Holocaust From Nazi Eyes - Knesset Photo Exhibit

Unique photo exhibit reveals private photos taken by Nazi soldiers, first and only glimpse of many decimated small Jewish towns in Poland.

Ari Yashar,

Jewish forced labor in Krakow
Jewish forced labor in Krakow
From the exhibit

As part of Holocaust Memorial Day, a unique photo exhibit was put on display at the Knesset on Monday showing the atrocities of the Holocaust from a unique perspective - that of the Nazi regime's Wehrmacht army soldiers.

The exhibit, which will be on display for a week as part of the "Unto Every Person There is a Name" memorial project, shows private photos taken by the German soldiers as they captured small Jewish towns and ghettos.

For many of the small Jewish communities of Poland, such as Kotsk, Radom, Chelm and Siedlce, the photos are the only surviving documented evidence of the Jewish life that was so quickly and horrifically erased. They are being displayed now for the first time.

On the other side of the German soldiers' photos, many of which depict the humiliation and degradation of the Jews, anti-Semitic slogans were written by hand. In an ironic twist, precisely the soldiers who tried to wipe out the memories of the Jews provided the only photographic evidence to document their legacy.

"Memorializing the Holocaust, precisely as the years pass, becomes a national mission of the highest importance," stressed Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein. "The Knesset, as much as possible, will expand its memorial activities and commemoration events."

Rabbi Avraham Krieger, part of the organizers of the event, remarked "the viewer is drawn into the eyes of the Nazi captain, and sees the horrors from the viewpoint of the murderer. It's a perspective both fascinating and shocking at the same time.