The 14 Words

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Holocaust museum passing off dodgy photos

This is the banner that appears on the website of the Kharkov Holocaust Museum (Russian: Харьковский музей Холокоста) which opened in 1996 and was the first Holocaust museum in the Ukraine.

The banner features several famous Hoocaust photographs:
  • The little boy from the Warsaw ghetto, who disappointed a lot of people in the early 1980s by still being alive, and not having been gassed in Treblinka as they'd hoped
  • Buchenwald inmates in their striped garb standing at a barb-wire fence, including Simon Toncman, who appears in some, but certainly not all versions of the famous photograph taken inside Buchenwald prisoner barrack no. 56
  • Two Soviet photos of the liberation of Auschwitz, one of adult, the other of child inmates. Actually shot sometime after the January 27, 1945 arrival of the Soviets, as the same scenes also feature in a propaganda filmshot by the Soviets
  • German soldiers aiming their rifles at targets a fair distance away, but dishonestly cropped to give the impression a single soldier is aiming at the woman holding a child 
  • The U.S. propagandistic photo of two former prisoners charging an emaciated corpse into a crematory oven in the Dachau concentration camp

But it this particular photo, which appears in the bottom right hand corner of the banner of the Kharkov Holocaust Museum website that is the focus of this blog post.

Unsurprisingly, it is not a photo of European Jews, victims of Hitler's Holocaust, but a photo of famine victims in southern Indian, taken by British army corporal and photographer Willoughby Wallace Hooper during the Madras famine of 1877-1878.

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