Traveling to six countries in eighteen days, I journeyed with the goal of delving deeper into the roots of my family before World War II. As a child of refugees, my parents’ narrative is missing huge gaps of information. Still, more than seventy-eight years since the disappearance of my Grandmother and Uncles, we can only presume with a degree of certainty their demise in the mass graves of the forest outside of Riga, Latvia. In our data rich world, archivists are finally piecing together new clues of history using unmanned systems to reopen cold cases.
The Nazis were masters in using technology to mechanize killing and erasing all evidence of their crime. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Treblinka, Poland. The death camp exterminated close to 900,000 Jews over a 15-month period before a revolt led to its dismantlement in 1943. Only a Holocaust memorial stands today on the site of the former gas chamber as a testimony to the memory of the victims. Recently, scientists have begun to unearth new forensic evidence of the Third Reich’s war crimes using LIDAR to expose the full extent of their death factory.
In her work, “Holocaust Archeologies: Approaches and Future Directions,” Dr. Caroline Sturdy
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