WWII Mass Grave of German Civilians Unearthed
Corpses found near Polish castle believed to have been killed as Soviets advanced
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2009 2:41 AM CST
The remains were found near the famous Malbork Castle.   (Flickr)
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(Newser) – The corpses of 1,800 men, women and children believed to be German civilians have been found in a mass grave near the Polish city of Malbork, Der Speigel reports. The city was German until the end of World War II. Officials believe many of its former residents were massacred by the advancing Soviet Red Army. One in ten of the corpses had been shot in the head.

Those who weren't shot may have died from the cold weather in the winter of 1944-5 or been killed by Soviet artillery, officials say. All were buried naked, with no personal effects of any kind. Residents of Malbork—formerly known as Marienburg—were ordered to evacuate deeper into Germany as the Soviets advanced. All 1,840 who stayed behind were classed as missing after the war.