Polish experts to identify victims of Spanish and Greek civil wars
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish scientists are set to use their expertise to help identify victims of both the Spanish and Greek civil wars.
The Polish Genetic Base of Victims of Totalitarianism (PBGOT) has invaluable experience in the field owing to recent state-backed bids to identify the remains of victims of communist crimes in Poland.
The team is now poised to participate in programmes with Spanish and Greek universities.
“We see it as a kind of recognition that scientists from such universities want to cooperate with us, and that they see a future in this cooperation,” said geneticist Andrzej Ossowski, who works for the PBGOT.
The Polish institution is a joint venture of the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin and state-backed research body the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN).
Ossowski notes that colossal numbers of victims have yet to identified in Spain and Greece, with up to several hundred thousand in Spain alone.
“We hope that the experience we have gained through studying our own cases of victims of totalitarian regimes will allow for the identification of the victims of those countries.”
Recent successes in Poland have included the identification of 28 victims of communist crimes in unmarked graves at Warsaw's Powazki Military Cemetery. PBGOT is participating in the ongoing project.
Ossowski has also revealed that besides Spain and Greece, PBGOT is also taking part in a bid to identify WWII casualties in Norway.
The Spanish Civil War, ultimately won by General Francisco Franco's nationalists, lasted from 1936-39, with up to 500,000 casualties. The Greek Civil War ran from 1946-49, with an estimated 158,000 casualties. Many Greek communist partisans who had fought on the losing side gained asylum in Poland and other Eastern bloc countries. (nh)