The mystery of the Auschwitz albums

History of Sorts

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The Auschwitz Album

The Auschwitz Album is a unique photographic record of the Holocaust of the Second World War. A collection of photographs taken inside a Nazi German death camp, it is the only surviving pictorial evidence (with the exception of four surreptitious photographs taken by Sonderkommandos) of the extermination process from inside the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp.

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The identity of the photographer has never been determined. They may have been taken by either Ernst Hoffmann or Bernhard Walter, two SS men responsible for fingerprinting and taking photo IDs of those prisoners who were not selected for extermination.The album has 56 pages and 193 photographs. Originally, it had more photos, but before being donated to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Israel, some of them were given to survivors who recognized relatives and friends.

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The images follow the processing of newly arrived Hungarian Jews from Carpatho-Ruthenia in the early…

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