There are very few photos of the Holocaust and concentration camps were taken while these camps were being operated by the Nazis. However, some remarkable images depict the horrors of that time, and they are deeply disturbing in their implications. One collection, dubbed the Auschwitz Album, was actually discovered in another camp, after Auschwitz was evacuated, by a survivor who recognized members of her murdered family. This camp was over 400 miles away.
The woman who found the photographs came from a transport of Hungarian Jews, photographed from the time they departed transport trains right up until to the moment they were killed in the gas chambers. They were taken by two SS photographers, one who served three years in a Polish jail and another who disappeared after the war. Ultimately, the album was donated to the Israeli government to assist in the prosecution of Adolf Eichman.
Another cache of pictures came from the Hoecker Album, pictures taken by SS man Karl Friedrich Hoecker, showing the staff at Auschwitz during leisure time in a resort set up near Auschwitz. They are stunning in their depictions of utterly carefree individuals involved in one of the most sinister endeavors in the history of mankind. Actual photos taken by the Sonderkommando, the prisoner unit that conducted operations in the Auschwitz gas chamber, also survived, smuggled out of the camp by Polish resistance.
These photographs of concentration camp facilities provide a haunting reminder of the incredible cruelty and destruction that Nazi Germany inflicted upon its victims, and serve as a warning to future generations of the horrors of fascism, bigotry, and indifference.