Film

Liberation of Auschwitz: Belongings of victims

Upon arrival in the Auschwitz camp, victims were forced to hand over all their belongings. Inmates' belongings were routinely packed and shipped to Germany for distribution to civilians or use by German industry. The Auschwitz camp was liberated in January 1945. This Soviet military footage shows civilians and Soviet soldiers sifting through possessions of people deported to the Auschwitz killing center.

Transcript

Before killing women, the Nazis cut off their hair. Masses of hair were packed in bags. Twenty kilos, twenty-two kilos, raw material for German factories. Seven thousand kilograms of hair, 140,000 murdered women. The Fascists traded in death. They made fertilizers of human bones and delivered them to the Strenn firm. They sold hair to factories in the nationalized upholstery industry. Another branch of this same industry, the bandits tore out dentures from corpses' mouths to get hold of gold teeth. All such trophies took up the space of 35 storehouses. Here is one containing spectacles. Even if every tenth inmate wore spectacles, then how many had to be killed to provide this? Clothes and underwear of the dead. Who in Germany was to wear the clothes of the murdered infants? This mass of clothing, this little frock, 514,843 pieces of men's, women's, and children's clothing.


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  • National Archives - Film
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