Remains of dozens of Jews used for Nazi experiments during the Second World War have been found stored at a laboratory in Strasbourg
Many killed in gas chambers in 1943 before body parts taken to laboratory
Experts thought they had been buried in a common grave three years later
Includes a jar containing skin fragments and bodies cut into pieces
Jewish organisation has called for a full investigation and proper burial
They had been killed in German gas chambers in 1943 during the Second World War Holocaust before their corpses and body parts were taken to the legal medical institute in Strasbourg.
It was thought they had been buried in a common grave in 1946, following the liberation of the city by the Allies two years earlier.
The discovery has raised serious concerns, with one organisation, which represents the UK Jewish community, stating that ‘serious questions’ needed to be asked.
A Board of Deputies of British Jews spokesman said: ‘This discovery raises serious questions about who knew about these remains and why they did not reveal this sooner.
‘We would expect a prompt and full investigation in to these matters, and the remains of these victims to be accorded a respectful burial in accordance with Jewish law as soon as possible.’
August Hirt, an SS captain and chairman of the Reich University in the city, originally built up the macabre collection.
It included ‘a jar containing skin fragments of a gas chamber victim,’ historian Raphael Toledano revealed.
Some of the bodies were cut into pieces, or burned, while all were destined to be used in experiments by scientists working for the so-called ‘Master Race’.
Test-tubes containing the intestine and stomach of a victim was also found.
Most were originally found in containers full of alcohol when Strasbourg was liberated by the Allies in November 1944.
But Mr Toledano said many of the remains were then preserved by Camille Simonin, a forensics professor who was investigating Hirt.
Simonin had been told to carry out judicial autopsies in order to ‘establish the conditions that had led to the death’ of the victims.
A letter written by Simonin in 1952 ‘mentioned the jars containing the samples taken in the course of judicial autopsies carried out on the Jewish victims of the Struthof gas chamber,’ a statement released by the institute claimed.
It added: ‘The labels identify each piece with precision and mention the register 107969, which matches the number tattooed at the Auschwitz camp on the forearm of Menachem Taffel, one of the 86 victims.’
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