Le Rafle (The Round Up) Early in the morning of July 16, 1942, the French police arrested over 13,000 Jews including 4,000 children and detained them at the Vélodrome. Kept under horrendous, unsanitary conditions for days, they were then shipped to the transit camp at Drancy and on to Auschwitz. Almost all of them died.... About 76,000 Jews were deported from France between 1940 and 1944. Only 2,500 are believed to have survived the death and concentration camps.
Auschwitz / Birkenau. Jews arriving at the camp before undergoing the selection process. Mass scenes like this were an almost daily occurrence in the summer of 1944, when the destruction of the Jews of Hungary was at its height. In the background it is possible to see Crematorium II, to which many of the Jews were sent after selection to be killed.
This mass grave of murdered Jews was the handiwork of an Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei, a group of SS whose sole purpose was the extermination of Jews and other "undesirables". Overseen by Reinhardt Heydrich, the four Einsatzgruppen were comprised of units of Einsatzkommandos which traveled with the Wermacht in order to "purify" newly conquered territories. Each group contained 500 to 800 men. It is estimated that they were responsible for over one million deaths.
A young German soldier tries to humiliate an elderly Polish Jew by cutting his beard. Beard-cutting was a method of humiliation favored by many Germans. As it is with all bullies and their victims, the strong bear the real shame for preying on the weak. The Jews of Europe bore such petty torments with exceptional dignity and fortitude. If this soldier were still alive to look back at this picture, would he feel ashamed? If he retained any humanity, he would.
Rudolf Höss approaching the gallows at Auschwitz. When accused of murdering three and a half million Jews, an insolent Höss replied, "No. Only two and one half million – the rest died from disease and starvation." He was executed by Polish authorities on the same, still blood-wet, soil as his victims. A replica gallows stands there today.
Affidavit signed by Rudolf Hoess, former commandant of Auschwitz, attesting to the gassing of Jews at the killing center during his tenure. The text reads: "I declare herewith under oath that in the years 1941 to 1943 during my tenure in office as commandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp 2 million Jews were put to death by gassing and a 1/2 million by other means. Rudolf Hoess. May 14, 1946."
Anny-Yolande Horowitz Born on June 2, 1933 in Strasbourg. Last lived at 21, rue Rode, Bordeaux. Interned in the Lalande camp near Tours and then transferred to Drancy. From there, she, her mother Frieda, and her sister Paulette, age 7, were deported on Sept. 11, 1942 on Convoy 31. Their destination: Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Vichy Regime (July 1940-August 1944) An ugly chapter in French history.
PoW Horace Greasley defiantly confronts Heinrich Himmler during an inspection of the camp he was confined in. Greasley also famously escaped from the camp and snuck back in more than 200 times to meet in secret with a local German girl he had fallen in love with.