UK government apologises for lack of prosecutions over Nazi atrocities in Alderney camps

Britain’s post-Holocaust envoy has apologised and said it was “a stain on the reputation of the UK” that the perpetrators of atrocities on the Channel Island of Alderney “did not receive justice on British soil” after the war.

Lord Pickles was speaking at the launch of his Alderney Expert Review at the Imperial War Museum on Wednesday. But historian Professor Anthony Glees, said that there were at least four “cover-ups” to explain why Britain did not prosecute the Nazis who had run labour and concentration camps on the island.

This landmark review was conducted by 12 academics from four countries, (Britain, France, Germany and Portugal), and was commissioned by Lord Pickles, as a way of putting an end to “distressing and ridiculous claims about what happened on Alderney.” Additional input came from researchers in Spain, Canada, and Israel’s Yad Vashem.

The island was invaded by the Germans in July 1940 after almost all its British population was evacuated to the mainland. Grim years ensued, with slave workers on Alderney being forced to build fortresses for Hitler’s “Atlantic Wall”. The panel of academics, said its chairman Dr Paul Sanders, was confident that its final figures of “a maximum of 1134 deaths — but probably more between 641 and 1027”, were correct.

A large number of those deported to Alderney were Jews from France (although not all of those were French Jews).

French academic Benoit Luc, who works for its Ministry of Defence and runs the National Office of War Veterans, estimated there were 590 Jews from France on the island during the Nazi occupation. Five hundred and eight six of that number were repatriated after the war, but Luc’s figures indicate that four French Jews died and were buried on Alderney; Professor Caroline Sturdy Coll, a key member of the panel, has identified four more Jewish dead, buried on the island.

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