Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yesterday Columbia University President Bollinger called the Shoah "the most documented event in human history". I cannot verify that claim, but it is true that you really have to be ignorant or evil-minded to doubt or deny that the Holocaust took place. As much as has been published about the persecution and murder of European Jewry ( relatively much more research remains to be done on the murder of Sinta, Roma and other communities that were viciously persecuted and murdered by the Nazis and their helpers ), we only know a small part of Holocaust history. So much still remains to be researched. This week it became known that a very important photo document has become available to the public and to researchers. The photos ( many of them picturing SS-men and women talking and having a good time ) were taken in and around Auschwitz between May and December 1944. This means that they cover the period May-July 1944, when about 400.000 Hungarian Jews were gassed in the death camp. Another important photo document, commonly known as the Auschwitz Album, also became publicly available only many years after the war. It pictures the other side of the Holocaust, that of the victims, in that same summer of 1944. As USHMM director Sara Bloomfield said about Karl Hoecker's album: "These unique photographs vividly illustrate the contented world they enjoyed while overseeing a world of unimaginable suffering. They offer an important perspective on the psychology of those perpetrating genocide."

No comments: