Escape Tunnels, Extermination Camps, and Geophysics – Archaeology of the Holocaust

June 7, 2023 — 12:45-2:00 p.m.

Relatively few Holocaust survivors are still alive, and of those, almost all would have been child survivors with different memories and different experiences than adult survivors. Since 2008, archaeology and geoscience have played an increasingly leading role in understanding and providing physical evidence of what transpired during the Holocaust. The non-intrusive science of geophysics, in particular, has been no less essential in guiding archaeologists than radiology is to a surgical team. This talk will follow archaeologists and Calgary geophysicists as they expose for the first time the killing facilities at one of the Operation Reinhard death camps, explore for an escape tunnel at the first Holocaust mass killing site in Lithuania, search for malinas (hiding places) in a work camp in the Vilna Ghetto, and investigate other sites whose history has literally been buried or forgotten. Of particular note on this 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, this talk will discuss the geophysical investigations that spurred the currently occurring excavations at Mila 18, the iconic site of the final command bunker of the 28-day revolt.

Trigger Warning

This presentation contains content related to the Holocaust, including descriptions of violence, genocide, and war. The information that will be shared may be triggering for some individuals.

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