Mass grave of Soviet regime victims found under park

Over 20 grave pits and human remains were found at the Johannes Hevelius Park in Poznań, West Poland. The area is located near the former Soviet NKVD (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) camp, hence it’s believed the graves belong to the victims of the Soviet regime, murdered after 1945.

Archaeologists at work (by Stowarzyszenie Mieszkańców Abisynia)

It is estimated than in the camp, formed in 1945 Germans and over a thousand Poles were being held by the NKVD. The Poles were mostly members of various underground organisations detained in East Poland, and moved from a similar camp in Rembertów near Warsaw. After the Poznań camp was closed down most of the Polish prisoners were moved to the prison in Rawicz, and some were released. Lists from both camps are known, and the one listing people leaving the camp in Poznań contains 800 names of which some figure later in documents from other places of detention. The fate of the missing people is unknown – some are believed to have left the camp, others are said to have been killed. The list is the only document that survived the Poznań camp.

Remains found by researchers (by Stowarzyszenie Mieszkańców Abisynia)

The bodies were buried within pits aligned along a power cable running in the past between barracks. Archaeologists under supervision of Karolina Bittner and Agata Wąsewicz-Madejek of the Institute of National Remembrance have uncovered remains of five individuals and personal belongings such as fragments of wallets, buttons, shoes, combs, suspenders and military caps. It is believed that some of the prisoners might have been killed by the NKVD during interrogation, but also starved to death and died from terrible sanitary conditions and were buried within the camp. Testimonies of the former prisoners attest to that. Moreover, during the recent construction of the park, other human remains were unearthed.

Overview of the site (by Stowarzyszenie Mieszkańców Abisynia)
Aerial view of the trench (by Stowarzyszenie Mieszkańców Abisynia)

(after Stowarzyszenie Mieszkańcow Abisynia & TVN24)

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