A Nazi mass grave containing 675 babies and children thought to have been "drained of blood" to save injured German soldiers has been found in Russia.

The gruesome discovery, which contained 1,362 bodies, was made near St Petersburg and close to the base of an invading Hitler SS unit during WWII, experts said.

The site is believed to from the evil Vyritsa 'blood transfusion' concentration camp, near Gatchina, where children were kept for the sole purpose of providing blood to injured Nazis.

The man leading the operation to retrieve the remains said "there is no end to it all."

Up to 50 sacks full of human remains were taken from the site just this week.

The precise location is Novaya Burya village, in the Lomonosovsky district of the Leningrad region.

Head of the search team Viktor Ionov said: "We are digging and digging, but there is no end to it at all.

"And – morally – civilians are harder to dig out than military victims.

"The victims were not wearing clothes and shoes. Usually something decayed remains, for example, soles – but not here."

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The victims, almost all without visible wounds, were found naked and without shoes on.

Investigators believe the children's remains were from a notorious concentration camp nearby where children were kept solely to supply blood for wounded German officers and soldiers fighting near Leningrad, now St Petersburg.

Most of the adult casualties were women, including at least three who were pregnant.

Search volunteer Sergei Beregovoi explained: "In total the bones of 1,362 people, 675 out of them children, have been dug up here.

"The remains were lying in piles. Some had their arms stretched. To be honest, I was utterly horrified, despite all my experience," he told 47news outlet.

Nazi soldiers were stationed just 300metres from the site between 1941 and 1943 during the Siege of Leningrad, while an SS unit was also based nearby.

Ionov said: "The most mysterious thing is that neither the elderly, nor local historians, remember anything about what happened here.

"There is no evidence in the military archives. I do not understand why no one knows anything at all about what happened here."

The first hint of a mass grave hiding beneath the surface came to light when the remains of two adults and a newborn child were discovered last year during a land survey.

Another 20 skeletons were found soon afterwards, prompting the Russian Investigative Committee to open a criminal case for mass murder.

It is now likely to be recategorised as a genocide investigation, reports say.

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