Mass grave of WWII ‘battle-scarred' German soldiers unearthed alongside their meagre belongings
A mass grave with the remains of over 60 battle-scarred Nazi soldiers killed in action during WWII has been unearthed in Poland.
Containing the skeletons of 66 German troops, the grizzly find in the town of Barborów in southwest Poland includes the meagre possessions the men had on them before being shot.
Archaeologists exhuming the grave came across dog tags, parts of uniforms, coins, Swastika badges, shoes, a whistle and a chain with a lucky horseshoe.
Many of the helmets had bullet holes in them and some of the skeletons’ bones were broken.
On one, archaeologists also found a tourniquet.
The soldiers are thought to have died in battle with Red Army soldiers in February and March 1945, as the end of the war approached.
At that time, the front was passing through the Głubczyce district which the Soviets were attacking.
It has now been revealed that although the grave was known about for a long time, it had been forgotten about.
Adam Białas from the Pomost Historical and Archaeological Research Workshop which found the grave said: ‘For some time the graves were taken care of by the parish, but eventually they were forgotten.
‘The soldiers' graves were supposed to be located along the cemetery fence.
‘But after an on-site inspection, the graves did not physically exist.
‘Fortunately, an elderly inhabitant of Baborów pointed out where, according to his knowledge, the graves had been, but were levelled in the 1980s and 1990s.’
Before World War II, Baborów was called Bauerwitz and belonged to Germany.
During the war, four prisoner-of-war sub-camps and a forced labour camp operated in the town.
It was taken over by the Red Army on March 29, 1945.
The discovered remains remains will be buried at the German Soldiers War Cemetery in Nadolice Wielkie near Wroclaw probably in the spring of next year say Pomost, who search for the graves of soldiers and civilians from WWII.
The group carries out exhumations mainly in the western part of Poland.
The archaeologists suggest that Baborów is probably not the only place in the district where German soldiers killed in battle are buried and are asking for help from anyone who has any information regarding the exact location of other graves.
Białas said: “We have general information about the graves in neighbouring villages in the Baborów community, but we lack specifics. Anyone who knows more details is asked to contact Pomost.”