Man who took pictures of hell: The Auschwitz photographer who kept evidence of the Nazis’ crimes against humanity
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Wilhelm Brasse: Number 3444 Photographer Auschwitz 1940-1945
Wilhelm Brasse (3 December 1917 – 23 October 2012) was a Polish professional photographer and a prisoner in Auschwitz during World War II. He became known as the “famous photographer of Auschwitz concentration camp”; his life and work were the subject of the 2005 Polish television documentary film The Portraitist (Portrecista), which first aired in the “Proud to Present” series on the Polish TVP1 on 1 January 2006.
Brasse was of mixed Austrian-Polish descent. He learned photography in Katowice at the atelier of his own aunt.After the 1939 German invasion of Poland and occupation of Brasse’s hometown Żywiec, in southern Poland, he was interrogated by the Schutzstaffel (SS). He refused to swear allegiance to Hitler, and was imprisoned for three months. After his release, still refusing to capitulate to the Volksliste and forced membership of German Army, he tried to escape to Hungary and join the Polish Army in France but was captured, along with other young men, at the Polish–Hungarian border and deported to KL Auschwitz-Birkenau as prisoner number 3444.Trained before the beginning of World War II as a portrait photographer in Silesia,he was ordered by the SS camp administrators to photograph “prisoners’ work, criminal medical experiments, [and] portraits of the prisoners for the files. h Estimated that he took 40,000 to 50,000 “identity pictures” from 1940 until 1945, before being moved to another concentration camp in Austria, where he was liberated by the American forces in May 1945.
While many of Brasse’s photographs did not survive, some are on display in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and atYad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. His photographs inspired Painting Czesława Kwoka (2007), which won a literary award
According to recent studies, went there at least 1.3 million people, including 1.1 million Jews and 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Roma and more than 30,000 people of other nationalities. The number of deaths has reached almost 1.1 million people. In the camps of Auschwitz, a group of German doctors also conducted large-scale unethical and inhumane medical experiments on prisoners. camp prisoners were numbered, photographed in the early stages, then tattooing. Auschwitz was the only Nazi concentration camp, which introduced this method for the determination of prisoners.
pictures from the exhibition, 65 years after the liberation
Concentration camp established on the land of the Free City of Danzig in Sztutowo , 36 km from Gdansk .
This is the first and longest established camp of this type in Polish occupied by Germany
I will not write about this terrible place of suffering and extermination of people , because of the respect for the people who were imprisoned there .
I have not visited this place because of the project , I went there mainly because of my great-grandparents and their links with the history of the camp.
Without intending this subject has become for me the subject of my work , human presence in this place was very significant , although it is a very lonely and desolate place .
My attention was brought to the clothes of prisoners , striped – blue and white uniforms . Visible striped patterns were noticeable on all boards on the walls , on the floor , even the position of residential barracks , looked like stripes on the clothes of prisoners .
In this style I want to introduce my pics , because this atmoswere striped prisoner uniform was very evident to me .
For the production of the final photograph I used my Cyanotype printing due to the colors of this which refers to my memories of visits to the camp.
examples of pictures taken at the camp
Documentary by Jonathan Meades about Nazi Architecture and how architecture can support political regimes.
while returning to my home I was thinking about how the Nazis lived, whether they returned to their homes smiling. On my return to the UK I decided to visit the city in the German mountains, where, during the World War II, Hitler rested on vacation with and also his officer, SS Members
My Final Work