‘A Place on Earth – The Auschwitz Album’
This exhibition is now on view next to the permanent exhibition “From Auschwitz to Ambleside” from now until the end of November.
‘A Place on Earth’ at Lake District Holocaust Project in Windermere is from Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, and tells the background story to a photograph album that shows in detail the arrival of a transport of Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is the first time this has been exhibited in the UK.
Many of the children and youngsters who came to the Lake District in the summer of 1945 had passed through Auschwitz at some point in their horrific journey through the Holocaust so this exhibition is of great significance to the Lake District Holocaust Project.
The photos in the album were taken at the end of May or beginning of June 1944 by Nazi officials.
The photos show the arrival of Hungarian Jews in the summer 1944. For this purpose a special rail line had been extended from the railway station outside the camp to a ramp inside Auschwitz Birkenau itself. Many of the photos in the album were taken on the ramp and also show aspects of the selection process.
Those considered fit for work were sent into the camp, where they were registered, deloused and distributed to the barracks. The rest were sent to the gas chambers.
This exhibition offers some explanation and context for The Auschwitz Album, which is the only surviving visual evidence of the process leading to mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The album is a unique document and was donated to Yad Vashem by Lilly Jacob-Zelmanovic Meier in 1980.
It is assumed that the album was prepared as an official reference for a higher authority, as were photo albums from other concentration camps.