‘No more cover-up’: Nazi concentration camps on British soil finally to be officially investigated

By Tom Gross


These are the four concentration camps on the British island of Alderney where possibly thousands of Jewish slave laborers (including French and German Jews) and others including Soviet prisoners of war, were murdered during World War Two. Jews were said to have been crucified on the entry gates of one camp, Sylt. Although the SS ran the camps, they did so with the collaboration of local British people. Now finally, the UK government has decided to come clean on the issue —Tom Gross

ALMOST NO EUROPEAN COUNTRY WAS WITHOUT ITS COLLABORATORS DURING THE HOLOCAUST

[Note by Tom Gross]

I am travelling, so just a quick note on my phone, and apologies for any errors. Below, I attach an article from today’s Observer, the Sunday edition of The Guardian in London.

This is a subject I have campaigned on for a very long time. The British government is finally set to hold an investigation about the concentration camps and deportations of Jews to their deaths from UK territory during World War II. (The Channel Islands.) ? While the numbers are considerably lower than other countries, for example France, it is no excuse for 80 years of British cover-up.

In addition to those deported to Auschwitz and Belsen by the Germans and their British collaborators on the Channel Islands, it has long been believed that that are mass graves on the Channel Island of Alderney itself.

“EIGHTY YEARS ON FROM ONE OF THE DARKEST EPISODES IN BRITISH HISTORY”

The Observer reports:

“Eighty years on from one of the darkest episodes in British history, the government is to carry out a review into the numbers of prisoners murdered by the Nazis on Alderney, the tiny Channel Island and British crown dependency.

“It has now been established that the SS ran two of the camps on Alderney during the second world war, and new evidence of the scale of Nazi barbarity on the island has emerged over recent years. The number of victims has been contested, with some claiming thousands were killed with many buried in mass graves on the island.

“Dame Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP whose Jewish father fled Nazi persecution in Germany, welcomed the review: “It is time for the British government and Alderney authorities to finally face up to the horror of what happened on British soil. There can be no more lies and no more cover-up.”

“… The numbers of Jews and others who died on Alderney has long been disputed but even the most cautious academics put the figure at between 700 and 1,000 people. Professor Anthony Glees, security and intelligence expert and formerly adviser to the war crimes inquiry in the UK Home Office said that the Pickles investigation is vital. ‘I would be surprised if the numbers killed by the Nazis either in Alderney or transported from Alderney on to extermination camps in Europe did not run into thousands,’ he said.”

GUERNSEY TOO

Tom Gross adds:

In fact there were four (not two) Nazi camps on Alderney. In addition to very small local Jewish population, many French and German Jews were brought to the Channel Islands to be worked to death.I have raised this issue in a number of interviews in the past, and have criticized the awarding of a knighthood after the war to a wartime British collaborator with the Nazis on the Channel Islands.Jews were not only deported from Alderney, but from another Channel Island, Guernsey. Jewish women of Austrian and Polish nationality, including Therese Steiner, Auguste Spitz, and Marianne Grünfeld, who had fled Central Europe to Guernsey in the 1930s, were refused evacuation with non-Jews from Guernsey to the mainland by the British as part of the evacuation in 1940 and instead were deported to Auschwitz in 1942.Other newspapers such as the Daily Mail have gone into more detail in the past than the Observer does today, for example here in 2015:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3363742/Inside-Britain-s-Nazi-death-camp-Channel-Islands.htmlMore here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_occupation_of_the_Channel_Islandshttps://wienerholocaustlibrary.org/exhibition/on-british-soil-victims-of-nazi-persecution-in-the-channel-islands-online/

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ARTICLE

“NO MORE COVER-UP”

‘No more cover-up’: Nazi concentration camps on Channel Island finally to be officially investigated

Review could show that thousands more Jews and prisoners of war died on Alderney than previously thought

By Martin Bright and Antony Barnett
The Observer
July 23, 2023

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jul/22/nazi-atrocities-jews-prisoners-war-alderney-channel-island-uk

The full horrors of the only Nazi concentration camps to exist on British soil will finally be investigated in an official government inquiry, the Observer can reveal.

Eighty years on from one of the darkest episodes in British history, the government is to carry out a review into the numbers of prisoners murdered by the Nazis on Alderney, the tiny Channel Island and British crown dependency.

It has now been established that the SS ran two of the camps on Alderney during the second world war, and new evidence of the scale of Nazi barbarity on the island has emerged over recent years. The number of victims has been contested, with some claiming thousands were killed with many buried in mass graves on the island.

Dame Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP whose father fled Nazi persecution in Germany, welcomed the review: “It is time for the British government and Alderney authorities to finally face up to the horror of what happened on British soil. There can be no more lies and no more cover-up.”

The expert review will be announced later this summer by the UK’s Holocaust envoy, Lord Pickles, and the government hopes the investigation will finally end the controversy over the scale of the Holocaust on Alderney. Lord Pickles told the Observer: “The difference between the estimates is so large, I thought it sensible for everyone to put the facts on the table, for it all to be transparent and for the deliberations to be in the open. It seemed pointless people shouting across at each other. It would be better to have a proper discussion and to bring together a panel of international experts.”

The announcement comes as the UK prepares to take over the chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), a network of experts and government officials from 35 countries around the world. Dr Kathrin Meyer, secretary general of the IHRA, said: “This inquiry is a significant step toward telling this important history. Dealing openly and accurately with the Holocaust and the history of the Nazi persecution of other groups in all its dimensions is crucial and we expect the results to go a long way in protecting the facts, no matter how uncomfortable they may be.”

The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by the German army after Winston Churchill’s war cabinet decided in the summer of 1940 they could not be defended. The British population of Alderney, 10 miles from the French coast, was evacuated, which allowed Nazi high command to turn the island into a giant prison for slave labour.

Though the majority of prisoners were Russians and Ukrainians, brought from the occupied parts of the Soviet Union to build the giant defences of Hitler’s so-called Atlantic Wall, it is known that many Jews, north Africans and Spanish republicans were also taken to Alderney.

According to testimony from the time, many prisoners were killed through a policy of systematic murder known as “Vernichtung durch Arbeit” – extermination through labour. Others were tortured, shot, given fatal injections and those sick, or unable to work, were sent to extermination camps in Occupied Europe.

It has been established that at least one transit of hundreds of French Jews was housed in one camp on the island having been transported there from the Drancy transit camp in Paris, where Jews were rounded up and sent on to Auschwitz during the German occupation of France.

The numbers who died on Alderney has long been disputed but even the most cautious academics put the figure at between 700 and 1,000 people. Professor Anthony Glees, security and intelligence expert and formerly adviser to the war crimes inquiry in the Home Office, told the Observer that the Pickles investigation is vital. “I would be surprised if the numbers killed by the Nazis either in Alderney or transported from Alderney on to extermination camps in Europe did not run into thousands,” he said.

Only eight Jews are officially recorded as dying on the island, but the new inquiry will examine claims from researchers that as many as 1,000 could be buried in mass graves. Some campaigners believe thousands could have perished on the island.

Jewish researcher Marcus Roberts, who has campaigned for many years for the full scale of the horrors on Alderney to be revealed, said: “There are still many questions about what really went on in Alderney and who knew what. For too long, some have been too willing to look the other way in the hope it all goes away. I hope this review will finally provide answers and some justice for the victims.”

Dr Caroline Sturdy Colls, professor of conflict archaeology at Staffordshire University, has used imaging technology to identify the sites of two mass graves on the island. She is cautious about the numbers of victims but told free-expression magazine Index on Censorship: “It is evident from the wide range of testimonies available and from the surveys we did of the camps in which Jews were housed that they were treated appallingly, and more Jews likely died than we know of.”

She added: “The conditions in which Jews were housed were an extension of those that they were kept in elsewhere in Europe. The camps on Alderney were part of a network of sites that housed Jews and harsh punishments, terrible working and living conditions, and torture characterised their lives on Alderney.”

After the war, an investigation by the Judge Advocate General’s office concluded: “The position here is somewhat similar to Belsen, stronger perhaps because the offences were committed on British soil.” However, none of those responsible for the war crimes committed on Alderney were ever brought to justice.

The inquiry is likely to vindicate the journalist who first sought to reveal these atrocities in the Observer four decades ago. Solomon Steckoll’s groundbreaking research was serialised in 1982 and made the sensational claim that Carl Hoffman, the commandant of Alderney, was not handed over to the Soviet authorities and executed in Kyiv as the UK government claimed. He had, in fact, been in British custody until 1948, when he was allowed to return to Germany. He died peacefully in his bed in West Germany in 1974. At first, the British government dismissed Steckoll’s claims but, in 1983, were forced to admit he was right.

July 24, 2023 | 7 Comments »

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7 Comments / 7 Comments

  1. This is a “storm in a teacup”…
    True. Many Jewish Bodies are buried there, but also the same in France, Poland and every occupied country during the Nazi Madness.

    The tiny islands were 10 miles off the coast of France and were” British” by courtesy. They were overwhelmingly French and had the same attitude towards their small Jewish population as the French did in France. They were under Nazi occupation, therefore helpless to help Jews even if they wanted to-which it seems they didn’t..

    No different from the French.

  2. @liz
    Also read this. The 100 year betrayal of Israel by the West

    In effect, Germany was herding the Jews into barns before setting fire to them and Britain was guarding the burning barns to make sure no Jews escaped, metaphorically speaking.

    The British also bombed and torpedoed many ships of refugees, with the express purpose to kill Jews. Thus continuing the work of Nazi Germany upon those that had escaped the Nazis.

    Tens of thousands of ‘additional’ Jews were murdered intentionally and with malice aforethought by the Government of Britain.

  3. I had no idea about any of this and am truly horrified. It needs to be brought to light and should be part of every child’s education in learning about WW II. We have been taught to think that we Brits were the good guys, and mostly I think we were, but clearly the antisemites in the British government, and local people in the Channel Islands, were complicit in mass murder. Incidentally, in reply to another comment, it is not true that we want Muslims instead of Christians and Jews. The huge Muslim waves of immigration are being allowed by our government so that the global capitalists can draw on cheap labour, and avoid paying British wages to British people. Most of us are appalled at what is happening and are powerless to stop it, just as is happening in the USA. The little people don’t matter any more. The UN has set its heart on mass migration from the third world to the West, and most of the people coming to the UK from Africa and elsewhere are Muslims. Muslims, as you know, can have up to four wives, and our ridiculous governments gives social security payouts to all of them and their multitude of children. I predict social unrest will increase.

  4. Post WWII, Labour defeated Churchill’s Party and they were NOT Jew friendly. The British government was running around Europe in late 1945 to 1948 saying no Jews in Palestine and why don’t you Jews in Death Camps just go back to the countries you came from. Talk about evil. Meanwhile American pilots and Benny Marcus were helping the Jews in Israel 1948 War fight for their freedom and lives while ex-British officers like Pasha Grubb were leading the Arab armies against the Jews.

    Funny, today Britain is becoming more Muslim and less Christian every day. Guess that is the way they like it there.