KL Auschwitz was the most prominent German Nazi concentration camp and extermination centre. Over 1.1 million men, women and children lost their lives here.
Auschwitz was built by IG Farben and is located in the Polish city of Oświęcim. The Deutsche Reichsbahn national railway system ran the Holocaust trains
This grey-scale image depicts one of the few remaining cattle wagons used by the Nazi war machine to transport thousands of innocents to the Auschwitz concentration camp; sadly, many victims perished on the way to Auschwitz due to hunger, cold, and disease.
The infamous Holocaust cattle car was used to forcibly deport Jews and other targeted groups to concentration camps, labour camps and extermination camps throughout Europe between 1941 and 1944.
This was a wooden freight car meant to transport cattle. Up to 150 individuals were crammed into locked, windowless box cars and travelled for an average of 4 days in this state without food, water, restroom facilities or even the ability to sit down.
Many deportees died in the cattle cars en route; for the others, it symbolised the terrifying descent into the darkness that robbed them of their families, freedom and, for some, even their lives.
Historians suggest that without the mass transportation carried out on the railways in these box cars, the scale of the Final Solution would not have been possible.
The entire series of Holocaust images were challenging to shoot for obvious reasons; Auschwitz is the site of remembrance, so using tripods and flashes was often prohibited. I’ve decided to leave all human subjects in my Holocaust Albums; in my opinion, it adds more to the image story instead of looking empty and institutionalised.
The Holocaust Album was photographed in 2019 before the Covid-19 lockdown. I’m planning a third visit to the camp. Auschwitz is colossal and one of the largest concentration camps I’ve visited.
As mentioned, these images are challenging to shoot, there is often no storytelling, just emotions, and there will never be a “classy image” in my album to sell. There is nothing classy about genocide or fascism.
For more information about the Holocaust Album, please get in touch with me here.
Image size: 5173×3672
File size: 1.9MB
Bit: 24 bit
Property/model release: No
Edited: Yes. Adobe Lightroom CC
Location: Auschwitz II, Poland
Year took: 2020
Copyright owner: J. J. Williamson