On Sunday 17th September, the Sunday Times published an article entitled: “Channel Islands: EDF electricity plan could destroy Alderney’s ‘little Auschwitz’” which made reference to a report that Kevin Colls and I (Prof. Caroline Sturdy Colls) wrote in February 2016. This report was leaked to the Sunday Times by a third party without our knowledge or consent.
The report refers to a situation that arose on Alderney in February 2016 (which was reported in the media at that time) when we expressed concerns that core drillings were damaging the site of the forced labourers’ cemetery. The report was sent to a limited group of people in confidence, specifically in response to this situation.
We have been researching the fate of the forced labourers in Alderney for a number of years and we have undertaken detailed non-invasive archaeological investigations at the site where the cemetery was located, as well as at two of the four main camps that existed on the island. Our research into the fate of the forced labourers and their burial locations is ongoing and we continue to discuss our results – and development plans in this area – with various parties in the hope of guaranteeing protection for these important sites.
We are working hard to establish, scientifically and rigorously, what happened during the Occupation of Alderney. In our report, we do not make reference to Alderney being a ‘little Auschwitz’, nor to the 40,000 figure cited in the article. These citations come from another source and the article was misleading in its representation of this as our work.
The following represents the full statement that we provided to the Sunday Times ahead of publication.
Quote for Sunday Times: “The confidential report submitted to the States of Alderney and other parties was in response to core drillings that took place on Longy Common in early 2016. We were concerned that the drillings were damaging the site of the forced labourers’ cemetery that we have been researching for a number of years. Given the historic significance of this site, we remain concerned about any future development works in the area. Our research into the fate of the forced labourers and their burial locations is ongoing and we continue to discuss our results with various parties in the hope of guaranteeing protection for these important sites.”