Graves at the site of the only Nazi concentration camp in the British Isles could be destroyed next year because of a major energy initiative between France and the UK, co-financed by the European Union.
The Alderney concentration camp complex on the British Channel Islands included two labour camps and two concentration camps. Russian, French and Jewish inmates were kept there, with hundreds dying there over the course of the war.
According to an archaeological report leaked to the Sunday Times, a planned link-up between French and British energy grids, via Alderney, has already “severely damaged” the main burial ground for prisoners on the island due to initial drilling.
“Greater damage” is foreseen if the France-Alderney-Britain energy link-up (FAB) goes ahead, with the authors of the report urging that “drilling and excavation work must immediately cease”.
According to information available on the FAB website, construction on the project is due to start in 2018. The project is a joint development between RTE, a wholly-owned subsidiary of EDF Energy, and FAB Link limited, whose shareholders are Transmission Investment LLP and Alderney Renewable Energy Limited. The energy-linking initiative has been recognised as a “Project of Common Interest” by the European Union, and has received funding from the European Commission.
Despite a spokesperson for FAB telling the Times that the project “had taken expert advice to ensure there will be no impact to areas of known archaeological interest”, that confidence was not shared by one of the authors of the leaked report.
Caroline Sturdy Colls, associate professor of genocide investigation at Staffordshire University, told the paper she and her colleagues “remain concerned about any development works in the area.”