A burial pit discovered close to the site of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp possibly have the remains of Anne Frank. The mass grave, located within a field at the end of the German camp’s former main road, was identified with the help of Holocaust survivors. It is considered to contain the remains of teenage diarist Anne, who passed away at the camp aged 15, along with her sister Margot and Jan Verschure, a member of the Dutch resistance.
Mr Verschure’s grandson Paul headed the hunt for the burial pit with a team of Dutch researchers after speaking to survivors of the concentration camp to help identify the burial site. He said: ‘One of them gave me a map on which he marked where my grandfather was buried.’
Between 1941 and 1945 over 70,000 people died at Bergen-Belsen, in northern Germany, where Jews were forced to do grueling labour. Disease was widespread and Anne, who recorded her experiences of hiding from the Nazis in her diary, died of typhus in the course of an outbreak in March 1945. Her body was never found and it was presumed to have been thrown into a secret grave along with up to 10,000 other victims.
Jens-Christian Wagner, director of the Bergen-Belsen memorial, stated the newly found burial site would not be excavated as digging up graves was banned under Jewish law. He said: ‘We have consulted the Jewish community of Lower Saxony and according to religious laws no digging is allowed. That’s why there’s a decision not to start a dig. In any case, the whole camp has been declared a cemetery.’