The Auschwitz Album

The Auschwitz Album is a unique set of photographs that documents the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in the spring of 1944

This exhibition features copies of all of the almost 200 photographs from the Auschwitz Album, a unique document from 1944 that depicts the systematic liquidation of Europe's Jews. Although most of the people in the photographs are citizens of pre-war Czechoslovakia from Carpathian Ruthenia, this album has not previously been shown in the Czech Republic.

The exhibition also describes how the album was created, how it was found by the Auschwitz survivor Lili Jacob and what happened to it after the war. A major role in its post-war fate was played by the Czech capital city and the Jewish Museum in Prague, where in 1947 copies were made of the photographs in the album. The original album was donated to Yad Vashem in 1980. Thanks to the Jewish Museum, other copies of the photographs were sent to several other European museums during the 1950s and 1960s.

The exhibition also presents new findings – previously unpublished – about the album and about Lily Jacob. Above all, it draws attention to the fact that although the album is usually talked about in connection with the transports of Hungarian Jews, the photographs actually depict citizens of pre-war Czechoslovakia. Lili Jacob herself – who found the album in the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp after the liberation –was a Czechoslovak citizen, spoke Czech fluently and lived in what was then Czechoslovakia for three years after the war. The money that Lily Jacob received in 1947 from the then State Jewish Museum – for allowing it to make copies of images from the album – enabled her to move with her husband and first-born daughter to the United States in 1948, where they began a new life. The actual photographs were first published in two Czechoslovak books from 1949 and 1956 (The Tragedy of the Jews of Slovakia and The Death Factory). The Auschwitz Album also played an important role as supporting evidence in war crime trials in Germany and Israel.

The exhibition is being held to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. It is intended for local visitors and tourists, but also for secondary school students. At a time when anti-Israeli sentiment is growing in Europe and when the Auschwitz Album itself is being questioned by revisionists, it is important to remind people in the Czech Republic and abroad of the fate of their fellow citizens.

Admission: CZK 120 (adults) / CZK 60 (students) / CZK 30 (seniors)

Prague City Gallery
House of Photography, Revoluční 1006/5, Prague 1
19 May–20 September 2015, Tue–Sun 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Thu 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

The exhibition partner is the Jewish Museum in Prague
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