The Nazis in Auschwitz were determined to document all prisoners. They also kept records of their experiments and war crimes. That is how arrogant they were, they didn’t think that they would be held accountable and that all these records would be used against them.
The Politische Abteilung Erkennungsdienst -“Political Department Identification Service”-in Auschwitz was a kommando of SS officers and prisoners who photographed camp events, visiting dignitaries, and building works on behalf of the camp’s commandant, Rudolf Höss.
One function of the Erkennungsdienst was to take three photographs of each newly registered prisoner, unregistered prisoners were gassed on arrival, and to create prisoner identification papers with fingerprints. These details were circulated to the police in the event of an escape. If a prisoner died as a result of an escape attempt or suicide, the Erkennungsdienst took photographs of the body, which were added to the prisoner’s file and forwarded to SS-WVHA Office Group D (the Concentration Camps Inspectorate).
Prisoners were photographed soon after their arrival in Auschwitz-Birkenau by fellow-prisoners who were forced to work in the camp photo laboratory in Block 26. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum identifies names of some of these camp photographers: Wilhelm Brasse (No. 3444), Alfred Woycicki (no. 39247), Tadeusz Myszkowski (no. 593), Józef Pysz (no. 1420) Józef Światłoch (no. 3529), Eugeniusz Dembek (no. 63764), Bronisław Jureczek (no. 26672), Tadeusz Krzysica (no. 120557), Stanisław Trałka (no. 660), and Zdzisław Pazio (no. 3078).
Wilhelm Brasse died on October 23,2012. These are some of the photographs he took. I will only post the pictures and the names. It is up to every reader to find out what happened to them. That is a task I am setting for all of you. I also want you to look into the eyes of these poor souls and see the fear in them. The picture above is of Stefania Siebler.
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