Excavations at the site of a Holocaust mass grave in Belarus have uncovered the remains of more than 1,000 Jews murdered by the Nazis — including that of a female skeleton cradling her baby.
A BBC reporter observing the excavations on Tuesday in the western city of Brest relayed the harrowing scenes at the site, as skeletons, many belonging to children, were unearthed by military examiners.
The military team usually searches for the bones of Soviet soldiers. But at the site in Brest, in the west of the country, “they have removed the small skulls of teenagers instead, and a female skeleton with the remains of a baby, as if she’d been cradling it,” the BBC‘s Sarah Rainsford reported.
The BBC report noted that almost half the 50,000-strong population of Brest on the eve of World War II were Jews.
Up to 5,000 men were executed shortly after the German invasion in June 1941. Those who remained were later crammed into a ghetto, across several blocks of the city center surrounded by barbed wire.
In October 1942, the Nazis issued orders to wipe the Jewish population out. “They were herded on to freight trains and driven over 100km (62 miles) to a forest. At Bronnaya Gora, thousands were led to the edge of a vast pit and shot,” the report said.
The Brest mass grave contains the remains of some of those who managed to hide from the Nazis at first, only to be rooted out.
The remains were discovered at the end of February by construction workers on the site. Located on the Polish border, Brest was a part of Poland before the war.
The Algemeiner (c) 2018 .