JERUSALEM, Israel - The day after Israelis and Jewish communities worldwide observed Holocaust Memorial Day, excavation of a mass burial site of Jews murdered by the Nazis began in Germany.
German authorities, who had long suspected the existence of a mass graveyard at this location, had been prevented from investigating the 1,200-acre property by its previous owners.
Located about 75 miles southeast of Berlin near the Brandenburg village of Jamlitz, authorities believe the property served as an auxiliary location to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin.
Officials further believe that on February 2, 1945, the Nazis murdered 753 sick Polish and Hungarian Jews who had been imprisoned at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.
"There is no doubt that this is the historically authentic place of one of the worst massacres around Berlin," Peter Fischer of Germany's Central Council of Jews said in interview on German television.
Fischer hopes that once the investigation is completed, a memorial site will be erected there.
A team of archaeologists, forensic experts and public prosecutors began a projected three-week excavation of the site.