Around 75 years ago, the area of the former concentration camps of Sylt which now are nothing but a patch of overgrown land in the island, Alderney, an archipelago in France, was once a restrained and feared German prison. Reportedly, in the prison, hundreds of men had suffered and died at the hands of the German Nazis during the Second World War. Since 1945, researchers for the first time have carried out investigations regarding the atrocities that the prisoners had to face in the Nazi camps.
The UK government had reportedly carried out an investigation after the Second World War in an attempt to find out all about that had happened in these prisons. On finding no results, many people suspected that the reports were hidden and faked. After the war, Sylt and other camps on Alderney island vanished and disappeared into the land. According to their research which was published in the journal, Antiquity, a team of British archaeologists has taken to reconstructing Sylt in order to learn about the horrors that had happened in its atrocious history.
Sturdy Colls, a professor of conflict archaeology and genocide investigation at Staffordshire University, England along with her colleagues, started to study Larger Sylt by studying pieces of evidence from archival records, aerial photographs and techniques like LiDAR and radar. It was interestingly reported that a small part of those camps are still alive, even when the history of the site remains a fearful subject for everyone on Alderney. After a documentary by Sturdy shared in 2019, titled "Adolf Island", local authorities have, however, been time and again intruding in their research.
As per reports, the investigation has also brought forward the differences between the various types of buildings present at the campsite. On one hand, were the facilities that were available to the prisoners were disheveled, the facilities for the horses, on the other hand, were well-built and proper. Even though the past times of the island Alderney continues to be a matter of sensitivity, a few locals living on the island have decided to forget about the prisoners, while others still hope to keep the people who suffered and died there, alive in their memories.
An official document by the Nazi's Schutzstaffel reportedly claims that the fatality count of people during those times was just 103 but other sources have suggested the death of at least 700 people on the island. Another research portrayed the idea that there had been an outbreak of the infectious disease, typhus, spread by lice, fleas and mites, which would have killed around 200 people. Sturdy Colls further added that the historical, forensic and archaeological approaches finally offered the possibility to gather new evidence and give voice to the prisoners who suffered and died on Alderney around 75 years ago.