Post by fretslider on May 7, 2017 5:25:22 GMT -5
We are standing on the remains of a massive World War II gun emplacement — a German gun. To the left, a small valley leads down to the cliff top.
All those years ago it was known as the Valley of Death because down it were herded unknown numbers of slave workers, too exhausted to be of use any longer to their Nazi masters, to be thrown to their death on the rocks and swept away by the sea.
Behind us, lost in the undergrowth, are the chilling remains of a concentration camp, run by the SS as ruthlessly and inhumanely as any of its counterparts in the Third Reich, where men were whipped, bludgeoned, starved, hanged, shot, even crucified. You have to pinch yourself to remember that this is British soil.
That tiny Alderney — less than four miles long and a mile-and-a-half wide — was the site of slave labour camps during the war has been recognised for decades. But the scale of the operation and the number of deaths there have always been played down. After years of research, we are now in a position to reveal the grimmest truths.
- The numbers who died there in helping Hitler and his henchmen pursue their evil master-plan were not the few hundreds spoken of in semi-official sources and history books. In fact, tens of thousands lost their lives in the most brutal way — at least 40,000 by our calculations and possibly many, many more. Such a toll makes Alderney nothing less than the biggest crime scene in British history.
- The project on which they were engaged was not just the massive defensive works — the fortifications, bunkers, block-houses and anti-tank walls built all over the island on Hitler’s express orders to forestall an Allied invasion. There was a deadly offensive capability, too, never previously known.
When the Channel Islands were liberated in 1945, there was a mood and a move to minimise the events of the past five years when a slice of British territory had to exist under the Nazi heel. It was embarrassing for the British government of the day, which had made a conscious decision in 1940 not to fight for the islands, but leave the residents to their fate.
It was embarrassing, too, for islanders and officials on Jersey and Guernsey who came to terms with the invaders in ways that sometimes bordered on collaboration and even treason. Uncomfortable questions were not asked. Veils were pulled over the truth, with the result that the full story of what happened on Alderney has been hidden.