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Temporary exhibition

Photographs from Auschwitz

Photographs from Auschwitz

Around 3,000 people from Slovenia were deported to KL Auschwitz, among them about 350 Jews, at least 78 Roma and at least one Slovene Jehovah’s Witness. Auschwitz is the place of death for 1,723 of them.

About 200,000 prisoners of KL Auschwitz were photographed on arrival. When the camp was closed, the destruction of all photographs of the concentration camp inmates was ordered. Prisoner No. 3444, photographer Wilhelm Brasse (1917, Żywiec – 2012, Żywiec) managed to hide 38,916 of these photographs which are now kept by the Archive of the State Museum Auschwitz–Birkenau, Archiwum Państwowego Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau (APMAB) in Oświęcim. These photographs are not only the biggest evidence of the large number of Auschwitz prisoners, but are for many of them, their last traces. Among them are more than 800 photographs of Slovenes, but no photographs of Jews, or Roma from Slovenia. The photographs of Slovene concentration camp inmates were taken between 28 September 1941, when the first group of Slovenes arrived from the Begunje prison, and 20 September 1944, when two Slovenes arrived from the Dachau concentration camp. Because KL Auschwitz and KL Ravensbrück were, for a long time, the only Nazi concentration camps that also imprisoned women, photographs of women inmates prevail. Copies of about 769 of these photographs are kept by the Museum of Recent History in Celje.

The fate of six concentration camp inmates and their families (Šarh, Poljanšek, Žmauc, Hlačun, Prislan and Čeplak.)is presented in this exhibition with the hope that one day, the fate of all the others will be presented in the same way.

Exhibition authors: Boris Hajdinjak, Center judovske kulturne dediščine Sinagoga (Center of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue Maribor); Darja Jan, Muzej novejše zgodovine Celje (Museum of Recent History Celje) and Dr. Monika Kokalj Kočevar, Muzej novejše zgodovine Slovenije (National Museum of Contemporary History)

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