STUTTGART, Germany — The newspaper with the headline about the 34 bodies found at Stuttgart Army Airfield was held up in front of the students.

“That creeps me out,” one student blurted.

Students in Martha Drane’s U.S. history class at Patch High School got a short lesson Friday in Nazi history and the desire of Adolf Hitler and his underlings during World War II to rid the world of Jews and others they deemed undesirable.

For the students, the event brought history to their doorstep, warts and all.

“This is a big reminder how bad World War II was, and how blind and really bad that racism is,” Randy Bowker, 16, said.

“It’s creepy that there are human bones under the field and we’re walking on them not knowing,” added Rae Lietzau, also 16.

The discovery was made Monday by contractors hired by the 6th Area Support Group, which manages the airfield property. They were digging in the area as part of renovation to the base’s main security gate.

Five skeletal remains were found Monday, and 29 more on Tuesday. They were found in shallow graves side by side. German police said there was evidence some had been buried alive by the positions of their bodies.

Bowker, wearing his No. 50 football jersey in advance of the Patch junior varsity football game Saturday, said that the U.S. military should consider returning the airfield to the Germans.

The airfield, in the southern suburb of Echterdingen next to Stutt- gart’s civilian airport, is used to transport troops and cargo. The 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation uses the base to fly VIPs to and from Stutt- gart, and the military community’s main postal facility is there.

“If it is a Jewish mass grave, the Army should give the airfield back to the Germans so they can use it as a memorial,” Bokwer said. “They’ve got the (civilian) airport there, and they’ve got Ramstein (air base, near Kaiserslautern).”

Indeed, leaders at the Rabbinical Center of Europe, a group that consults the European Union, were going to inquire about that possibility. Jewish law, according to the center’s coordinator, Rabbi Levi Matusof, requires graves to be undisturbed.

“The rabbis have decided that since the people perished there and the bodies were found there, we should try to do everything possible to bury them there, especially because we don’t know if there are any other remains or not,” Matusof said.

Matusof said German authorities had been very cooperative and sensitive in the matter.

No more bodies had been found as of Friday, according to Horst Haug, a spokesman for the Baden-Württemberg state police. The remains had already been taken to a hospital in Stuttgart for DNA analysis, he said.

Leaders of the Stuttgart-based U.S. European Command and 6th Area Support Group told their troops and employees not to talk to the press about the discovery.

Officials at the Stuttgart-based U.S. European Command’s headquarters declined to comment.

Drane said she had no qualms bringing up the matter with her students and letting them share their views with the press.

“I look at being truthful with them,” Drane said. “Sometimes the gruesome details don't need to go in, but I believe in the truth.

“But I don’t tell them what to think. I want them to think for themselves.”

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