Further proof of the banality of evil during the Holocaust is present in this exhibit of photos taken by a leading German Nazi at Auschwitz. Karl Hoecker took photos of the good times he and his buddies had while hundreds of thousands of Jews were being gassed. NPR’s Talk of the Nation had a very good interview with a researcher from the US Holocaust Memorial about this latest artifact from the genocide of European Jewry.
The collection of images, discovered in a Frankfurt, Germany, basement, depicts the seemingly normal day-to-day lives of senior officers at Auschwitz-Birkenau — the infamous Nazi concentration camp.
The 116 photographs, taken between May and December 1944, show SS guards and Nazi officials socializing and relaxing, just months before Auschwitz was evacuated in January 1945.
The photo album belonged to SS officer Karl Hocker, who was stationed at Auschwitz from May 1944 until the camp’s liberation.
Karl Hoecker served only seven years in jail from 1963-1970 and died in 1990 for his role as one of the leaders of Auschwitz’s factory of death.
Hashem we do not understand the suffering of the righteous, nor the complacency of the wicked. We never will. But please hear our prayers. Please hear our call. Please redeem your people from this exile, and may the world be judged favorably on the Day of Judgment.