A Significant Chapter in Holocaust History on British Soil
Lord Eric Pickles, the United Kingdom’s Post-Holocaust Issues Envoy and Head of the UK Delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, has announced a momentous initiative.
In a bid to shed light on a dark chapter in history, a review of evidence will be conducted into the number of prisoners who died on the Channel Island of Alderney during the Nazi occupation.
Alderney’s Historical Significance
The camps on Alderney hold a unique place in Holocaust history, not only because they were located on British territory but also due to the evidence they provide of ‘extermination through labor’ during the construction of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall.
Seeking Truth and Dignity
In recent years, there has been widespread speculation about the number of individuals who perished in these camps. Lord Pickles passionately emphasizes the importance of uncovering the truth, not only to honor the memory of the deceased but also to counter the distortions propagated by conspiracy theorists.
He asserts that exaggerating or minimizing the death toll is itself a form of Holocaust distortion, posing a serious threat to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and fostering a world free from genocide.
An Expert-led Inquiry
To ensure a rigorous and impartial investigation, Lord Pickles has, therefore, appointed a team of eleven renowned experts from across the globe.
This distinguished group will, in addition, meticulously examine archives from various European sources and, in collaboration, pool their expertise to determine the most accurate number of people who lost their lives under the Nazi occupation.
Collaboration with Yad Vashem
The endeavor will also receive invaluable support from the Archives at Yad Vashem, the world’s leading Holocaust center, known for its unparalleled dedication to preserving and disseminating historical evidence.
March 2024: The Moment of Truth
After thorough analysis and examination of records, the expert group will present its findings in a comprehensive report, set to be published in March 2024.
The Team of Experts
The esteemed team, composed of scholars and researchers with diverse backgrounds, is as follows:
- Dr. Paul Sanders (NEOMA Business School, Reims, France) – Project Chair
- Professor Marc Buggeln (Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany)
- Dr. Gilly Carr (University of Cambridge, UK)
- Dr. Daria Cherkaska (Staffordshire University, UK)
- Mr. Kevin Colls, MSc (Staffordshire University, UK)
- Dr. Karola Fings (Heidelberg University, Germany)
- Professor Fabian Lemmes (Universität des Saarlandes, Germany)
- Benoit Luc, MA (Directeur du Service Départemental de l’Office National des Combattants et Victimes de Guerre de Loire-Atlantique, France)
- Jurat Colin Partridge OBE (Alderney)
- Professor Caroline Sturdy Colls (Staffordshire University, UK)
- Professor Robert Jan Van Pelt (University of Waterloo, Canada)
The Expert Group’s Scope
The terms of reference for the expert group are as follows:
- Review knowledge and records to ascertain the number of prisoners who died in Alderney during the Nazi occupation.
- Examine knowledge and records to determine the number of prisoners, forced laborers, and slave laborers of all nationalities who passed through Alderney.
- Assess public submissions that may be relevant to points (1) and (2) and incorporate pertinent evidence into the final report.
- Produce a comprehensive report detailing the inquiry’s findings.
An Open Invitation to the Public
Demonstrating a commitment to transparency, Lord Pickles and the expert group, in addition, wholeheartedly encourage members of the public to actively participate in this review of evidence.
Furthermore, individuals who possess relevant information, files, or calculations related to the number of deceased or, correspondingly, the movement of forced and slave laborers/prisoners through Alderney are invited to submit their findings.