Nazi era mass grave discovered in Graz

The bodies of 77 people were probably buried by the Nazis on the grounds of Graz’ Belgier barracks, where the Nazi SS’ Wetzelsdorf barracks was located, it emerged yesterday (Weds).Social Democratic (SPÖ) Defence Minister Norbert Darabos presented news of the finding yesterday.Historian Dieter Binder, the chairman of the military history memorial commission, said the victims had not died because of chaos at the end of World War II but because of “systematic war crimes with all their consequences.”He said the local Nazi gauleiter or regional boss had drawn up a list of those to be disposed of and whose bodies were to be buried in bomb craters in the area. He added some of them had been buried on the grounds of the barracks.The victims had included two Allied soldiers, resistance fighters, prisoners of war and Hungarian Jews, he added.Ministry officials said a search for the bodies would be undertaken but it would probably be very difficult to identify the remains after such a long time. They added that a search for the murderers would also be started since some might still be alive.The Justice Ministry, which has received information about two of the murderers from the Defence Ministry, said a ministry working group on Nazi war criminals would investigate the cases.