An EU-backed project to provide a power link between Britain and France risks desecrating the graves of Holocaust victims, a leaked report has warned.
Preliminary drilling for the £500million FAB project has already ‘severely damaged’ the graves of Jewish, French and Russian victims of the Nazis located on the Channel Island territory of Alderney, two archaeologists have warned.
The pair, who specialise in the Holocaust, say ‘greater damage’ will be caused if the proposed link is allowed to go ahead.
The graves of up to 40,000 Jewish, French and Russian prisoners who died in concentration camps in Alderney (pictured) are at risk from a new EU-backed project, archaeologists say
The claims were made in an unpublished report that was leaked to The Sunday Times.
It warns that currently undetected bones are likely to be found intact underground on Longis Common, an undeveloped area of marshy grassland.
Further ‘drilling and excavation work must immediately cease’, it says.
Campaigners have also condemned the plans.
Marcus Roberts, director of the National Anglo-Jewish Heritage Trail, a charity, told The Times: ‘It seems that these victims are still subhumans whose lives and tragic deaths seem scarcely worth noticing.’
Alderney was home to the only concentration camps built on British soil during the Second World War, and has been dubbed ‘little Auschwitz’.
In total four camps were built on the island, which was captured by Hitler’s troops in 1940 after Churchill opted not to defend it.
As many as 40,000 Jews, French and Russians died in the camps after being worked to death by the Nazis.
Experts say plans to construct part of a £500million power link between France and Britain near the site of one of the camps (pictured) risks destroying unidentified remains
Prisoners brought to Alderney were forced into hard labour, then beaten or stabbed to death when they could no longer work
British intelligence reports from the time detail how workers who were ‘too undernourished and exhausted to work efficiently’ were beaten to death with clubs or ‘finished off with a knife’.
A report by British intelligence body MI19 said: ‘One such was crucified on the camp gates, naked and in midwinter. The German SS guards threw buckets of cold water over him all night until he was finally dead.
‘Another was caught by bloodhounds when attempting to stow away to the mainland. He was hanged and then crucified to the same gate. His body was left hanging on the gate for five days as a warning.’
The FAB project – which stands for France-Alderney-Britain – is designed to provide a high-voltage power link between a substation in Menuel, France, to one in Exeter.
This will allow France, the world’s largest net exporter of electricity, to send nuclear-generated power to the UK, where supply is struggling to keep up with demand.
Managers of the project, which is due to be operational by 2021, denied the work would disturb war graves saying there ‘will be no impact to areas of known archaeological interest.’