This new album is devoted to the memory of the children deported to Auschwitz Concentration Camp, the majority of whom were murdered in the camp by the Germans or fell victim to the conditions of life in the camp. It is estimated that there were approximately 230,000 children and young people aged less than eighteen among the 1,300,000 million people deported to Auschwitz Concentration Camp between 1940 and 1945. The majority, over 216,000 children, were of Jewish origin, and over 11,000 were Gypsy (Roma). The remaining children were of Polish, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Russian, or other origin.
The more than 700 photographs in the album are arranged in this order. The majority of the children arrived in the camp along with their families as part of the various operations that the Nazis carried out against whole ethnic or social groups: the Jews as part of the drive for the total extermination of the Jewish people, the Gypsies as part of the effort to isolate and destroy the Gypsy population, the Poles in connection with the expulsion and deportation to the camp of whole families from the Zamość region and from Warsaw during the Uprising there in August 1944, and Belorussians and other Soviet citizens in reprisal for partisan resistance in German-occupied areas. Only slightly more than 20,000 children and young people, including 11,000 Gypsies, were entered in the camp records.
The inspiration for the album came from photographs of Frania Pilcer, a Jewish child from Katowice, who perished in Auschwitz, together with her mother, immediately after arrival in Auschwitz on February 18, 1943. The photographs of Frania were donated to the Museum, along with a request that they be placed in a Museum exhibit as a way of commemorating Frania, by the girl’s older sister, Judith, a Holocaust survivor. The album is the result of many years of research by Museum historian Helena Kubica, who has managed in the course of her work to elucidate numerous previously unknown incidents, and even to reunite siblings from Ukraine after 57 years of separation.
Publication is subsidized by the Für die Zukunft lernen - Verein zur Erhaltung der Kinderbaracke Auschwitz-Birkenau e.V. association.
This publication is available in German-Polish version.