World War Two: Holocaust happened on British soil too, 75-year-old report suggests
ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports on the secret Pantcheff report which reveals that Nazi atrocities took place in Alderney
75 years since it was complied, a report into the Nazi atrocities on Alderney can be seen in public for the first time.
The secret Pantcheff report is supposed to be locked up in British archives until 2045 but a copy was given to Russia and it has now been revealed from within Russian archives.
It is a paper that makes grim reading but for historian Marcus Roberts it casts light on one of the darkest events ever to have occurred on British soil.
He says, the report makes the explicit conclusion that the crimes on Alderney were “systematically brutal and callous” and that there was a “long-standing policy of maintaining inhumane conditions, under nourishment, ill-treatment and over work” and that the key cause of death was “starvation assisted by the physical ill-treatment and over-work”.
The classified report written by British intelligence officer Major Theodore Pantcheff and reveals what he found through a series of interviews on Alderney at the end war. It is a sobering read.
For those who study this dark period the report provides fresh evidence. Both of the scale of death which Marcus Roberts believes adds up to many thousands of Eastern Europeans but also hundreds of Jewish prisoners too.
He believes this is proof that the Holocaust happened on British soil and not just over in Europe.
The Channel Islands fell under German occupation in the war with Jersey and Guernsey operating under Nazi rule. But it was Alderney and its concentration camps that witnessed mass death. Adding to the history is important to some of those who live here.
Graham McKinley from the States of Alderney says: "A number of people are interested in the history of Alderney and getting to the truth, so this is a remarkable document.
"People have been thinking about this for some time and wondering why the original Pantcheff report is classified until 2045".
The secret Pantcheff report is now public because Russia was given a copy by Britain and it has been uncovered. Some argue Britain classed it as confidential because few wished to dwell on the issue of mass killings and burials on the island. But documents have a way of becoming public and with it history is itself being rewritten.