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Matching the Mortal Remains of Kidnapped Africans

Researchers in Berlin have identified living relatives of people whose remains were stolen from Tanzania and taken to Germany for “scientific” experiments during the colonial era. Berlin’s Museum of Prehistory and Early History has been carrying out research since 2017 on about 1,100 skulls taken from what was then known as German East Africa. The museum announced on Tuesday that DNA analysis had provided a clear link to living descendants in Tanzania, hailing the find as a “small miracle”. “The relatives and the government of Tanzania will now be informed as soon as possible,” the museum said in a statement. The skulls are part of a collection of about 7,700 that were acquired by the museum from Berlin’s Charité hospital in 2011, the museum authority said. Many of them were part of a collection assembled by the doctor and anthropologist Felix von Luschan during German colonial rule.