Leisure Photos of Camp Guards Shock Germans
Newly released photos of SS officers sitting in canvas chairs, participating in sing-alongs and enjoying their free time at a recreation home near Auschwitz have shocked many in Germany this week.Twelve SS auxiliaries sit happily on a fence railing eating blueberries given to them by an SS officer. The photo was taken in 1944 in Solahütte, a recreation home located near Auschwitz for the SS team in charge of running the concentration camp. Another shows the auxiliaries callously feigning tears once their bowls are empty.The photos were taken between May and December 1944, and they show the officers and guards relaxing and enjoying themselves -- as countless people were being murdered and cremated at the nearby death camp.In some of the photos, SS officers can be seen singing. In others they are hunting and in another a man can be seen decorating a Christmas tree in what could only be described as a holiday in hell.
"These unique photographs vividly illustrate the contented world they enjoyed while overseeing a world of unimaginable suffering," museum director Sara Bloomfield said in a statement. "They offer an important perspective on the psychology of those perpetrating genocide."
The director of the museum's photographic reference collection, Judith Cohen, said there are no photos depicting anything abhorrent, "and that's precisely what makes them so horrible."
The images are significant because there are few photos available today of the "social life" of the SS officers who were responsible for the mass murder at Auschwitz, the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper writes. The paper claims that these are the first leisure time photos of the concentration camp's SS officers to be discovered, though similar images do exist for other camps, including Sachsenhausen, Dachau and Buchenwald.
'Revelling next to the Gas Chambers'
Germany's mass circulation Bild newspaper, which has more than 4 million readers, described the images as "photos that are angering the world!"
"No other name is connected with greater horror and cruelty" than Auschwitz, an article in the Friday issue of the paper stated. "The death camp is the epitome of the Nazi murder of the Jews. ... Now photos of the perpetrators have surfaced, nightmarish documents that show how shamelessly and cynically the SS revelled next to the gas chambers."
The album belonged to Karl Höcker, the adjutant to the final camp commandant at Auschwitz, Richard Baer. Höcker took the pictures as personal keepsakes. The album also contains eight photos of Josef Mengele -- some of the very few existing snapshots taken of the concentration camp's notorious doctor during the time he spent there.NOTE:
My mother witnessed Josef Mengele tearing from a mother's arms,her child and having him smashed to pieces as Mengele threw the child against a wall in Ravensbrueck.
After the war, he worked for years, unrecognized, in a bank. But in 1963 he was forced to answer to charges for his role at Auschwitz at a trial in Frankfurt. In his closing words in the trial, Höcker claimed:
"I had no possibility in any way to influence the events and I neither wanted them to happen nor took part in them.
I didn't harm anyone and no one died at Auschwitz because of me."
In the end, though, he was convicted on charges of aiding and abetting the murders of 1,000 Jews and was sentenced to seven years in pristher wanted them to happen nor took part in them. I didn't harm anyone and no one died at Auschwitz because of me." to seven years in prison. He was released after serving five years. In 2000, he died at the age of 88.
Up until now, only 320 photos taken prior to the camp's liberation by the Russians were known to the public. The images were part of the so-called "Auschwitz Album," which was opened up for the public in 1980. The photos primarily documented the arrival of Hungarian Jews at the concentration camp at the end of May 1944 and their selection by SS personnel.
The newly discovered photos of the blithesome daily lives of Nazis at Auschwitz offer a macabre contrast to that album.
About Robert Capa and Gerda Taro
Sometime in the spring of 1936, the lovers and photographers André Friedmann and Gerta Pohorylle changed their names and, in the process, the history of photography. To distinguish themselves from other Jewish émigrés in Paris at the time, Mr. Friedmann, a Hungarian Jew, took the name Robert Capa; Ms. Pohorylle, also Jewish and born in Poland, became Gerda Taro. Working at times as “Capa,” an imaginary American photographer, they began documenting the Spanish Civil War, capturing the ruined towns and devastated civilians and soldiers on the Republican side.
Mr. Capa went on to become one of the world’s greatest war photographers.
But Ms. Taro, seen by many as the first woman known to photograph a battle from the front lines and to die covering a war, survived in the public eye mostly for her romance with Mr. Capa.Jordana Mendelson, an art historian and an associate professor in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University, said Ms. Taro left behind “an extraordinary document of war” that was lost until now.
“Taro is part of a small pantheon of women photographers who saw photography as an “Taro and Capa represent a sort of romantic vision of the stateless person involving themselves in terrible battles: the social battles, the political battles of the time.”extension of their political commitment and of their role as new women,” Ms. Mendelson said.
With over 60 million deaths, World War II has gone down in history as the bloodiest conflict ever. http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,353865,00.html
Here's a timeline of the most important events.http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,507175,00.html
Newly released photos of SS officers sitting in canvas chairs, participating in sing-alongs and enjoying their free time at a recreation home near Auschwitz have shocked many in Germany this week. more...
photographs by marguerita
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is scheduled to give a speech on Monday afternoon at Columbia University, but Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg won’t be in the audience. The mayor weighed in again today on the controversy over the Iranian leader’s visit.
Columbia’s president, Lee C. Bollinger, said he agreed to have Mr. Ahmadinejad come to the university this year only after the Iranian leader agreed to a forum that will allow Mr. Bollinger to challenge Mr. Ahmadinejad on a number of hot-button issues, including Mr. Ahmadinejad’s calls for Israel’s destruction and his statement that the Holocaust was a myth.
I would like Mr.Ahmadinejad,who is a professor,to learn the real historical facts,accurately and in case Mr. Bollinger needs more evidence,here I stand.
The only child of two Holocaust survivors and both families of prominent background,totally murdered by the NaziMarguerita Bornstein-Fahrer, best known by her first name, was born in Sydney, Australia in 1950. The only child of two Holocaust survivors, she grew up Brazil, where she lived fromn 1954 and started her career in drawing at a very early age. In 1970, she moved back to Australia where she worked for television, in animation and studied drawing. Her work appeared in newspapers such as O Estado de S. Paulo and Journal da Tarde, as well as in several magazines. For Polish magazine Krakout she created the comic 'Zyg & Mea' She moved to the United States in 1976 and settled in New York.http://lambiek.net/artists/m/marguerita.htm
My mother's left arm with tatoo A-26.427
Columbia’s president, Lee C. Bollinger, said he agreed to have Mr. Ahmadinejad come to the university this year only after the Iranian leader agreed to a forum that will allow Mr. Bollinger to challenge Mr. Ahmadinejad on a number of hot-button issues,
including Mr.Ahmadinejad's calls for Israel destruction and his statement that the Holocaust was a myth. myth.http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/21/bloomberg-wont-listen-to-ahmadinejad/index.html?hp