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March 28, 2017

Photos from Soviet film of Auschwitz-Birkenau survivors

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:35 am

Two weeks after Auschwitz-Birkenau and the main Auschwitz camp were liberated by soldiers in the Army of the Soviet Union, a film was made which showed the survivors of the camp. All of the photos below are still shots from the Soviet film.

Prisoners at the main Auschwitz camp celebrate their liberation by Soviet soldiers

There were 5,800 survivors at the Auschwitz II camp (Birkenau) when the Soviets arrived on Januray 27, 1945. There were more survivors in the Auschwitz I camp (the main camp), some of whom are shown the documentary film taken in February 1945. The photo above shows men in the main camp.

Child survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau; Eva Moses Kor is the girl on the far right

Both of the photos above are still photos from a documentary film, which was made by the Soviet Union in February 1945. This is what the survivors of a death camp looked like, no more than four weeks after they were “liberated” on January 27, 1945.

Were these survivors actually “local people dressed to look like prisoners” as my Polish tour guide claimed. This would mean that Eva Moses Kor, who is still alive, was not actually in the film, but was being impersonated by a local Polish girl.

Survivors of Auschswitz-Birkenau camp

The photograph above is a still picture taken from the Soviet movie which was shown at the beginning of the tour at the Auschwitz Museum when I visited in 1998. It shows some of the 5,800 Birkenau survivors, most of whom look like well-fed Polish peasants, walking out of the camp. In the background of the photo you can see the wooden barracks buildings, with windows under the roof, and the posts of the barbed wire fence.

The tall, skinny guy in the photo is Dr. Otto Wolken, a medical doctor in the Birkenau Quarantine camp, who stayed behind to help his fellow prisoners when the Birkenau camp was evacuated. He is the only one in the photo who looks properly emaciated, as death camp prisoners should look.

The survivors, who are shown in the photo above, are walking along an interior camp road which bisects the Birkenau camp from north to south, connecting the women’s camp with the new section of Birkenau, known as “Mexico.” For all I know, these people are imposters who were brought in by the Soviets because all the real prisoners had been forced to march out of the camp.

Dr. Wolken was the first witness to testify at the Auschwitz Trial, held by the German government in Frankfurt between 1963 and 1965.

Women who survived Auschwitz-Birkenau huddle under blankets to keep warm

In the evening the female prisoners in the Auschwitz women’s camp, who are shown in the photo above, were formed into columns, including the female prisoners who had been transferred from Birkenau. They were driven out in the direction of Rajsko. The female prisoners of the gardening and plant breeding squads from the Rajsko sub-camp joined the procession of the male and female prisoners evacuated from Auschwitz-Birkenau.

There were more survivors in the Auschwitz I camp (the main camp), some of whom are shown the documentary film taken in February 1945. The photo at the top of this page shows men in the main camp.