The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/aktion.reinhard/belzec/Archeological_Report/Tregenza_II.98

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Belzec: Investigation of Mass Graves (II)

Last-Modified: 1999/08/09

October 1997

"Grave No. 1. Located only 5 m. S of BM 2007. At 3.90 m. below
ground level a layer of dark grey (burnt) sand was found in which
were mixed pieces of carbonized wood and fragments of human bones
- among them an incisor tooth. This was the first indication of

                                                         [Page 14]

"presence of a mass grave. Beneath this deep layer lay a several
centimetres thick layer of foul-smelling water under which were
found unburnt corpses compressed by the weight of soil to a layer
only 20 cm thick. The drill core brought to the surface putrid
pieces of human remains, including pieces of skull with skin and
tufts of hair still attached, and unidentifiable lumps of greyish,
fatty human tissue. The bottom of the grave was lined with a layer
of evil smelling black (i.e. burnt) human fat, resembling black
soap. As no evidence of fabric was brought to the surface, it may
be assumed that the corpses are naked. The state of preservation
of the corpses is due to the fact that they lay virtually
hermetically sealed between the layer of water above, the layer of
solidified fat below, underneath which the natural, dry and
compressed sand through which no air could penetrate, resulted in
their partial mummification. The dimensions of Grave No. 1 were
determined as 40 m. x 11 m. and over 5 m. deep.

"Grave No. 2. A small grave 70 m. E of BM 2007 and close to the S
fence, contained at the depth of only 30 cm. a layer of pieces of
carbonized wood beneath which at depth 1.50 m. there was a layer
of unburnt human corpses. Dimensions of the grave: l5 m. x 5 m. x
2 m. deep.

"Grave No. 3. This was the first mass grave the location of which
was positively identified from a Luftwaffe aerial photograph taken
in 1944, in which it appears as a T-shaped white patch and seems
to be the biggest grave in the camp.[1] The presence of graves in
this part of the camp was also discernible at ground level by soil
subsidence and different vegetation on the areas of subsidence.
Upon investigation, however, it was found that the T-shape
consisted of three separate graves (labelled 3, 5 and 6 on Fig. 4)
with Grave No. 3 forming the stem of the 'T'. It measured 20 m. x
15 m. and is at least 5 m. deep.[2] After drilling through a 4.90
m. deep layer of dark grey sand mixed with pieces of carbonized
wood and fragments of burnt human bones, a foul odour was
released. The drill core brought to the surface pieces of skulls
with skin and tufts of hair still attached, lumps of greyish human
fat, and fragments of unburnt human bones. The bottom layer
consisted of putrid, waxy human fat.

"Grave No. 4. Located immediately adjacent to the N side of BM
2007, measures 20 m. x 8 m. and is 5 m. deep. At depth 1.20 m.,
burnt pieces of human bones were found. Beneath this, a layer of
water signalled the presence of corpses at the next level. From
below the water layer the drill core brought to the surface pieces
of unburnt human bones, including pieces of skulls with skin and
hair still adhering and lumps of foul smelling greasy fat,
indicating the presence of unburnt corpses

"Grave No. 5. Formed the left-hand bar of the T-shaped arrangement
of graves 3, 5 and 6 (see Fig. 4), in which were found pieces of
burnt human bones in a layer 2.60 m. - 3.80 m. deep. Near the W
end of the grave the bones were so densely packed together that
the drill could not penetrate further. Dimensions: 35 m. x 15 m.
and at least 5 m. deep.

"Grave No. 6. Forms the right-hand bar of the T-shaped arrangement
of graves and measures 33 m. x 14 m. and is more than 5 m. deep.
At depth 0.4 m. - 2.60 m. there is a layer of carbonized wood and
fragments of burnt human bones. At the E end of the grave the
ground is covered with grey sand containing a mixture of crushed
pieces of burnt and unburnt pieces of human bones. A few silver
birch trees stand between Graves 5 and 6.

"Additional test soundings were made in the vicinity of the four
symbolic tombs near the E fence in an area where the Luftwaffe
aerial photograph also indicated the presence of mass

     "[1] Air Photo Library, National Archives, Washington DC, USA.
     Film Roll No.: GX 8095 33 SK, exposure 155, dated 15 May
     "[2] It was because several of the mass graves located and
     investigated in October 1997 were found to be deeper than 5
     m. that the length of the drills in the 1998 investigation
     was increased from 5 m. to 6 m.

                                                         [Page 15]

"graves. The location of three graves was confirmed in the area of
symbolic tombs 1, 3) and 4. Their dimensions and depths were not
determined at this time." (Tregenza, pp. 13-15)

                             Work Cited

Tregenza, Michael. Report on the Archeological Investigation at the
   Site of the Former NAZI Extermination Camp in Belzec, Poland, 1997-98.
   Lublin, 1998

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