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Buried Days, Starved Dreams: Auschwitz Memory


RETURN

Background: Doleful sounds resonated from the piano harp as visitors strummed its strings, rusted from exposure to the elements.

                           
Foreground: Visitors unearthed journals and read first-person accounts by Auschwitz-Birkenau victims.

Books were the first memorials to the Holocaust. Throughout Europe, stories of World War II's concentration camp horrors were confirmed by survivors accounts in books and oral history transcripts. After the Liberation in 1945, village scribes recorded experiences recounted by concentration camp survivors, some of whom were illiterate. Detailed journals and photographs were also recovered from the ashes, surreptitiously buried by prisoners who knew they would perish in the gas chamber and crematoria fire.

Most Holocaust victims did not survive this tragedy that murdered six million Jews and millions of gypsies and political prisoners. In Auschwitz 1.6 million people died -- more than anywhere before that time at one place on earth. Approximately 1,350,000 of them were Jews.

                           
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