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Five human skeletons, missing hands and feet, found outside house of Nazi leader Hermann Goring

Polish police investigate the discovery of human remains. (Latebra Foundation Poland via CNN Newsource)
Polish police investigate the discovery of human remains. (Latebra Foundation Poland via CNN Newsource)

Archeologists have unearthed the skeletons of five people, missing their hands and feet, at a former Nazi military base in Poland.

They were discovered at a Nazi command centre known as the Wolf’s Lair in Gierloz, northeastern Poland, after the group unearthed a fragment of human skull during a dig on Feb. 24 and alerted local authorities, who decided to carry out further excavations.

The remains belonged to three adults, a teenager and a newborn baby, according to a statement from the Latebra Foundation, a historical organization based in the Polish city of Gdansk.

The five bodies were arranged near each other, facing in the same direction, outside a house occupied by Nazi commander Hermann Göring, an ace fighter pilot during World War I who became one of the most powerful Nazi leaders in World War II and a close friend of Adolf Hitler.

Alongside them were burned boards and the remains of sewage infrastructure, but there were no traces of clothing, according to the statement.

Adrian Kostrzewa, a member of the foundation’s board of directors, told CNN that the team initially thought they were digging up an old bathroom when they found pipes under the ground.

However, they then found ashes and a burned key, before he found the skull fragment.

Excavations uncovered a total of five skeletons. (Latebra Foundation Poland via CNN Newsource)

“It was very surprising,” he said.

The foundation is waiting to hear the results of a police investigation into the remains, and many questions remain unanswered.

“There are many theories (about) why they do not have hands and feet,” said Kostrzewa. “Right now, it’s very hard to say.”

An important next step is to find out the age of the remains using radio carbon dating, he added.

Deliberately built miles from civilization in the forests of northeastern Poland, the Wolf’s Lair was the Nazis’ 6.5-square-kilometre (2.5-square-mile) Eastern Front headquarters.

The base was one of the largest of its kind in Europe, according to the foundation.

“The uniqueness of this discovery lies in the fact that the bodies were found on the premises of the most heavily guarded complex of the Third Reich,” the statement reads.

Hitler spent nearly three years there in total.

The fortress was the site of Operation Valkyrie, an assassination attempt against Hitler in July 1944, before it was destroyed in January 1945 to prevent it from falling into the hands of the advancing Soviet army, according to the foundation.

The remains were found in what appears to be a former bathroom. (Latebra Foundation Poland via CNN Newsource)

The excavation site is seen outside a house inside the Wolf's Lair. (Latebra Foundation Poland via CNN Newsource) Top Stories

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