Saturday, June 30, 2012

Auschwitz Prisoner Photos

In 1941 and 1942, when Jewish and non-Jewish prisoners were brought into Auschwitz, they were photographed similarly to mugshots: front, right, and left views.  The photos were identified by the person's camp number and what type of prisoner (Jewish, political, Jehovah's Witness, etc.) but not by name.  Photos were not taken of people sent directly to the gas chambers.  By 1943 photographs were rarely taken.

More than 30,000 of these photographs have survived, out of what must have been a much larger number.  They are held at the Auschwitz Museum.  There is no public inventory of the photos, but a little more than 2,000 have been shared with the International Tracing Service, Yad Vashem, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  The Auschwitz Museum also permitted Giuseppe Zambon to publish more than 600 photos in a book, Auschwitz: Abels Gesichter.

A searchable database with 2,255 names is now available on Steve Morse's One-Step Website.  This database includes the names from Auschwitz: Abels Gesichter and from the photos that have been shared.  The data were assembled by Peter Landé of Washington, D.C.  Information on how to order copies of photos is given on the site.

Mr. Landé hopes to add more information to the database when possible.

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