15 Jan 2009

1800 bodies found in mass grave

10:13 am on 15 January 2009

The remains of 1800 bodies have been unearthed in a mass grave in Poland believed to date back to the final days of World War II.

The site is in a corner of northern Poland that was part of Germany until 1945. Authorities suspect the remains are of German civilians, some of whom were probably killed by advancing Soviet forces.

The first skeletons were found last October by construction workers laying the foundations of a new hotel in the town of Malbork.

In 1945, Marlbork was the scene of heavy fighting between retreating German forces and the advancing Russians.

Some 30 bodies were found with gunshot wounds.

Harsh winter weather has now slowed the exhumation process.