A collection of photographs taken at the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in 1944 and the present day have gone on sale at the museum. The album presents 31 historical photographs taken by SS men in 1944 depicting the extermination of Jews in the Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. They were set in contrast with present-day photographs of the same locations.
The original 1944 album is known nowadays as “The Auschwitz Album” or “Lili Jacob Album”. Almost as many as 200 photographs taken by SS men depict the arrival of a transport of Hungarian Jews at the Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. The pictures lay bare almost every stage of the extermination: departure from the train, formation of columns, selection, march to the gas chambers, waiting to enter the undressing room, looting of property as well as the very first moments of those who were selected us fit to work during the selection and registered in the camp. The only stage the German author failed to record is the killing of people.
Photographer Paweł Sawicki has since gone back and identified the areas of the camp in those Nazi photos, capturing them as they appear in modern times. The result is a stark reminder of the millions who lost their lives in a camp taht is now in ruins.
“However, the project was not about creating faithful replicas of the historical photographs. It was rather about reminding the viewer in a profound manner about all that took place here, in this very place.” – Paweł Sawicki
The album Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Place Where You Are Standing… has been published in Polish and English language versions. It is available in the museum bookshop as well as through the online store of the Auschwitz Memorial.