Sunday, January 17

The Auschwitz Album

This old photo album really got me going. The power of a photograph reaches out despite decades having had passed since it was taken at Auschwitz. This album shows the people  arriving at the concentration camp, getting processed into those who would be workers and those who would be gassed immediately. The black and white photographs throw a seriously blunt light on this truly horrible time.

Here’s one example of the arrivals. The faces are numb. Look at the faces of the children, innocent and uncomprehending.

Once they arrived, they were then selected according to what the SS officers felt as to their working capability, old men, women and children were more than likely to be sent straight into the gas chambers. The piles of clothing in the right back were reprocessed. In the top far left is a line which has already been processed and are heading towards the gas chambers (see air picture below).

These are 2 boys. Notice the Star of David on the greatcoat of the boy on the right, the Jews were identified that way.

Old men being led to the gas chambers, again notice the Star of David.

The same fate awaited old women and children.

Women and men who were fit for forced labour were deloused, had their heads shaven and were then moved to the labour part of the camp.

A photograph of a line of prisoners being lead to the gas chambers. These reconnaissance photographs were taken by the allied forces. In many cases, they did not even know what this was, or rather what the camps really were used for (or at least that's what was being claimed then).

and how the Germans then tried to hide the evidence.

it is all bloody painful…
The above related to the victims, but what about the Germans? Here’s another photo album from the other side.

There are more photographs of how the SS officers enjoyed their lives, as if they were on holidays, eating blue berries with cream and singing along with accordions. I get into frequent arguments with TBS about why the Holocaust is considered so extra special. Well, it's the efficiency with which this large scale killing happened, the scale and scope, the rabid ideology, and and and, which all lead us to hope that it will not happen again. And despite this, we have seen Bangladesh, Rwanda, Cambodia, etc. Some said, we need to educate people more. In one of the next posts, I will be exploring why its the educated lot who actually drive or commit these monstrous crimes against humanity.

1 comment:

daddysan said...

A visit to the Eagle's Nest memorial in Obersalzburg was a gut-wrenching experience. The most cruel and telling photograph on display was of the last Jew in Vinnitsa.

http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/06/29/last-jew-in-vinnitsa/

The picture was displayed in horrifying resolution.

I was also amazed to learn that Obersalzburg was in Germany (not in Austria as I initially thought) and the memorial was sanctioned by the German govt.