Still searching for Holocaust victims

Decades after the Second World War, the German government will excavate a tree-lined backyard outside of Berlin

After lengthy negotiations with a property owner, the German government will begin excavating a birch-lined backyard 120 km southeast of Berlin, which scholars believe holds the remains of 753 Jewish concentration camp prisoners slain by the Nazis in the final days of the Second World War II. Historian Guenter Morsch said that 1,342 prisoners at the Lieberose site, a satellite camp of the better-known Sachsenhausen camp, were deemed unfit to be sent on a forced march when it was evacuated ahead of the Soviet Army’s advance in early 1945. In 1971, remains of 589 victims, believed to have been shot on Feb. 3, 1945,  were found in a nearby village. “The question remains, where are the other 753?” Morsch asked. Research at 20 possible sites in the area combined with interviews from six witnesses led him to zero in on the vast back yard behind a simple two-story house flanked by flowering trees. The excavation starts April 22, the 64th anniversary of the sub-camp’s liberation.