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.

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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.

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