The wartime photographs were taken by members of the German SS in 1944 and appear in The Auschwitz Album (or Lili Jacob Album), which contains nearly 200 photographs showing the arrival of a transport of Hungarian Jews at the Birkenau camp. The pictures document each stage of processing – from departure from the train and the march to the gas chambers, to the looting of property and the selection of people spared immediate death to work in camp. The only stage not recorded is the extermination in the gas chambers.
A new publication by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland shows photographs taken in the extermination camp during World War II alongside pictures of the same locations today. More than a million people – most of them Jewish – were murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz-Birkenau during World War II. The photographer of the present-day pictures, Paweł Sawicki, noted that a detailed analysis of the historical photographs was necessary in order to find the same places and to get to know the working methods of the German author. “It turned out that most of the pictures in the Auschwitz Album were taken from an elevated position, which had to be taken into account,” said Mr Sawicki. m
“Setting the pictures depicting the tragedy of a Jewish transport in 1944 against the pictures of places we can visit today is shocking,” said Marek Zajac, the Secretary of the International Council of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. “I know the famous Lili Jacob Album very well, and I also know every preserved fragment of the Birkenau camp, but Pawel Sawicki’s work made me see even more. When I walk through the camp now, I see something completely different from what I used to see.”