In what could turn out to be the largest murder case on British soil, ADOLF ISLAND sees forensic archaeologist Caroline Sturdy Colls (Professor of Conflict Archaeology and Genocide Investigation at Staffordshire University) go in search of a Nazi SS camp constructed in secrecy on the British Channel island of Alderney during World War II. Years of research and forensic investigation have led Sturdy Colls to examine remnants of concentration and labor camps on the quiet island, and to official SS archives in Germany, where clues emerge that lead Caroline to suspect that Alderney was the scene of Nazi mass murders. However, when local officials attempt to stop the investigation, the search for the final resting place of the victims is imperiled. ADOLF ISLAND will premiere on Sunday, June 23 at 10 PM ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.
“The story of what happened to the thousands of forced and slave laborers who were sent to Alderney during World War II needs to be told,” says Sturdy Colls. “For decades, many have tried to downplay the crimes committed by the SS and other Nazi groups on the island. Forensic investigation offers the possibility to uncover the truth about the fate of these victims, to tell their stories and finally offer a voice to those who suffered and died on Alderney so many years ago.”
“Shining a spotlight on forgotten or misinterpreted history is the essence of what we try to do at Smithsonian Channel,” said David Royle, Chief Programming Officer, Smithsonian Channel. “Unearthing the truth is even more important when it involves the horrendous treatment of thousands of people and a long-standing conspiracy of silence.”
Sturdy Colls led the forensic team that discovered the gas chambers at Treblinka in 2013, but now they face their toughest challenge to date – this time much closer to home. Shrouded in decades of silence amid attempts by local authorities to prevent examination and the search for missing victims of Nazi atrocities, the team must turn to state-of-the-art technology to get the answers they seek. After much discussion, compromise and stonewalling, their final discoveries, made in spite of vigorous protests by the Alderney government, are chilling.
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