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Type: Journal article
Title: The processing of skeletonized human remains found in Berlin, Germany
Author: Hollmann, T.
Byard, R.
Tsokos, M.
Citation: Journal of Clinical Forensic and Legal Medicine: an international journal of forensic and legal medicine, 2008; 15(7):420-425
Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 1752-928X
Statement of
Tanja Hollmann, Roger W. Byard, Michael Tsokos
Abstract: During World War II, and particularly the Battle of Berlin, many thousands of civilians and soldiers from a variety of countries were killed. Given the nature of the intense aerial and ground bombardments bodies were often fragmented and buried beneath rubble resulting in many individuals, who were presumed to have been killed, not being identified. Skeletal remains are continually being uncovered in Berlin, particularly with accelerated building developments following German re-unification. A retrospective study was undertaken of records over a 10-year period from 1997 to 2006 to demonstrate the method of processing of skeletal material and to show the results of such analyses. Over the period of the study, 257 cases were investigated (approximately 26 per year). As bones were found in multiple areas at each site, this represented 290 collections of bones from the 257 sites. Only nine complete skeletons were found with a total of 40,344 single or fragmented bones. In 1997, a huge number of bones were unearthed during major construction work at Potsdamer Plaz and the central railway station (Lehrter Bahnof). This gave rise to 29,602 bones and fragments, excluding animal remains. Despite the passage of time, successful identification of remains is still occurring, with 44 individuals positively identified over the 10 years of the study, including eight in 2006.
Keywords: Skeletal remains
World War II
DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2008.02.010
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 5
Pathology publications

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