Documenting Evil: The Auschwitz Album

    [rewrite, original lost to unfortunate back-key]

    [moved from News - originally was pointing to an actual exhibit, even if far away from the US - to a diary with link to the photos - not quite the same as contemplating in a hall, but so be it]

    As part of the 70th commemoration of the end of WWII, I went to an exhibit of the Auschwitz Album. While movie directors have done an amazing job re-creating these awful scenes throughout the years, the actual photos of unphotogenic, unmadeup distressed masses being herded around as they struggle to manage their few belongings along with their friends & relatives is heartbreaking.

    What's more astounding is this seminal horrific event came this close to having 0 photographic evidence even at this late date in the history of photography - only by accident did one of the inmates stumble across this unauthorized photo album a few hundred miles away. Otherwise, poof, gone, vanished - only to be debated as a less certain he-said-she-said occurrence to be misused by the weak-memoried and the sinister propagandist - in some ways as distant as Waterloo. We live in a spoiled time with our smartphones to document altercations and large events, and the idea that there was no camera around will come to seem stranger and stranger.

    Additionally, the tales by survivors from the photos that accompany the exhibit are also mind-bending - holding hands at the triage point was a sure path to death for both hand-holders (e.g. mother and child); a father they catch glimpse of to great relief being saved from the death line to work as a nurse the rest of the war, only to be executed as the Nazis pulled out  a year later; a boy who has a dream they're all on their way to their deaths and breaks the silence, leaving his train in implacable panic. This is the oral tradition that can't be replaced by film or image.

    Besides a memory of the outrages of Auschwitz and other camps, the Auschwitz album is a testament to all the other atrocities that were never documented, that passed with hardly a trace, much less a vivid memorial. We know these have occurred from Cambodia to Rwanda to Guatemala to countless other locations and times, but without the benefit of seeing-is-believing, blindness is all too easy a respite.


    The never documented part goes all the way down to what it is.

    Oh I just read some blog site about this subject.

    And I know, not just from Elie but from movies I witnessed in school when I was seven?

    And there are deniers?

    What about the conservative/racist Patton, who went nuts on the video as he witnessed the carnage with Ike.

    It was all there for us to see and yet, we have people in this country who deny this?

    Yes, we have other evidence of similar carnage world wide.

    Thank you for this.

    I really appreciate this post and I must be reminded.

    We must all be reminded.

    Just as an aside, I had a friend in High School centered in the new Eden, and he came back from Viet Nam and he brought a picture of him (at 17) sitting on a pile of sculls. I swear to god and he was smiling, he was proud....and he became a menace.

    I am off base here.

    But damn.

    the end

    war does that to some people. stop apologizing.

    Notice the (yellow) 6 pointed stars on the clothing of many at the link.

    The Nazi's has emblems for Jews, common criminals, 'politicals', gypsies and some other categories.

    A major job for the 'fit workers' was going through the clothing, seams, shoe heels, bags etc of the dead to extract valuables for the war effort.

    The death camps were primarily in the East, in remote areas, and where the local population was very hostile to any who might escape. See Escape from Sobibor.

    See, right away I wish to extrapolate:

    We have these 'illegals'...

    Should we provide them with stars or other special clothing or ....


    And some states let 'them' have driver's licenses.


    But I get scared.


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