Enough of this light-hearted banter! Let’s get back to something altogether more disturbing…mass graves.
This story had completely passed me by, as most of them do, but it seems that in the process of constructing a new luxury hotel on a site close to the castle in Malbork a few human bones were unearthed. Never a good sign for any construction project!
Further investigation revealed the remains of around 1,800 people buried in a mass grave, one in ten of whom had been shot in the head. The story goes that these people were from the population of Malbork (as is known today) or Marienburg (as it was know at the time these people died) who were murdered by the Russian troops on their way to Berlin in 1945.
The change from the German town of Marienburg to the Polish town of Malbork happened after WWII. Marienburg had a lively history involving things Teutonic, Prussian and Hanseatic but immediately prior to WWI had been part of Germany Empire between 1871 and WWI and then voted overwhelmingly to remain German after WWI. After the second war nobody was taking votes. Actually, there was nobody left to take votes from as they were all in this grave!
It is strange that the bodies were buried naked without any possessions at all;
“We found no trace of any clothes, shoes, belts, glasses not even dentures or false teeth.”.
This removal of all personal items is something made famous by the piles of hair, glasses and other items at Auschwitz but is clearly more popular than I imagined and not just restricted to German operations. I wonder is it a case of collecting thing that might be valuable or useful, humiliating the victims or covering up by removing any possible evidence? Perhaps all three. One assumes all the belongings are still buried somewhere in Malbork, waiting to be found when the next hotel needs foundations digging. Something for you to think about next time you’re exploring the UNESCO world heritage Teutonic castle!
I know the Russians were lunatics and a long way from home but what make people do things like this? They were on their way to Berlin chasing retreating German troops. Why the need to waste time in Malbork doing this?
I asked my wife about this and she had not heard anything so I don’t know how much exposure this had on Polish news. I think it is safe to assume that the Russians have not come forward and admitted guilt, made an apology or anything like that! One could always start a conspiracy theory that is wasn’t the Russians after all but a plot by Roosevelt, carried out by British secret service in order to develop even better relations with Uncle Joe prior to handing over Poland!
Anyway, there we have it, the latest exposure of mass human suffering on Polish soil. Can there possibly be another country in the world that can claim to have more dirty secrets under its surface than dear old Poland? I very much doubt it.