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Auschwitz, Poland, Cremation of bodies by the Sonderkommando, Summer 1944.

Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem

One of the only three photographs documenting the murder of the victims and the cremation of the bodies in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. The pictures were taken by stealth by a member of the Sonderkommando and smuggled out by the international underground operating in the camp. The picture shows the cremation pits, surrounded by hedges and bushes, which were used when the crematoria in the camp were not functioning.

A former Sonderkommando member, Alter Fajnzylberg, later described how the picture was taken: "We all gathered at the western entrance that leads to the gas chamber of crematorium V, we could not see any SS men, Alex, the Greek Jew, whipped out his camera, aimed it at the pile of burning corpses and pressed the shutter".


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Details

  • Title: Auschwitz, Poland, Cremation of bodies by the Sonderkommando, Summer 1944.
  • Location: Poland
  • Subject Keywords: Camps , Corpses , Fire , Sonderkommando Auschwitz
  • Photographer: Alex, Sonderkommando member
  • Origin: Ghetto Fighters’ House 
  • Name of submitter: Ghetto Fighters’ House 
  • Credit: Yad Vashem
  • Collection: Yad Vashem Photo Archive
  • Archival signature: 1495/47

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