Excavation in Rechnitz Did Nor Yield a Trace of NS – Victims

German Original: Der Standard, December 12, 2017

In 1945, 180 Jewish forced laborers were murdered; despite extensive excavations the victims were still not found.

Rechnitz – During the widespread excavations in the vicinity of the so-called Kreuzstadl in Rechnitz (Oberwart county) no remains of the victims of a National-Socialist massacre in 1945 were discovered. It can now be ruled out that the victims are located in this spot, Franz Sauer, the archeologist in charge from the Federal Antiquities and Monuments Office in the state of Burgenland said on Thursday.

During the works, which began some three weeks ago on orders from the Federal Antiquities and Monuments Office, an area of more than 5,000 square meters (1.2 acres) was dug up. Alongside the former positions the communication trenches were dug up and investigated in some 150 positions.

Revaluation in February

The search was primarily and based on sketches and witness testimony: Every area that was indicated by concrete facts was inspected, the archeologist explained. Up to this point, the search was conducted in a selective, spotty manner; now a comprehensive picture exists. „If there is something within the area that we opened up now we would have found it,“ said Sauer.

Now all sources have to be brought together and revaluated. For this purpose, a meeting with the non-profit RE.F.U.G.I.U.S (Rechnitz Refugee- and Commemoration Initiative and Foundation) will take place in February.

Further Excavations Possible

According to the archeologist it is possible that the corpses were buried a little bit further to the South. At the same time, it is possible that the victims were already found in the late 1940s – such rumors do exist. „But we don’t know, we do not have any proof,“ said Sauer. According to the sources, 21 gravesites exist, each containing eight to ten corpses. In total, some 180 victims are expected.

The dug-up area will now be closed again. The cost for the work is estimated by Sauer at 25,000 Euro. He did not rule out further excavations in the coming year. (APA).