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German civilians load the bodies of Soviet prisoners of war wrapped in sheets onto a semi-trailer.

Photograph | Photograph Number: 37281

German civilians load the bodies of Soviet prisoners of war wrapped in sheets onto a semi-trailer.

The prisoners were exhumed from a mass grave in Wuelfel and will be reburied near the Hanover City Hall.

On April 8, 1945, 200 Red Army officers and other prisoners of war were sent on a death march from the Liebenau labor camp, 50 kilometers NW of Hanover, where the prisoners worked in a munitions factory. As they reached Wuelfel, a suburb of Hanover, the SS guards ordered 25 prisoners, including one woman, to dig a large grave. While this was being done, a prisoner killed a guard with a shovel and was able to escape to the woods nearby. From there he heard the shots as the remaining prisoners were killed and buried in the grave. Several weeks later, as American troops swept through the area, the mass grave was discovered. On May 2, the 35th Division of the U.S. Ninth Army gathered townspeople from Wuelfel and forced them to exhume the grave, wrap the bodies in sheets, and rebury them near the Hanover City Hall. Before reburial, many of the victims were identified by friends and relatives remaining in the area.

Date
1945 May 02
Variant Locale
Hannover-Wuelfel
Wuelfel
Photo Credit
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park
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Record last modified: 2018-02-08 00:00:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/pa1084355