Wilhelm Brasse: Photographer. 3444. Auschwitz.1940-1945
Wilhelm Brasse: Photographer. 3444. Auschwitz.1940-1945

Wilhelm Brasse: Photographer. 3444. Auschwitz.1940-1945

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This is a unique, eyewitness documentary record of life inside Auschwitz at its full operational peak. The account is recalled with impressive lucidity and matter-of-factness by Wilhelm Brasse, Prisoner No. 3444, who, due to his professional skills, escaped extermination by becoming a photographer whom the ever-well-organized Nazis obliged to document the running of the camp, including such details as Dr. Mengele's infamous experiments. Wilhelm Brasse was born in 1917 in Zywiec of an Austrian father and a Polish mother. Before the war, Brasse worked in a photographic studio in Katowice. For refusal to join the Wehrmacht, he was sent to Auschwitz, where from 1941 to 1945 he worked in the Identity Service as a photographer. Brasse took tens of thousands of photographs of prisoners, hundreds of portraits of SS-men, and documented some so-called medical experiments. After the war ended, he returned to Zywiec where he has been living ever since. In March 2010, Maria Anna Potocka conducted an interview with Wilhelm Brasse. The outcome is this book and its edited tales of the prisoner-cum-chief-photographer of Auschwitz. There is an introduction by the historian Teresa Wontor-Cichy, the academic editor at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. The book is generously illustrated with photographs from Wilhelm Brasse's own archives, as well as from the photographic archives of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Yad Vashem.

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