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A German man holds the body of a baby exhumed from a mass grave outside the town of Suttrop.

Photograph | Photograph Number: 80118

A German man holds the body of a baby exhumed from a mass grave outside the town of Suttrop.

The 9th US army troops occupying Suttrop, Germany were led by informers to a huge common grave containing bodies of 57 Russians, including men, women and one baby. The victims were forced to dig their own grave and then were shot by SS troops six weeks before the arrival of American troops. On May 3, 1945, the 95th Infantry Division of the U.S. Ninth Army arrived in Suttrop and were informed by locals of the mass grave. American troops forced the townspeople to exhume the grave after which Russian displaced persons in the area identified the bodies. The victims were reburied in individual graves, and a U.S. Army chaplain conducted burial services. Russians remaining in the area placed wreaths on the graves.

The original Signal Corps caption reads, "GERMAN CIVILIANS FORCED TO EXHUME ATROCITY VICTIMS. Amerian officers ordered German civilians of Suttrop, Germany, to exhume the bodies of 57 Russians killed by German SS troops and dumped into a mass grave before the arrival of troops of the Ninth U.S. Army. Soldiers of the 95th Infantry Division were led by informers to the huge common grave of the victims, including women and one baby, May 3, 1945. The Russians are said to have been forced to dig their own burial pit and then were shot so that their bodies would roll into it. The executions are said to have taken place six weeks before U.S. troops entered Suttrop. The German civilians who were forced to exhume the bodies also were forced to search them for identification papers and then rebury them in individual graves. A U.S. Army chaplain performed burial rites and wreaths were placed on the greaves by Russians remaining in the area. Before burial, all German civilians in the vicinity were ordered to view the atrocity victims.

BIPPA EA 65388

THIS PHOTO SHOWS: A German civilian holds the body of a Russian child he and other residents of Suttrop were forced to exhume when the common grave was opend outside the town. U.S. Signal Corps Photo ETO-HQ-45-45035.

1945 May 03
Suttrop, [Prussian Westphalia; North Rhine-Westphalia] Germany
Variant Locale
Photo Credit
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park
Record last modified: 2012-11-08 00:00:00
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