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Yad Vashem Traveling Exhibitions

Auschwitz Album

The Story of a Transport

About the Exhibition

Jewish women and children on the selection platform Jewish women and children on the selection platform

Selected Panels from the Exhibition

This exhibition, originally presented at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in January 2005, marked 60 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.

The Auschwitz Album is the only surviving visual evidence of the process of mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The photos were taken in late May or early June 1944, either by Ernst Hofmann or Bernhard Walter, two SS men assigned to fingerprint and take ID photos of the inmates. The photos portray the arrival of Hungarian Jews from Carpatho-Ruthenia, many of whom came from the Berehov Ghetto, which itself was a collecting point for Jews from several other small towns. The beginning of summer 1944 marked the apex of the deportation of Hungarian Jewry. For this purpose, a special rail line was extended from the railway station outside Auschwitz to a ramp inside the camp. Many of the photos in the album were taken on this ramp. Upon arriving in the camp, the Jews underwent a selection process, carried out by SS doctors and wardens. Those considered fit for work were sent into the camp, where they were registered, deloused, and assigned to barracks. The others were sent to the gas chambers. The photo album illustrates this entire process, bar the killing itself.

The original album is in the Yad Vashem Archives.

Curator: Yehudit Shendar, Deputy Director and Senior Art Curator, Yad Vashem Museums Division

Designer: Pnina Friedman