A mass grave was discovered on the site of the Treblinka I labor camp in central Poland by investigators of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN).
An investigation of the grounds of Treblinka I revealed the mass grave under the site of the present parking lot, at a depth of only 10-15 centimeters underground. Bones of victims, clothing remnants and bullet shells from pistols and machine guns which the Nazis used to kill the victims were found in the grave.
An international forensic team assisted the IPN, including experts from the UK, Norway and Austria, in the first thorough investigation of the Treblinka grounds.
Prosecutor Andrzej Pozorski from the Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation said: “Our work has revealed a grave of 4.5 by 3.4 meters containing human remains in an area currently used as a car park in the forest, adjacent to the site of the Treblinka I camp.”
“At this stage, our aim is to precisely determine how many graves there are, and how big they are,” Porzorski said. Pozorski added that at this point only bones were seen and no full skeletons were found.
The investigation, which began on November 12, is part of a criminal investigation by the Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against Poland based in Szczecin into crime against the prisoners of Treblinka I.
“The research is completely professional,” said Professor Andrzej Ossowski, the head of the international forensic team. “We want to know the truth about Treblinka I, since society is more aware of the Treblinka II camp. However, in the former, Polish prisoners constituted the vast majority of victims.”
Treblinka I was a forced labor camp for Polish citizens. About 20,000 people were forced to work there between 1941- 1944. Only about 10,000 survived the inhumane conditions – the rest died from starvation and illness or were executed.
Treblinka II was a concentration camp where about 900,000 Jews met their deaths in the gas chambers between July 23, 1942 and October 19, 1943.