. 2006, ‘Alderney Land Use Plan 2006 (Updated November 2010), www.alderney.gov.gg/Land-Use-Plan (accessed 6 January 2010); States of Alderney, Land Use Plan (2017), www.alderney.gov. gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=111884&p=0 (accessed 13 April 2018). As defined in the BDC Law, the LUP acknowledges Alderney’s ‘Designated Area’ (covering the vast majority of the island where existing structures do not currently exist) – where development is prohibited except under certain circumstances – and its ‘Building Area’ where development is possible. 109 States of Alderney, ‘Alderney Land Use Plan 2006’, www.alderney.gov.gg/ Land-Use-Plan (accessed 6 January 2010). 110 Alderney Records Centre, ‘Sites and Monuments Record’ (2009), www.alder​ neyrecordscentre.org/html/livedata.php?type=hist (accessed 20 September 2009). 111 FAB Project, ‘Response from FAB Link Limited to those questions directed at FAB Link Limited’, 13 September 2017, www.fablink.net/wp-content/ uploads/2015/03/FAB-Response-to-Chief-Pleas-September-2017.pdf (accessed 12 November 2018); FAB Link, ‘Archaeology and Cultural Heritage’, www. fablink.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Chapter-4-Archaeology-andCultural-Heritage-1.pdf (accessed 12 November 2018). 112 States of Alderney, Land Use Plan, 2–5. 113 States of Alderney, Land Use Plan, 5–12; Arup, Built Environment and Heritage Strategy (June 2017), www.alderney.gov.gg/CHttpHandler. ashx?id=108195&p=0 (accessed 19 October 2019). 114 Arup, Phase 2 Land Use Plan Review: Built Environment and Heritage Strategy:  Appendices, www.alderney.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=109478 &p=0 (accessed 19 October 2019). 115 States of Alderney, ‘Call for Sites’, www.alderney.gov.gg/article/161132/LandUse-Plan-2017-Call-for-Sites (accessed 3 February 2020). 116 Ibid. 117 Individual rationale documents can be downloaded from www.alderney.gov. gg/article/161132/Land-Use-Plan-2017-Call-for-Sites . 118 For details of the ‘V1 site’, see States of Alderney, ‘V1 site’, www.alderney.gov. gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=109015&p=0) (accessed 3 February 2020). 119 States of Alderney, ‘Building and Development Control Committee Minutes’, 8  December 2017; BBC, ‘Alderney’s Nazi death camp Lager Sylt “missed off conservation watchlist”’, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-guern​ sey-57596077 (accessed 24 June 2021). 120 This is confirmed in Chapter 5–3 of the LUP 2017. 121 States of Alderney, Land Use Plan, Table 4.5 122 Ibid. 123 States of Alderney, Land Use Plan, 2–5.

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124 Alderney Society, ‘Archaeological Survey of Sites on Alderney’, 21 October 2009; Carr and Sturdy Colls, ‘Taboo and Sensitive Heritage’, p. 711. 125 Carr and Sturdy Colls, ‘Taboo and Sensitive Heritage’, p. 712. 126 States of Alderney, Policy and Finance Committee Meeting Minutes (18 April 2015), http://alderney.gov.gg/article/117004/28-April-2015 (accessed 20 July 2015). 127 For further examples, including in the Channel Islands, see G. Carr and K. Reeves (eds), Heritage and Memory of War: Responses from Small Islands (London: Routledge, 2015). 128 Victor Brownlees, Robert McDowall and John Weigold, pers. comm. 129 Ibid.; Jersey Evening Post, ‘MI6 could be asked to release Occupation files’, 19 May 2017. 130 Various pers. comm and States of Alderney, ‘Press release – Statement re Adolf Island’, 17 June 2019, www.alderney.gov.gg/CHttpHandler. ashx?id=119754&p=0 (accessed 17 June 2019). 131 Various pers. comm. and confirmed in Guernsey Press, ‘Alderney questions agenda of TV crew’s slave worker film’, 9 November 2017. 132 Guernsey Press, ‘Alderney questions agenda of TV crew’s slave worker film’, 9 November 2017. 133 States of Alderney. Alderney Archaeology – Code of Practice (States of Alderney: Alderney, 2018). 134 Ibid. 135 Alderney Press, ‘Controversy over film may lead to new probe into camp deaths, 21 June–5 July 2019; Alderney Press, ‘Survivor’s kiss to memory of 400 camp dead’, 5 July 2019, p. 5. 136 L. McAtackney, ‘Participatory Approaches to Places of Unresolved Heritage’, in A. Schneider (ed.), Art, Anthropology, and Contested Heritage: Ethnographies of TRACES (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), pp. 159–174. 137 The Journal, ‘We must not hide the past’, 12 July 2019; Smithsonian Channel, Adolf Island. First aired in the UK on 16 June 2019. 138 Various, pers. comm. 139 J. Kerti, C. Sturdy Colls and R. Swetnam, ‘Visualising evidence and landscapes of atrocities: an ethical perspective’, in V. Walden (ed.), Holocaust Memory and Education in a Digital Age (London: Palgrave, 2021), pp. 119–144; C. Sturdy Colls and K. Colls, ‘Reconstructing a Painful Past: A Non-Invasive Approach to Reconstructing Lager Norderney in Alderney, the Channel Islands’, in E.  Ch’ng, V. Gaffney and H. Chapman (eds), Visual Heritage in the Digital Age (New York: Springer, 2014), pp. 119–146. 140 Price, ‘Orphan Heritage’, pp. 181–196. 141 N.B. Lwoga, ‘Moderating Effect of Heritage Spatial Proximity on the Relationship Between Perceptual Proximity and Residents’ Attitudes Towards Tourism’, African Geographical Review 38:3 (2019), 268–282, DOI:10.10 80/19376812.2019.1589737; M. Rasoolimanesh, B. Taheri, M. Gannon, A.Vafaei-Zadeh and H. Hanifah, ‘Does Living in the Vicinity of Heritage Tourism Sites Influence Residents’ Perceptions and Attitudes?’, Journal of

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Sustainable Tourism 27:9 (2019), 1295–1317, DOI:10.1080/09669582.2019. 1618863. 142 IHRA, ‘IHRA delegates visit Alderney, first case study in Safeguarding Sites project’, www.holocaustremembrance.com/news-archive/ihra-delegates-visitalderney-first-case-study-safeguarding-sites-project (accessed 6 June 2019). 143 Schlesinger, ‘The Sacred Obligation of Burial Life After Death in Jewish Belief’, p.  5; Schlesinger, ‘Halachic Ruling Relative to the Treatment of Discovered Jewish Graves and Discovered Bones of Jewish Victims …’, p. 9. 144 Schlesinger, ‘The Sacred Obligation of Burial Life After Death in Jewish Belief’, p. 6’; R. Sendyka, ‘Prism: Understanding Non-Sites of Memory’, Teksty Drugie, English edn, no. 2 (2015): 323–344. 145 Sturdy Colls, Holocaust Archaeologies, p. 77. 146 Ibid. 147 Liberation Route Europe, https://liberationroute.com/liberation-route-europe (accessed 26 November 2020); Bremen Live It!, www.bremen.eu/bunkervalentin (accessed 26 November 2020). 148 M. Tumarkin, Traumascapes: The Power and Fate of Places Transformed by Tragedy (Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishing, 2005); A. Maddrell and Sidaway, J.D. (eds), Deathscapes. Spaces for Death, Dying, Mourning and Remembrance (London and New York: Routledge, 2010). 149 For examples and discussions on this topic, see: S. Gigliotti, J. Golomb and C. Steinberg Gould (eds), Ethics, Art, and Representations of the Holocaust (Plymouth: Lexington Books, 2014); C. Sturdy Colls and M. Branthwaite, ‘This is Proof’? Forensic Evidence and Ambiguous Material Culture at Treblinka Extermination Camp’, International Journal of Historical Archaeology 23. DOI:10.1007/s10761–017–0432–3; R. Ehrenreich and J. Klinger, ‘War in Context: Let the Artifacts Speak’, in W. Muchitsch (ed.), Does War Belong in a Museum? The Representation of Violence in Exhibitions (Bielefield, Transcript Verlag, 2014), pp. 145–154. 150 For examples and reflections on Holocaust memorialisation, see N. Goldman, Memory Passages. Holocaust Memorials in the United States and Germany (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Books, 2020); S. Milton, In Fitting Memory: The Art and Politics of Holocaust Memorials (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2018). 151 D. Pacheco, S. Wierenga, P. Omedas, S. Wilbricht, H. Knoch and P.F. Verschure, ‘Spatializing Experience: A Framework for the Geolocalization, Visualization and Exploration of Historical Data Using VR/AR Technologies’, Proceedings of the 2014 Virtual Reality International Conference (2014), 1–4; W.W. Beorn, D. MacQueen and C. Gist, ‘Janowska Camp 3D Modeling’, https:// waitmanbeorn.wixsite.com/holocaustvisualized/janowska-3d-mappingproject (accessed 26 November 2020); Kerti et al., ‘Visualising Evidence and Landscapes of Atrocities’; Sturdy Colls and Colls, ‘Reconstructing a Painful Past’, pp. 119–144.

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Concluding remarks

Exactly seventy-five years ago to the day (17 May), British investigators tasked with investigating the crimes on Alderney first set foot on the island. It is pure coincidence that this happened to be the day when we completed this book, but it seems quite fitting as we shared the same goal of attempting to document the extent of the crimes perpetrated by the Germans. The British investigators and their Soviet counterparts who briefly joined them had the advantage that these acts of violence and ill-treatment had just taken place, while many of those affected by them – and even those who perpetrated them – remained alive to provide evidence. Some witnesses were even present at the ‘scene of the crime’. However, when we began researching for this book in 2010 it was clear that the experiences of the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers – and the sites in which they lived, worked and died – did not widely resonate in the public consciousness. Conversations with a range of people within academia and the general population revealed that most still knew very little about the nature of Nazi governance and persecution on British soil. Despite some peaks in interest in this topic (mainly fuelled by the publication of books and articles in the press in the 1980s and 1990s), much information about the events in Alderney remained unclear, the victims having become largely anonymous and the perpetrators, for the most part, never having been held accountable for their actions. The landscape too fell victim to these processes of forgetting and marginalisation, as the former camps became covered in brambles, fortifications were reused and/or viewed predominantly through a military lens, and the prospect of further graves was ignored. As we have illustrated throughout the book, the altered course of the post-liberation investigations – and the desire to omit crimes against humanity from the British war narrative – has undoubtedly contributed to this. So too have the difficult legacy that the occupation period left behind and the shaping and reshaping of Alderney’s post-war identity. Despite these challenges, archival and archaeological investigations have revealed that a considerable amount of evidence relating to the work,

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Concluding remarks 421

lives and deaths of the forced, slave and less-than-slave labourers sent to Alderney does still survive. The scale of the labour programme itself meant that, although considerable material remains hidden from view, many modifications to the landscape were permanent. Likewise, the neglect of many sites has ironically served to preserve other traces of these crimes, both on the surface and below ground. Although much has undoubtedly been lost, due to availability of new documentary materials and new tools for infield investigations, it has been possible to revisit the history of forced and slave labour and view it retrospectively through a spatial and forensic lens. We have necessarily revisited some of the works of previous investigators and researchers in the years since the liberation of Alderney in order to re-­ evaluate their claims in light of these new sources and approaches, leading to the confirmation of some of their findings and the revision of others. As Wachsmann has argued‚ ‘to imagine the past, we must unfreeze it’.1 In compiling this book, this has been our aim. What started as an archaeological investigation, turned into a large-scale missing persons case and a body of extensive archival research, as new materials came to light and new questions emerged. Intelligence information and in-field investigations demonstrated that Alderney represents a complex landscape  of persecution, comprising a diverse range of camps that responded to the needs of the fortification programme and reflected the perceptions of the labourers housed within them (as influenced and instilled by Nazi ideology). The pre-war landscape was ravaged as homes became administrative centres, leisure facilities for military personnel, living accommodation and sites of incarceration. The terrain became a vast construction site, where the excavation of the earth was coupled with the mixing and pouring of concrete, and all of the accompanying sounds, smells and strains on the bodies of those forced to engage in these works. Fences were erected, barracks built, and guard positions installed as temporary, ad hoc, camps – which were far more numerous than previously thought – came to exist alongside more permanent and oppressive sites of internment. The evidence presented has clearly shown that forced, slave and lessthan-slave labourers experienced terrible living and working conditions under the OT, long before the arrival of the SS, and many perished as a result. The camps governed by both agencies in fact shared many similarities in terms of both the architecture and methods used to persecute the men (and to a lesser extent women) who lived there. Yet, each was unique in its purpose and operations, and various phases in the lifespan of each camp have been identified to provide a more nuanced insight into the evolution of the forced and slave labour programme, and the accompanying experiences of those caught up in it. We have sought to highlight the spatial and temporal fluidity of landscapes of Nazi persecution – s­ omething

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422

Concluding remarks

which was missing from the few publications that had examined the camp landscapes.2 By addressing the multiple phases of camps and worksites, and demonstrating the relationships between the experiences of labourers and guards before and after their time spent on Alderney, we disproved the commonly held view that the island was an isolated place, ­unconnected to the wider system of forced and slave labour in Europe, a view that has served to ‘camouflage’ and facilitate ‘forgetting’ in the past and present.3 Yet, at the same time, we confirmed that Alderney did provide the perfect ‘laboratory’ for the implementation of many normative aspects of Nazi ideology: the universal oppression and objectification of Soviet citizens and Jews, the encouragement and rewarding of behaviours which limited the ‘threat’ that all so-called enemies posed to Germany, and the exploitation of people as ‘tools’ for economic gain until their usefulness expired.4 Examining when and how the camps were constructed has provided greater clarity concerning the movement of inmates (including the motivations behind this), while an assessment of the physical fabric of the ­structures within them has confirmed the ways in which the landscape was used to physically and psychologically torment them. Inadequate toilet blocks and kitchens, overcrowded barracks, roll call areas, gateposts and boundaries were married with the harsh nature of Alderney’s terrain and the isolation imposed by being on an island. In combination, these elements imposed a sense of hopelessness upon the labourers. By examining the fortifications as products of forced and slave labour alongside an evaluation of the conditions in the camps, it has also been possible to confirm that the value placed upon the lives of the workers fluctuated as the aspirations and performance of the Nazi regime during WW2 altered. This was perhaps most notable with the arrival of the SS and their evolving relationships with both the OT administration and the prisoners under their control. While Alderney undoubtedly played a strategic and psychological role in Hitler’s plan to occupy Europe, the island took on a number of other roles in terms of the removal of so-called ‘undesirables’ during both the OT and SS periods. Ultimately, throughout the occupation, most of the labourers were seen as expendable and replaceable, and the construction and internment system on Alderney offered a convenient means through which to punish, maim and kill so-called enemies of the Third Reich, consistent with many other subcamps governed by the OT and SS across Europe. When an increase or improvement in outputs were needed to aid the war effort, the treatment of labourers sometimes evolved to meet these demands; hence, some inmates were able to survive these conditions, recuperate and/or escape as the intensity of the guarding and punishments consequently altered.

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Concluding remarks 423

While systematic killings akin to places such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Dachau or Neuengamme were not carried out, deaths through ill-treatment were a constant throughout the occupation period. Individual guards and camp commandants also initiated executions at various points throughout 1942–45, acts that attracted the attention of and subsequent investigation by the Nazi administration in Berlin on several occasions. The localised rule-making (in terms of the treatment of the prisoners and the behaviour of the guards) is evident throughout the descriptions provided about the camps and labour programme demonstrating that, while Alderney was connected to the wider Nazi labour programme (as previously described), the fate of the labourers was not always governed by a centralised, governmentapproved policy. Examinations of the fortifications from the perspective of those forced to build and work within them also revealed important new insights into the sensory experiences of occupation and labour and highlighted the fine line between life and death. These investigations also yielded new information about the efforts by individuals to provide evidence of their existence. Much of this information does not exist within testimonies. Thus, archaeological research has also provided new perspectives and connections with archival materials through the identification of, for example, the names of labourers etched into these structures. Our focus on forced and slave labour on Alderney has certainly attempted to provide perspectives on what Stone has described as ‘the small scale and the enormous crime’, in that various ‘microhistories’ have been illustrated throughout to provide further details concerning the lives of individuals, and the many nuances involved in Nazi persecution across Europe.5 In doing so, we set out to contribute to scholarship that has attempted to move popular imagination of the latter away from an Auschwitz-centric model and act as ‘a measure of restoration of what has been lost and erased’, both on Alderney and in terms of wider narratives.6 We have also aimed to demonstrate how archaeological methods, interdisciplinary approaches and considerations of material culture can facilitate a greater understanding of events, individual and collective experiences, and the formation of cultural memory; thus, we hope to encourage similar investigations at other sites of internment and mass violence. Perhaps most importantly, we have sought to rehumanise the victims by providing information about their experiences, their backgrounds and their fates. It is no coincidence that the book starts with information about who the labourers were. In the past, these men and women have largely remained anonymous, something which has facilitated a degree of detachment from, and an inability to empathise with, their experiences. Thus, by foregrounding their stories, we hoped to avoid a situation whereby this familiar trend was repeated. We were particularly keen to provide further

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Concluding remarks

information about the people who died on Alderney and those who went on to suffer further oppression at the hands of other totalitarian regimes, many of whom were unable to speak for themselves. For the first time, the names of many of the victims who remain missing persons have been discovered and it has been shown that the bodies of hundreds of known and unidentified individuals were not recovered during the 1961 exhumations of the island’s official cemeteries. Considering this, it has been possible to confirm that the death toll was considerably higher than the post-liberation investigations suggested. Our estimation of between 701 and 986 deaths is a conservative one that considers the spurious and imprecise nature of many of the records connected to the deaths and burials that occurred, but also the concrete evidence presented in a variety of sources. The true death toll will likely never be known and could extend far beyond these totals. As archaeological investigations have shown, there are still several sites on Alderney where human remains may lie undiscovered, which are worthy of further investigation and protection. Consistent with witness testimonies, the presence of additional mass and individual interments have been proven to exist – some of which were found in 1961, others which likely remain unlocated. The fact that many were present within and surrounding the marked cemetery on Longy Common illustrates the efforts by the Germans to hide the traces of their crimes in both the landscape and accompanying documentary record. Although they gave the impression of an ordered system for registering deaths and carrying out burials, our investigations have clearly demonstrated that this was largely a façade designed to give the impression of order; efforts that, after the war, continued to be successful in masking some of the experiences of the deceased and the varied means of body disposal employed on the island. Materials connected to the occupation on Alderney and Nazi persecution in Europe more generally continue to emerge; the sheer volume of sources that have become available during the lifetime of this research is testament to this. Likewise, while we have engaged in a wide programme of archaeological works on Alderney, the scale of the physical evidence that has been shown to exist, and the restrictions placed upon our investigations, means that although this book has attempted to provide a comprehensive record relating to the forced and slave labour experiences on Alderney, it is a work that can hopefully be built upon and enhanced as more evidence emerges. For the sake of the memory of Wolodymyr Zaiats, who was ‘shot trying to escape’, Archip Alexeianko whose body could not tolerate the harsh labour and poor conditions, Ivan Korolev whose hands were severed during railway construction works, Taras Lutschenko who died of dysentery and the many other men who died horrible deaths on Alderney and who have no known graves, we must keep searching. To honour their memory – and



Concluding remarks 425

those of their fellow labourers who died and survived forced and slave labour – we must keep researching and pushing for the commemoration of this tumultuous period of our shared history.

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Caroline Sturdy Colls and Kevin Colls 17 May 2020

Notes 1 N. Wachsmann, ‘Being in Auschwitz: lived experience in the Holocaust’, TLS, www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/being-in-auschwitz-nikolaus-wachsmann/ (accessed 27 January 2020). 2 Ibid., p. 306. 3 Ibid.; P. Sanders, The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation 1940–45 (Jersey: Jersey Heritage Trust 2005), p. 191; J. Beech, ‘'The Enigma of Holocaust Sites as Tourist Attractions – The Case of Buchenwald’, Managing Leisure 5:1 (2000), 29–41. 4 Ibid.; J. Chapoutot, The Law of Blood: Thinking and Acting Like a Nazi (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press), pp. 270–271. 5 D. Stone, ‘The Small Scale and the Enormous Crime’, Patterns of Prejudice 53, 2 (2019), 216–218; See also G. Levi, ‘On microhistory’, in P. Burke (ed.), New Perspectives on Historical Writing, 2nd edn (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), pp. 97–119. 6 C. Wallen, ‘The Witness Against the Archive: Towards a Microhistory of Christianstadt’, in C. Zalc and T. Bruttman (eds), Microhistories of the Holocaust (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2017), p. 301.

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Appendix: Individuals buried in Longy Common and St Anne’s cemetery according to grave markers and exhumation records The graves were exhumed in 1961.

Organisation Todt labourers (OT)1

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Surname

First name Date of birth

Birthplace

Firm (according Camp to death (according certificate) to death certificate)

Date of death (according to death certificate)

9.?.?

Date on grave marker and location of grave (SA – St Anne cemetery, LC – Longy Common cemetery)

Cause of death Further information (according to death certificate)

???????strow*

Iwan

Adamtschuk

Aleks

?.5.1943 (LC)

Adamtschuk/ Adamtschik/ Adamchuk

Adam

Aleksa

W

Alenslenko

Wasil

Andreji (?)

?

(9.?.1903?)

Andschijewski

Yan/Jan

17.9.1926

Aristow

Wiktor

Bacatir*

Grigerd?

7.2.1923

Bakomez

Alexandr

20.5.1926

Zabara

Westdeutsche Steinindustrie

Norderney 3.10.1942

5.10.1942 (SA)

Dysentery

Baran/Baranow/ Baranoff

Adam

15.1.1921

Rafalowka

Wolfer & Göbel Norderney 1.12.1942

2.12.1942 (LC)

Dysentery and Cachexia

2.12.1942 (LC) 15.4.1905

Nowini

Wolfer & Göbel Norderney 28.10.1942

29.10.1942 (SA) Malnutrition and heart weakness 2.1.1943 (LC) 6.1.1943 (LC) 1.1.1943 (LC)

Borek

Wolfer & Göbel Norderney 17.11.1942

18.11.1942 (LC) Tuberculosis

His name appeared on a cross on the reverse side of the grave of Malisch. His death certificate states he was buried in St Anne cemetery but no grave there bore his name.

20.1.1943 (LC) 9.6.1943 (LC)

(continued)

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