became the killing centre where the largest numbers of European Jews
were killed. By mid 1942, mass gassing of Jews using Zyklon-B began at
Auschwitz, where extermination was conducted on an industrial scale with
some estimates running as high as three million persons eventually
killed through gassing, starvation, disease, shooting, and burning. 9
out of 10 were Jews. In addition, Gypsies, Soviet POWs, and prisoners of
all nationalities died in the gas chambers.
The Auschwitz Album is a unique photographic record of the Holocaust of World War II. A collection of photographs taken inside a Nazi death camp, it is the only surviving pictorial evidence of the extermination process from inside the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The album has 56 pages and 193 photographs. Originally, it had more photos, but before being donated to the Holocaust Museum in Israel, Yad Vashem, some of them were given to survivors who recognized relatives and friends.
The photos were taken at the end of May or beginning of June 1944 and follow the processing of newly arrived Hungarian Jews from Carpatho-Ruthenia, many of them from the Berehov Ghetto. They document the disembarkation of the Jewish prisoners from the train boxcars, followed by the selection process, performed by doctors of the SS and SS-men of the camp, which separated those who were considered fit for work from those who were to be sent to the gas chambers. The photographer followed groups of those selected for work, and those selected for death to a birch tree grove just outside of the crematoria where they were made to wait before being killed.
In the words of Oliver Lustig:
"... that was to be "the last stay of their lives." Tens of feet apart, after the bushes of trees, the well-ventilated crematoria were awaiting them with an open door of the disrobing room and, with the gas chamber ready to go with a capacity for 2000 people. The 15 ovens built above the gas chamber were on so of not wasting any unnecessary time with restarting them."
The photographs of
the Auschwitz Album show the entire process except for the
killing itself - but you find more photos here.
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