Yad Vashem Puts Auschwitz Album Online #hungary #holocaust #announcements


Jan Meisels Allen
 

 

Yad Vashem has placed online the Auschwitz Album which was a donation to them. It is the only surviving visual evidence of the process leading to the mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau. There are 56 pages and 193 photos in the album. To view the album go to:

https://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/album_auschwitz/arrival.asp

 

The photos were taken at the end of May or beginning of June 1944, either by Ernst Hofmann or by Bernhard Walter, two SS men whose task was to take ID photos and fingerprints of the inmates (not of the Jews who were sent directly to the gas chambers).

 

The photos show the arrival of Hungarian Jews from Carpatho-Ruthenia. Many of them came from the Berehovo Ghetto, which itself was a collecting point for Jews from several other small towns.

 

Early summer 1944 was the apex of the deportation of Hungarian Jewry. For this purpose a special rail line was extended from the railway station outside the camp to a ramp inside Auschwitz. Many of the photos in the album were taken on the ramp.

 

In 1994 the album was restored in Yad Vashem's conservation laboratory and information on each one of the photos was typed into the computerized databank of the archive. The staff of the archive was able to compare and match the pictures with aerial photos taken by the US Army Air Force on several occasions in 1944-45. In 1999 the entire album was scanned with the highest quality digital equipment.

 

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee