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Yad Vashem This Month in Holocaust History
February 1941, Young girl on the streets of the Warsaw Ghetto, Poland

February 1941

Young girl on the streets of the Warsaw Ghetto, Poland

One of the photographs of the Warsaw Ghetto taken by the German photographer Joe Heydecker.

Joe Heydecker (1916-1997) was a German anti-Nazi photographer and author, who took more than 1,000 photographs of life in the German army during his military service. In early 1941, he received the order to go to Warsaw and join the propaganda unit. Amongst his most noteworthy photographs are the illegal pictures he took inside the Warsaw Ghetto in February 1941, which expose the horrific conditions in the ghetto. Two of his friends - photography laboratory technicians in his unit - and his wife, risked their lives to help him hide these photographs. The Gestapo even searched Heydecker’s home, but never found the photographs. After the war ended, on the initiative of a US army officer, Heydecker spoke on Radio Munich about what he had seen in the Warsaw Ghetto, and he also covered the Nuremberg Trials. He made a living as a journalist and writer, and moved to Brazil in 1960. In 1981, the first exhibition of Heydecker’s photos of the Warsaw Ghetto opened in Sao Paolo.

For further information about the Warsaw Ghetto, click here.

Yad Vashem Photo Archives, 1014/5/70