Inside Auschwitz: Haunting Mementos of the Nazis’ Largest Death Camp



Image: Tomasz Stefanko

If it were possible for emotions like fear and grief to seep into the walls of a place, then Auschwitz-Birkenau would be overrun. The site in what was Nazi-annexed Poland is mostly quiet now, expect for the hushed conversations of visitors, or their gasps of disbelief. Still, it’s impossible to look at the empty rooms and sobering collection of artifacts and not hear the sounds of terror and anguish reverberating around one’s head.

These photographs by Tomasz Stefanko offer a glimpse into the current state of the nightmarish concentration camp – deserted and silent. Feelings of unspeakable horror and sadness are triggered by these images – whether it be the ominous looking buildings, or the small, intimate and sometimes very ordinary objects left behind by those who suffered and died here.


Image: Tomasz Stefanko

Uniforms hang in a row, inviting us to picture the men, women and children who once had nothing but this thin cloth to shield them from the harsh Polish winters. After ‘registration’, prisoners were tattooed, stripped, deloused and shaven, while their clothes were disinfected using Zyklon B. Those who avoided being taken straight to the gas chambers were forced into hard labor.

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