Holocaust Photographs – What We Can Learn from Holocaust Pictures
Photos from the Holocaust are a powerful reminder of how atrocious this part of history truly was. World War II is one of the best documented events in history. There are surviving pictures of many different points in the Holocaust. From the early persecution of Jews through the ghettos and concentration camps, it's possible to take a glimpse back in time and see what the Holocaust was truly like through these resources. Viewing Holocaust photographs can be disturbing. For this reason, it's easy to shy away from these telling images. However, there is a lot of be learned from a straightforward look at this evidence.
While written documents certainly tell the story of the Holocaust, photographs bring it to life in a new way. For those who want to deny the Holocaust, or who simply have trouble believing that it really took place the way it's reported, photos offer indisputable proof. The disturbing images from the Allied liberation of the concentration camps show only the aftermath of what went on under Nazi rule, but this alone is more than enough to make some of the horrors of this period in time come to life. In addition to Allied photos, there are also Holocaust photographs that were taken in the midst of some of the worst atrocities.
Many of these Holocaust photographs were taken by SS officers and even printed in Nazi publications. It's interesting to note that these images which are so shocking and distasteful today, were printed with a sense of pride and satisfaction. The Nazis took many images with the intention of reporting on their accomplishments. Though it can't be said that all SS officers took cruel pleasure in torturing and murdering Jews and other prisoners, it's a documented fact that a great many did. Other SS photos from the Holocaust show comfortable, happy Nazi life from this period. The difference in living conditions from the ghettos to Nazi quarters is striking.
Whether you're looking at Holocaust photographs that were published in Nazi newspapers, or you're viewing images that were taken by liberators at the end of the war, there's a lot to be learned from these images. They make it impossible to deny the atrocities that Hitler led Europe into. The millions who were killed in death camps, labor camps, and ghettos, don't need to be faceless. With the evidence of Holocaust photos, it's possible for these victims to again have a recognizable face and identity. Facing these pictures bravely gives a voice again to those who were lost to the Nazi regime.