Historical Images

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In one of the most infamous pictures of  WWII, a member of the SS prepares to shoot a Jewish woman with her back to him, desperate to protect her child.  A single bullet from his rifle was sufficient for both at such intimate range.  I have read anecdotes that the shooter - a Hungarian Auxiliary - was drunk when he did this, and upon sobering up, was so horrified at his deed that he committed suicide.  I feel no compassion for him.

In one of the most infamous pictures of WWII, a member of the SS prepares to shoot a Jewish woman with her back to him, desperate to protect her child. A single bullet from his rifle was sufficient for both at such intimate range. I have read anecdotes that the shooter - a Hungarian Auxiliary - was drunk when he did this, and upon sobering up, was so horrified at his deed that he committed suicide. I feel no compassion for him.

A German girl is overcome as she is forced to walk through and around the exhumed bodies of some 800 slave workers that the SS guards near Namering, Germany murdered. The US Army who liberated the camp laid them out so that the townspeople, who feverishly denied knowledge of the camp, could view the work of their Nazi leaders.

Once Upon a Time in War

War is a horribly fascinating thing, however much man may hate it.

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The Nazis didn't discriminate among young or old, man or woman, innocent or threat. Here, an Allied soldier peers into a freshly dug grave containing the corpses of children killed at Nordhausen.

The Nazis didn't discriminate among young or old, man or woman, innocent or threat. Here, an Allied soldier peers into a freshly dug grave containing the corpses of children killed at Nordhausen.

This picture was taken on August 29, 1945, the day of liberation at Dachau Concentration Camp.  The man on the ground is an SS guard moments away from being executed by the inmates standing near him. During his time as a guard, he brutalized and murdered untold numbers of innocent men, women and children.  Only at the point of death does he show remorse. He was executed with the shovel in the hand of the inmate on the left. An Allied soldier turns his back, refusing to intervene.

This picture was taken on August 29, 1945, the day of liberation at Dachau Concentration Camp. The man on the ground is an SS guard moments away from being executed by the inmates standing near him. During his time as a guard, he brutalized and murdered untold numbers of innocent men, women and children. Only at the point of death does he show remorse. He was executed with the shovel in the hand of the inmate on the left. An Allied soldier turns his back, refusing to intervene.

Although mothers tried desperately to hide and protect their children, few as young as this child, tattooed with the number 23141, survived Auschwitz. In the concentration camps, work provided the only hope of survival, a possibility foreclosed to the very young and the elderly. As Auschwitz moved into its final, extermination-camp phase, some children, especially twins, escaped the gas chambers upon arrival only to be subjected to cruel medical experiments. I feel grief reading this…

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Although mothers tried desperately to hide and protect their children, few as young as this child, tattooed with the number 23141, survived Auschwitz. In the concentration camps, work provided the only hope of survival, a possibility foreclosed to the very young and the elderly. As Auschwitz moved into its final, extermination-camp phase, some children, especially twins, escaped the gas chambers upon arrival only to be subjected to cruel medical experiments. I feel grief reading this…

SS Obersturmbannführer Martin Gottfried Weiss preparing to be hanged at Landsberg prison after being convicted of war crimes by the Allies.  He was the 7th Commandant of Dachau.

SS Obersturmbannführer Martin Gottfried Weiss preparing to be hanged at Landsberg prison after being convicted of war crimes by the Allies. He was the 7th Commandant of Dachau.

Karl and Ilse Koch.  Karl was Commandant of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, then moved to Buchenwald.  and finally to Majdanek.  He was executed by the Nazis for theft during the war.  His wife, Isle, "Bitch of Buchenwald", is infamous for her collection of items made from the tanned skin of inmates.  She rode through the camps selecting prisoners whose tattoos she fancied, had them killed, and used the skin for lampshades, purses, and other items.  She committed suicide in prison in 1967.

Karl and Ilse Koch. Karl was Commandant of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, then moved to Buchenwald. and finally to Majdanek. He was executed by the Nazis for theft during the war. His wife, Isle, "Bitch of Buchenwald", is infamous for her collection of items made from the tanned skin of inmates. She rode through the camps selecting prisoners whose tattoos she fancied, had them killed, and used the skin for lampshades, purses, and other items. She committed suicide in prison in 1967.

A young mother and her children wait to be executed near Lubny on Oct. 16, 1941.  Though the sound of shots must have been audible to those waiting, none are crying or behaving with anything other than incredible dignity, faith, and resolve.  To answer why so many didn't just overwhelm their captors, it is well-known that a few men with guns can easily control crowds many times larger; especially if the crowds are of women, children and the elderly.

A young mother and her children wait to be executed near Lubny on Oct. 16, 1941. Though the sound of shots must have been audible to those waiting, none are crying or behaving with anything other than incredible dignity, faith, and resolve. To answer why so many didn't just overwhelm their captors, it is well-known that a few men with guns can easily control crowds many times larger; especially if the crowds are of women, children and the elderly.

A survivor looks out a barred window at the Hadamar Institute. Hadamar was one of six institutes used by the Nazis during the "T4 Operation". T4 was the codename for euthanasia activities performed by German doctors on the mentally and physically disabled, children of mixed marriages, geriatrics, disabled soldiers and other lebensunwertes Leben - life unworthy of life.  Patients were gassed or killed by overdose or starvation.  Between 1939 and 1945, 200,000 people died under T4 guidelines.

A survivor looks out a barred window at the Hadamar Institute. Hadamar was one of six institutes used by the Nazis during the "T4 Operation". T4 was the codename for euthanasia activities performed by German doctors on the mentally and physically disabled, children of mixed marriages, geriatrics, disabled soldiers and other lebensunwertes Leben - life unworthy of life. Patients were gassed or killed by overdose or starvation. Between 1939 and 1945, 200,000 people died under T4 guidelines.

A survivor looks out a barred window at the Hadamar Institute. Hadamar was one of six institutes used by the Nazis during the "T4 Operation". T4 was the codename for euthanasia activities performed by German doctors on the mentally and physically disabled, children of mixed marriages, geriatrics, disabled soldiers and other lebensunwertes Leben - life unworthy of life.  Patients were gassed or killed by overdose or starvation.  Between 1939 and 1945, 200,000 people died under T4 guidelines.

A survivor looks out a barred window at the Hadamar Institute. Hadamar was one of six institutes used by the Nazis during the "T4 Operation". T4 was the codename for euthanasia activities performed by German doctors on the mentally and physically disabled, children of mixed marriages, geriatrics, disabled soldiers and other lebensunwertes Leben - life unworthy of life. Patients were gassed or killed by overdose or starvation. Between 1939 and 1945, 200,000 people died under T4 guidelines.

German officers examine Polish children to determine whether they qualify as "Aryan." Poland, wartime.    — US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Deciding whether children are "Aryan"