Alderney wants information to find Occupation truth

THE States of Alderney is to ask the UK, Germany and any other relevant authorities to release outstanding material relating to the Second World War occupation of the island.

The gateposts to the Lager Sylt concentration camp that was built on Alderney in 1942 by forced labourers.

The decision followed the publication of two stories in the Daily Mail by former military man Colonel Richard Kemp and John Weigold.

The stories, which described Alderney as ‘Hitler’s Island of Death’, suggested that between 40,000 and 70,000 forced labourers died on Alderney during the Organisation Todt construction period between January 1942 and October 1943, their bodies cremated, buried in mass graves or thrown into the sea.

The authors also wrote that a V-1 rocket launch site was being constructed in top secret to bomb the south coast of England with chemical weapons.

James Dent, chairman of Alderney’s Policy and Finance Committee, said they hoped that the request would help bring speculation to a close.

They will now examine how best to approach the matter.

Captain TXH ‘Bunny’ Pantcheff, sent by Military Intelligence to interrogate the occupiers about what had gone on in Alderney during the war, was able to identify 400 prisoner graves.

Col. Kemp and John Weigold said the truth about what happened in Alderney had hitherto been suppressed to support reconstruction of the island – and prevent embarrassment to the British government that the slaughter had taken place so close to home.

‘As the years went by, what amounted to a cover-up continued. Pantcheff himself settled on Alderney and wrote a book that perpetuated the myth of a relatively benign occupation there, along the same lines as Guernsey and Jersey, where islanders and occupiers managed to live side by side in reasonable harmony,’ they said.

Comments for: "Alderney wants information to find Occupation truth"

Douglas White

"I hear you live in the Channel Islands"

"Yes I do, in Alderney"

"Is that the one without cars?"

"No, it's the one where the Nazis murdered seventy thousand people"

"Sounds idyllic. I must visit"

"You should. We're building a holocaust inspired theme park in an old quarry and every summer we have Genocide Week"


I understand that after the war the British government would have not wanted people to know this was going on so close to home, but its 2017 and this could help ease the pain of thousands of families who still to this day don't know where there loved ones died, Is it really worth still having secrets with regards to ww2, there cant be any risk to national security.


Why don't you ask Frau Merkel? Obviously her lot should have a better idea of where these '70, 000' bodies are, rather than the British government? There is no cover up, they didn't bring O.T. workers to Alderney to murder them en masse.

Certainly, they worked a great many to death and didn't give a damn how they disposed of their bodies. But nothing like tens of thousands. The truth is actually even worse, because it was planned and organised. When most of the slaves were at the end of their usefulness the Germans shipped them off the island and sent them to death camps.

Devil's Advocate

Agreed. 70,000 bodies dumped off the breakwater would have turned up by now. The Dailymail articles are a load of old bouzats.



The only people who matter in all of this are the families and descendants of those who were forced onto the island. The truth may or may not be unpalatable but they above everyone else have the right to know. If we don't know the full facts of any atrocities that may or may have not happened myths and misinterpretation will lead to more and more confusion and heartbreak. Justice and openness are the right of every citizen no matter where they live and no matter how unpleasant it could be for the island of Alderney.


How would you find the descendants of those who died? There weren't proper records of who the O.T. workers were and some of those millions had been enslaved all over Europe since the Spanish Civil War. Nevertheless, they might find somebody who could claim their ancestor died on Alderney. Then perhaps you could award them compensation, because Germany never did? Fund all the research and compo from 'other peoples money' because there is so much of it sloshing about, eh?


Incredible. I would have thought the States of Alderney would have enough genuine problems, such as depopulation and bankruptcy, without pandering to the ludicrous claims of these fantasists. They are just a couple of absurd sensationalists with books to sell. Why not get Time Team in to dig up that 'Top Secret Poison Gas VI Launch Site' while they're at it? Good luck with that.


Oh they do have enough genuine problems, this is just their way of procrastinating. Expect a £100,000 study to be commissioned shortly on the benefits and problems of asking for this information, the results of which we will never find out, nor will they be acted upon.


There are no V-1 launch ramps on the 1943 or 1945 aerial reconnaissance photos of Alderney, only a large spoil heap from the digging of the tunnels.

Mainland Germany had pilot facilities to produce G-series agents for military use, but the main plant was never completed and the Nazis only produced an estimated amount of Sarin between 500kg and 10 tons from 1939 to 1945, and even though they weaponised it in artillery shells, they never used any of them against Allied targets.

The tunnels contained no precautions against containing the accidental leaking of chemical weapons such as Tabun or Sarin. These G-series agents have a very short shelf life (as little as a few weeks), dependant on the quality of their precursors, so may not have been stored mixed, but as two separate precursors, so Technicians would have had to mix the Sarin right before putting it into the V-1's. I suspect that a more complex facility would have been needed to facilitate the mixing of the precursors to create Sarin, and that pre-mixed Sarin probably would not have survived transportation from Germany to Alderney. This also makes a case for the 'why bother shipping it to Alderney at added risk when Cherbourg was near enough to the UK' argument. Particularly when they have created so little of it in the first place!

Eye-witness accounts from the occupation state that the tunnels contained munitions and other stores such as fuel. There are also remnants of wooden munitions racks and military bed frames in Ho. 5 and Ho. 6 to this day, suggesting less sinister uses than a V-1 facility.

I don't expect the information from the UK or Germany to yield any surprises where the tunnels are concerned, but Colonel Kemp is no doubt making a few quid by pimping his fiction to the Red Tops in the interim.

Roger Irrelevant

Hopefully the information released will shed light on the activities of Oberst Kurt Steiner's penal unit that made "high risk attacks with Neger Manned Torpedoes against English Channel convoys", as depicted in the film "The Eagle Has Landed".


Full 'details' will probably be in Richard Kemp and John Weigold's follow up books. Can't wait!