Prisoners hid note in bottle at building site outside the concentration camp

Builders working close to the site of the former concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland have discovered a message in a bottle believed to have been written by inmates.

The pencil written note is dated 9 September 1944 and shows the names, camp numbers and home towns of seven young prisoners aged between 18 and 20 from France and Poland.

Builders made the discovery while working on the site of a school that prisoners at the Nazi-run camp had worked on reinforcing for use as warehouses, the BBC said.

The bottle was buried in a concrete wall in the school's buildings, situated just a few hundred metres from the camp. The Nazis, who used them as warehouses, wanted them protected against air raids.

An Auschwitz museum official said that at least two of the note's authors had survived the camp.

Six of the prisoners were from Poland and one was from France. The BBC was able to speak with one of the authors, and a museum spokesperson confirmed two others had definitely survived the camp.

But nothing is known about the fate of the other four men who signed the note.

Around 1.1 million people were murdered at Auschwitz.