Among its 11 members is well-known historian and archaeologist Dr Gilly Carr, the Channel Islands’ representative in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
Dr Carr, an associate professor at Cambridge, said the aim of the Alderney Expert Review was to bring together a team of experienced and internationally respected researchers to study issues which have long been disputed.
‘This will involve building on established research rather than starting from scratch,’ she said.
‘All members of the team have visited Alderney in the past. This expert review will involve examining archives from across Europe and Israel.
‘Since the end of the Second World War, the multiple methods of tracing and counting the dead have been well established, and all of the team are experienced in this work and the task that lies ahead.’
The team was appointed by the UK’s special envoy for post-Holocaust issues, former Cabinet minister Lord Eric Pickles.
It is led by Dr Paul Sanders, associate professor in Geopolitics from Reims Business School.
Other members come from universities in France, the UK and Germany and the panel will be assisted by the archives at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.
Former jurat Colin Partridge, who was awarded an OBE in 2011 for his voluntary service to the Court of Alderney, is the only Alderney resident on the review team.
Members will examine files from archives across Europe to identify the most accurate number possible of people who died under the Nazi regime.
‘Numbers matter because the truth matters,’ said Lord Pickles.
‘The dead deserve the dignity of the truth. The residents of Alderney deserve accurate numbers to free them from the distortion of conspiracy theorists.
‘Exaggerating the numbers of the dead, or even minimising them, is in itself a form of Holocaust distortion and a critical threat to Holocaust memory and to fostering a world without genocide.’
Lord Pickles said the review would allow historians, journalists, Alderney residents and others with an interest to explore their thoughts with 11 of the world’s leading experts on the matter in an atmosphere of openness and academic rigour.
‘I hope this review will put to rest conspiracy theories on numbers and provide lasting dignity to the dead and some peace to the residents of Alderney who continue to remember them at the Hammond War Memorial every year in May,’ he said.
The camps in Alderney were significant in the history of the Holocaust as the only ones on British soil and for providing possible evidence of the Nazi’s ‘extermination through labour’ programme in the construction of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall.
The group’s findings will be announced in a report due to be published in March 2024.
It has invited members of the public to submit their own evidence for review by the expert panel. Panel members are not being paid because they want to remain independent.
n The deadline for submissions is 1 November.
All submissions must be made in a format specified by the panel and sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org