Holocaust Survivors Share Memories of Auschwitz 70 Years Later
As the liberation of Auschwitz approaches its 70th anniversary, Reuters photographers shot portraits of the now elderly survivors.
As the liberation of Auschwitz approaches its 70th anniversary next week, Reuters photographers took portraits of now elderly survivors. About 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, were killed at the Nazi camp which has became a symbol of the horrors of the Holocaust. The camp was liberated by Soviet Red Army troops on Jan. 27, 1945 and about 200,000 camp inmates survived.
In the photo above, Jacek Nadolny, 77, who was registered with camp number 192685, holds up a wartime photo of his family. Nadolny was seven during the Warsaw Uprising, when he was sent with his family to Auschwitz-Birkenau by train.
Jadwiga Bogucka (maiden name Regulska), 89, was registered with camp number 86356. During the Warsaw Uprising in August, 1944, when Bogucka was 19, she and her mother were sent from their house to a camp in Pruszkow and then moved by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau. They were liberated by the Red Army on January 27, 1945. Bogucka holds a picture of herself from 1944.
Eva Fahidi, 90, holds a picture of her family, who were all killed in the concentration camp during World War II. Fahidi was 18 in 1944 when she and her family were moved from Debrecen to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Laszlo Bernath, 87, holds up a picture of his family, who were all killed in the concentration camp during World War Two. Bernath credits his father being a practical man with his survival of Auschwitz. He was 15 when they were taken but his father told him to lie about his age so that they would not be separated. Even while in the camp, Bernath had no idea about the gas chambers.
Janos Forgacs, 87, recalls that he was in a group transported to a camp in a cattle wagon, with the windows sealed with barbed wire. A military officer told them to hand over their belongings, telling them they would not need them anymore.
Halina Brzozowska, 82, who was registered with camp number 86356, holds a picture of herself which was taken during the war. Brzozowska was 12-years-old during the Warsaw Uprising when her family was sent to a camp in Pruszkow. She and her 6-year-old sister were then moved by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Brzozowska said that it was hard to say what had happened to them, that they were taken from their homes, family and lost their childhood.
Barbara Doniecka, 80, was registered with camp number 86341. Doniecka was 12-years-old when she was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau with her mother.
Elzbieta Sobczynska (maiden name Gremblicka), 80, who was registered with camp number 85536, holds her father's watch, which was kept by her brother while they were in the camp. During the Warsaw Uprising, when Sobczynska was 10-years-old, she was sent with her mother and brother from their home to a camp in Pruszkow and then moved by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau. There they were separated into blocks for woman, girls and boys. Sobczynska said that she was robbed of her childhood, and lost the chance to experience a different kind of life.
Marian Majerowicz, 88, who was registered with camp number 157715 was 17 when he was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. At the camp he was briefly reunited with his father, who told him that his mother and younger brother were both killed in the gas chambers. Majerowicz's father didn't survive the war.