A hidden Nazi concentration camp, where no less than 250,000 Jews are thought to have been killed, has been unearthed by archaeologists in eastern Poland.
The team of Polish and Israeli experts have discovered one of the main chambers beneath the roads in Sobibór. The chamber was said to be operational from April 1942 to October 1943, however it was later bulldozed by the Nazis in a vain attempt to wipe out evidence of the murders.
"The discovery of the gas chambers at Sobibór is a very important finding in Holocaust research," said David Silberklang, a senior historian at the International Institute for Holocaust Research.
"It is important to understand that there were no survivors from among the Jews who worked in the area of the gas chambers. Therefore, these findings are all that is left of those murdered there, and they open a window onto the day-to-day suffering of these people."
Following a revolt in October 1943, German troops shut down the camp and demolished it to remove any trace of what happened there.
Numerous personal belongings such as rings, golden teeth, perfume bottles and jewellery have also been found at the site over the years.
"Finally, we have reached our goal -- the discovery of the gas chambers. We were amazed at the size of the building and the well-preserved condition of the chamber walls," said one of the archaeologists of the team, Yoram Haimi, whose two relatives were among those killed in Sobibór.