09:56 GMT02 July 2020
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    The fates of more than one million German soldiers and civilians who went missing at the end of World War II remain a question for historians and archivists. However, recently discovered mass graves may shed some light on the stories behind their lives.

    A mass grave of Wehrmacht soldiers that dates back to World War II was found in South Ossetia, Russian media reported. Workers digging a foundation pit for a house came across human remains, and immediately called in police officers and search teams.

    “We lifted up the remains of about five Wehrmacht soldiers, [we found] two mortal medallions. Clearance is still going on, so maybe there will be more. [We] come across tokens, cartridges and personal items: combs, buttons”, said Murat Tsakhilov, a representative of the ‘Duty and Honour’ search squad.

    The soldiers’ “dog tags” could possibly be used to identify the men. Their remains are expected to be sent to a German military cemetery, while their uniforms and personal belongings are set to be transferred to Russian museums.

    According to officials from the German Red Cross, about 1.3 million soldiers and civilians who disappeared at the end of World War II remain missing. The researchers often rely on German and Soviet archives and tracking systems to determine their fates.

    WWII, Second World War, mass grave, Red Cross, Wehrmacht, Germany, Russia
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