Hidden atrocities of Nazis at concentration camp on British island finally come to light

Official accounts describing horrific conditions were hidden for decades.

Mindy Weisberger | LiveScience

Photograph of the Sylt concentration camp taken in 1945.
(Image: © Antiquity Publications Ltd/© Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum)

A Nazi concentration camp on one of the British Channel Islands was the site of terrible atrocities that were downplayed in official reports after the end of World War II. Now, a new investigation reveals details that were kept hidden from the public for decades. 

During WWII, the island of Alderney — part of an archipelago in channel waters between France and the United Kingdom — held the only Nazi concentration camps built on British land. There, inmates endured brutal treatment, including hard labor, beatings and starvation; but the full extent of what they suffered was not widely known even after the war ended. 

Recently, archaeologists pieced together the story of Alderney’s Sylt camp by examining declassified satellite images and exploring ruined buildings at the site. They created the first map of the camp, which was built by the Nazis in 1942 and used first as a forced labor camp for political prisoners and then as a concentration camp, researchers reported.

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