The Auschwitz arrivals unaware of their fate: Unseen photos taken by SS guards reveal fear and confusion on the faces of children and families as hundreds of Hungarian Jews get off trains into Nazi death camp
Their faces etched with fear, Jewish children and mothers carrying toddlers walk unknowingly to their horrendous fate.
These innocent victims were among around 1.1million people murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz-Birkenau, near the town of Oswiecim, in what was then occupied Poland.
The victims at Auschwitz were among 6million Jews who were murdered by Adolf Hitler’s forces between 1941 and 1945. Their lives are commemorated today on Holocaust Memorial Day.
The rare photos taken at Auschwitz by Hitler’s SS guards show not only the arrival of Hungarian Jews at the camp – on rail tracks built specifically in 1944 for the extermination operation – but the long queues as they waited to walk to gas chambers.
In less than three months in the summer of 1944, nearly 400,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered in a ruthless production line system of horror.
The images of are revealed in upcoming book Hitler’s Death Camps in Occupied Poland – Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives, written by military historian Ian Baxter and published by Pen & Sword.
Speaking to MailOnline on what is also the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the camp by Soviet forces in 1945, Mr Baxter branded Auschwitz a ‘factory of death’ and said the camp is a ‘monument and a testimony to the tragedy of what happened.’
‘It is a foundation to the future to warn others of what can happen,’ he added.
Around 2,000 Hasidic Jews have gathered at Ukraine‘s border with Belarus where their annual pilgrimage has been barred due to coronavirus restrictions.
Kiev has accused President Alexander Lukashenko of manufacturing the crisis by giving the pilgrims hope that they could cross the frontier in retaliation for Ukraine’s support for the recent pro-democracy protests.
Despite Ukraine’s strict travel restrictions, the pilgrims are seeking to visit the tomb of Rabbi Nahman, founder of the Breslov branch of Hasidic Judaism, in the central Ukrainian town of Uman this weekend.
A statement from President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office this afternoon told Belarus ‘to stop creating additional tension on the border’ and made pointed references to the ‘dubious’ August 9 poll that saw Lukashenko re-elected.
It comes after Lukashenko visited Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday to receive military and economic backing worth £1.15 billion, in the face of Western outcry over last month’s ballot.
An image release by Ukraine’s border guard agency shows hundreds of Jews gathered at the checkpoint on Wednesday as they hope to make their annual pilgrimage to Uman