I'm a PhD student researching the role of mortuary archaeology in contemporary British society. Think of this as a scrapbook of all the interesting links, snippets of information and random bits and bobs I come across pertaining to death, dying and the dead. Enjoy?!


Forensic expert condemns Holocaust uniform for sale on eBay for £11,000 as a fake
A concentration camp uniform for sale on eBay is almost certainly a fake.
Forensic tests commissioned by this newspaper found thread used to sew on buttons and a name tag contained a dye not invented until after the Second World War.
The findings have added to the distress of the family of the man it was claimed wore the striped uniform, who were furious when it was put up for sale at £11,000.

(Source: Daily Mail)

Forensic expert condemns Holocaust uniform for sale on eBay for £11,000 as a fake

A concentration camp uniform for sale on eBay is almost certainly a fake.

Forensic tests commissioned by this newspaper found thread used to sew on buttons and a name tag contained a dye not invented until after the Second World War.

The findings have added to the distress of the family of the man it was claimed wore the striped uniform, who were furious when it was put up for sale at £11,000.

(Source: Daily Mail)


Escaping the train to Auschwitz
On 19 April 1943, a train carrying 1,631 Jews set off from a Nazi detention camp in Belgium for the gas chambers of Auschwitz. But resistance fighters stopped the train. One boy who jumped to freedom that night retains vivid memories, 70 years later.
In February 1943, 11-year-old Simon Gronowski was sitting down for breakfast with his mother and sister in their Brussels hiding place when two Gestapo agents burst in.
They were taken to the Nazis’ notorious headquarters on the prestigious Avenue Louise, used as a prison for Jews and torture chamber for members of the resistance.
Today, Gronowski lives a two-minute walk from this building, where he was held for two nights without food or water.
"My parents had made a mistake - only one, but a serious one, which was… to have been born Jewish - a crime that, at the time, could only be punished by death," he says.

(Source: BBC News)

Escaping the train to Auschwitz

On 19 April 1943, a train carrying 1,631 Jews set off from a Nazi detention camp in Belgium for the gas chambers of Auschwitz. But resistance fighters stopped the train. One boy who jumped to freedom that night retains vivid memories, 70 years later.

In February 1943, 11-year-old Simon Gronowski was sitting down for breakfast with his mother and sister in their Brussels hiding place when two Gestapo agents burst in.

They were taken to the Nazis’ notorious headquarters on the prestigious Avenue Louise, used as a prison for Jews and torture chamber for members of the resistance.

Today, Gronowski lives a two-minute walk from this building, where he was held for two nights without food or water.

"My parents had made a mistake - only one, but a serious one, which was… to have been born Jewish - a crime that, at the time, could only be punished by death," he says.

(Source: BBC News)


Escaping the train to Auschwitz
On 19 April 1943, a train carrying 1,631 Jews set off from a Nazi detention camp in Belgium for the gas chambers of Auschwitz. But resistance fighters stopped the train. One boy who jumped to freedom that night retains vivid memories, 70 years later.
In February 1943, 11-year-old Simon Gronowski was sitting down for breakfast with his mother and sister in their Brussels hiding place when two Gestapo agents burst in.
They were taken to the Nazis’ notorious headquarters on the prestigious Avenue Louise, used as a prison for Jews and torture chamber for members of the resistance.
Today, Gronowski lives a two-minute walk from this building, where he was held for two nights without food or water.
"My parents had made a mistake - only one, but a serious one, which was… to have been born Jewish - a crime that, at the time, could only be punished by death," he says.

(Source: BBC News)

Escaping the train to Auschwitz

On 19 April 1943, a train carrying 1,631 Jews set off from a Nazi detention camp in Belgium for the gas chambers of Auschwitz. But resistance fighters stopped the train. One boy who jumped to freedom that night retains vivid memories, 70 years later.

In February 1943, 11-year-old Simon Gronowski was sitting down for breakfast with his mother and sister in their Brussels hiding place when two Gestapo agents burst in.

They were taken to the Nazis’ notorious headquarters on the prestigious Avenue Louise, used as a prison for Jews and torture chamber for members of the resistance.

Today, Gronowski lives a two-minute walk from this building, where he was held for two nights without food or water.

"My parents had made a mistake - only one, but a serious one, which was… to have been born Jewish - a crime that, at the time, could only be punished by death," he says.

(Source: BBC News)


Poland’s Jews: A forgotten history
Poland is marking the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on Friday, one of the most remarkable acts of resistance in World War II, a period when the almost 1,000-year-old history of Polish-Jewish relations underwent its most severe test.
How Poles and Jews behaved toward each other during 1939-1945 is still being evaluated and remains highly provocative here.
This was clearly seen last November with the premiere of the movie Poklosie (“Aftermath”), a fictional thriller that told the story of a Polish man who returns to his hometown and discovers a dark secret about its past.
During the war, at the instigation of the Nazis, local people, including his own father, rounded up the town’s Jews, locked them in a building and set it on fire.
In the last 10 years or so it has become widely known that massacres like this actually happened in several Polish towns, most notably in Jedwabne, north-eastern Poland, where Poles at the instigation of the Nazis murdered more than 300 Jews.

(Source: BBC News)

Poland’s Jews: A forgotten history

Poland is marking the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on Friday, one of the most remarkable acts of resistance in World War II, a period when the almost 1,000-year-old history of Polish-Jewish relations underwent its most severe test.

How Poles and Jews behaved toward each other during 1939-1945 is still being evaluated and remains highly provocative here.

This was clearly seen last November with the premiere of the movie Poklosie (“Aftermath”), a fictional thriller that told the story of a Polish man who returns to his hometown and discovers a dark secret about its past.

During the war, at the instigation of the Nazis, local people, including his own father, rounded up the town’s Jews, locked them in a building and set it on fire.

In the last 10 years or so it has become widely known that massacres like this actually happened in several Polish towns, most notably in Jedwabne, north-eastern Poland, where Poles at the instigation of the Nazis murdered more than 300 Jews.

(Source: BBC News)


Tears of a concentration camp survivor on 68th anniversary of Buchenwald liberation where Nazis killed 56,000 men 
With tears in his eyes as he holds roses in his left hand, Petro Mischtschuk poignantly stands on the grounds of a Second World War concentration camp where more than 50,000 people lost their lives.
The 87-year-old Ukrainian survivor of the appalling Buchenwald yesterday laid flowers at a ceremony marking the 68th anniversary of the liberation of the camp outside Weimar, eastern Germany.
Jews, non-Jewish Poles and Slovenes, religious and political prisoners, Roma and Sinti, Jehovah’s Witnesses, criminals, homosexuals, and prisoners of war died in the camp between 1937 and 1945.

(Source: The Daily Mail)

Tears of a concentration camp survivor on 68th anniversary of Buchenwald liberation where Nazis killed 56,000 men 

With tears in his eyes as he holds roses in his left hand, Petro Mischtschuk poignantly stands on the grounds of a Second World War concentration camp where more than 50,000 people lost their lives.

The 87-year-old Ukrainian survivor of the appalling Buchenwald yesterday laid flowers at a ceremony marking the 68th anniversary of the liberation of the camp outside Weimar, eastern Germany.

Jews, non-Jewish Poles and Slovenes, religious and political prisoners, Roma and Sinti, Jehovah’s Witnesses, criminals, homosexuals, and prisoners of war died in the camp between 1937 and 1945.

(Source: The Daily Mail)


The colour of darkness: Vivid pictures of first Nazi concentration camps give chilling insight into the dawn of the Holocaust
These horrifying colour pictures show the conditions endured by the first victims of Hitler’s concentration camps. The camps were hastily erected in Germany in February 1933 immediately after Hitler became Chancellor.
The images, posted on Vintage Everyday, show the earliest victims of Hitler’s murderous regime and harrowingly chronicle what they were forced to endure.
In the weeks after the Nazis came to power, The SA, SS, the police, and local civilian authorities organised numerous detention camps to incarcerate and torture their opponents.

Read more.

The colour of darkness: Vivid pictures of first Nazi concentration camps give chilling insight into the dawn of the Holocaust

These horrifying colour pictures show the conditions endured by the first victims of Hitler’s concentration camps. The camps were hastily erected in Germany in February 1933 immediately after Hitler became Chancellor.

The images, posted on Vintage Everyday, show the earliest victims of Hitler’s murderous regime and harrowingly chronicle what they were forced to endure.

In the weeks after the Nazis came to power, The SA, SS, the police, and local civilian authorities organised numerous detention camps to incarcerate and torture their opponents.

Read more.



Astonishing new research shows Nazi camp network twice as big as previously thought
Researchers have now catalogued more than 42,500 institutions used for persecution and death.
The network of camps and ghettos set up by the Nazis to conduct the Holocaust and persecute millions of victims across Europe was far larger and systematic than previously believed, according to new academic research.
Researchers conducting the bleak work of chronicling all the forced labour sites, ghettos and detention facilities run by Hitler’s regime alongside such centres of industrialised murder as Auschwitz have now catalogued more than 42,500 institutions used for persecution and death.
The figure has shocked academics and more than doubles an earlier finding by the same team that up to 20,000 sites were used. It casts a disturbing new light on the sheer scale of the machinery of imprisonment and oppression put in place by the Nazis throughout Europe, from Italy to Russia.
The team behind the research, based at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, told The Independent that they believe the evidence could also be crucial to survivors trying to bring cases for compensation against Germany and other countries for time spent in camps whose existence was hitherto obscure or undocumented.
The editors of the vast project, which is being compiled from hundreds of scholars into seven volumes due to be published by 2025, estimate that between 15 million and 20 million were killed or imprisoned in the facilities set up by the Nazis and puppet regimes in occupied countries from France to Romania.
The work, whose latest findings caused surprise among Holocaust academics when they were presented in Washington in January, draws together previously disparate records from dozens of archives, memorial sites and research bodies to create the first comprehensive catalogue of the facilities.




Read more here.

Astonishing new research shows Nazi camp network twice as big as previously thought

Researchers have now catalogued more than 42,500 institutions used for persecution and death.

The network of camps and ghettos set up by the Nazis to conduct the Holocaust and persecute millions of victims across Europe was far larger and systematic than previously believed, according to new academic research.

Researchers conducting the bleak work of chronicling all the forced labour sites, ghettos and detention facilities run by Hitler’s regime alongside such centres of industrialised murder as Auschwitz have now catalogued more than 42,500 institutions used for persecution and death.

The figure has shocked academics and more than doubles an earlier finding by the same team that up to 20,000 sites were used. It casts a disturbing new light on the sheer scale of the machinery of imprisonment and oppression put in place by the Nazis throughout Europe, from Italy to Russia.

The team behind the research, based at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, told The Independent that they believe the evidence could also be crucial to survivors trying to bring cases for compensation against Germany and other countries for time spent in camps whose existence was hitherto obscure or undocumented.

The editors of the vast project, which is being compiled from hundreds of scholars into seven volumes due to be published by 2025, estimate that between 15 million and 20 million were killed or imprisoned in the facilities set up by the Nazis and puppet regimes in occupied countries from France to Romania.

The work, whose latest findings caused surprise among Holocaust academics when they were presented in Washington in January, draws together previously disparate records from dozens of archives, memorial sites and research bodies to create the first comprehensive catalogue of the facilities.

Read more here.


Proudly Bearing Elders’ Scars, Their Skin Says ‘Never Forget’
JERUSALEM — When Eli Sagir showed her grandfather, Yosef Diamant, the new tattoo on her left forearm, he bent his head to kiss it.
Mr. Diamant had the same tattoo, the number 157622, permanently inked on his own arm by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Nearly 70 years later, Ms. Sagir got hers at a hip tattoo parlor downtown after a high school trip to Poland. The next week, her mother and brother also had the six digits inscribed onto their forearms. This month, her uncle followed suit.
“All my generation knows nothing about the Holocaust,” said Ms. Sagir, 21, who has had the tattoo for four years. “You talk with people and they think it’s like the Exodus from Egypt, ancient history. I decided to do it to remind my generation: I want to tell them my grandfather’s story and the Holocaust story.”
Mr. Diamant’s descendants are among a handful of children and grandchildren of Auschwitz survivors here who have taken the step of memorializing the darkest days of history on their own bodies. With the number of survivors here dropping to about 200,000 from 400,000 a decade ago, institutions and individuals are grappling with how best to remember the Holocaust — so integral toIsrael’s founding and identity — after those who lived it are gone.
Rite-of-passage trips to the death camps, like the one Ms. Sagir took, are now standard for high school students. The Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and other museums are trying to make exhibits more accessible, using individual stories and special effects. Arguments rage about whether that approach trivializes symbols long held as sacred and whether the primary message should be about the importance of a self-reliant Jewish state in preventing a future genocide or a more universal one about racism and tolerance.

Full story here.

Proudly Bearing Elders’ Scars, Their Skin Says ‘Never Forget’

JERUSALEM — When Eli Sagir showed her grandfather, Yosef Diamant, the new tattoo on her left forearm, he bent his head to kiss it.

Mr. Diamant had the same tattoo, the number 157622, permanently inked on his own arm by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Nearly 70 years later, Ms. Sagir got hers at a hip tattoo parlor downtown after a high school trip to Poland. The next week, her mother and brother also had the six digits inscribed onto their forearms. This month, her uncle followed suit.

“All my generation knows nothing about the Holocaust,” said Ms. Sagir, 21, who has had the tattoo for four years. “You talk with people and they think it’s like the Exodus from Egypt, ancient history. I decided to do it to remind my generation: I want to tell them my grandfather’s story and the Holocaust story.”

Mr. Diamant’s descendants are among a handful of children and grandchildren of Auschwitz survivors here who have taken the step of memorializing the darkest days of history on their own bodies. With the number of survivors here dropping to about 200,000 from 400,000 a decade ago, institutions and individuals are grappling with how best to remember the Holocaust — so integral toIsrael’s founding and identity — after those who lived it are gone.

Rite-of-passage trips to the death camps, like the one Ms. Sagir took, are now standard for high school students. The Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and other museums are trying to make exhibits more accessible, using individual stories and special effects. Arguments rage about whether that approach trivializes symbols long held as sacred and whether the primary message should be about the importance of a self-reliant Jewish state in preventing a future genocide or a more universal one about racism and tolerance.

Full story here.


Gym slammed for using picture of Nazi death camp Auschwitz to promote weight loss… but owner says it’s been great for business
A gym has come under fire for using a picture of a Nazi concentration camp - where millions of Jews were starved and gassed to death - to promote weight loss.
The Circuit Factory, in Dubai, sparked controversy by using a photograph of Auschwitz to kick-start potential new members into losing a few pounds.
It shows train tracks leading up to the death camp with the caption ‘Kiss your calories goodbye’ underneath.

Wow. Now how’s *that* for bad taste?! You can read the rest of the article by clicking on the photograph.

Gym slammed for using picture of Nazi death camp Auschwitz to promote weight loss… but owner says it’s been great for business

A gym has come under fire for using a picture of a Nazi concentration camp - where millions of Jews were starved and gassed to death - to promote weight loss.

The Circuit Factory, in Dubai, sparked controversy by using a photograph of Auschwitz to kick-start potential new members into losing a few pounds.

It shows train tracks leading up to the death camp with the caption ‘Kiss your calories goodbye’ underneath.

Wow. Now how’s *that* for bad taste?! You can read the rest of the article by clicking on the photograph.

emeraldcatacombs:

Known as the Tower of Faces this three-story tower displays photographs from the Yaffa Eliach Shtetl Collection. Taken between 1890 and 1941 in Eishishok, a small town in what is now Lithuania, they describe a vibrant Jewish community that existed for 900 years.
In 1941, an SS mobile killing squad entered the village and within two days massacred the entire Jewish population.

emeraldcatacombs:

Known as the Tower of Faces this three-story tower displays photographs from the Yaffa Eliach Shtetl Collection. Taken between 1890 and 1941 in Eishishok, a small town in what is now Lithuania, they describe a vibrant Jewish community that existed for 900 years.

In 1941, an SS mobile killing squad entered the village and within two days massacred the entire Jewish population.