Mass grave of German WW2 soldiers unearthed

Archaeologists have unearthed a mass grave of German soldiers in Wodników Górny, South-West Poland. The individuals were possibly shot dead by Russian soldiers during World War 2.

Overview of the mass grave (by Stowarzyszenie Pomost)

The mass grave was discovered thanks to the local inhabitants who remembered that there were some German soldiers buried in the nearby field in a mass grave. According to these memories there were supposed to be 33 individuals, but archaeologists unearthed twice that on course of the excavations. The bodies were found partially placed on top of another in an organised manner. It is believed that these soldiers were buried by the local Polish residents several days after being shot.

Excavations at the site (by Stowarzyszenie Pomost)

Archaeologists did not find many personal objects by the remains of these 66 individuals. Only 12 soldier tags have been unearthed and an Iron Cross Ist class medal, which was awarded by the German army for valour on the field of battle. At present it is still unknown why these men were killed, but a hypothesis exists stating they might have been prisoners of war being led in a column by the Russian army, and shot dead in the vicinity of the village. Archaeologists however did not find any marks of execution, in form of typical holes from shots into the back of the skulls. It is possible that the soldiers wanted to surrender or a fight broke out and they were killed. After exhumation, and analysis the remains are scheduled to be buried at a German war cemetery in Nadolice Wielkie.

Mass grave of German soldiers (by Stowarzyszenie Pomost)
German soldier’s tags (by Stowarzyszenie Pomost)

(after Stowarzyszenie Pomost & TVN24)

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