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The beginning of a ceremony to dedicate a new SS hospital in Auschwitz-Birkenau. A Nazi soldier salutes as the Nazi and SS flags are raised while a line of troops stand with rifles at attention during the dedication.
From Karl Höcker's photograph album, which includes both documentation of official visits and ceremonies at Auschwitz as well as more personal photographs depicting the many social activities that he and other members of the Auschwitz camp staff enjoyed. These rare images show Nazis singing, hunting, and even trimming a Christmas tree. They provide a chilling contrast to the photographs of thousands of Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz at the same time.
View of Solahütte, an SS retreat near Auschwitz.
This photograph shows a group of SS officers at Solahuette, the SS retreat outside of Auschwitz. Pictured from left to right: Josef Kramer, Dr. Josef Mengele, Richard Baer, Karl Höcker, and an unidentified officer.
A group of SS officers socialize at an SS retreat outside Auschwitz. Pictured from left to right: Dr. Josef Mengele, Rudolf Höss, Josef Kramer, and an unidentified officer.
A "sing-along" during a social gathering of the SS hierarchy at Solahütte. The front row consists of (left to right): Karl Höcker, Otto Moll, Rudolf Höss, Richard Baer, Josef Kramer, Franz Hössler, and Josef Mengele. From Höcker's album.
SS female auxiliaries (Helferinnen) run down a ramp in Solahütte to the music of an accordion.
SS female auxiliaries show with mock sadness that they have finished eating their blueberries, July 22, 1944. From the Hoecker Album of 116 photographs taken during the last six months of Auschwitz, between June 1944 and January 1945.
September 1, 1944, Richard Baer ceremonially accepts a copy of the construction plans from the Chief of the Central Construction Directorate of the Waffen SS, SS-Sturmbannführer Karl Bischoff, celebrating the opening of an SS military hospital (SS-Lazarette). Baer was the last commandant of the Auschwitz camp.
SS officer Karl Höcker salutes in front of an array of wreaths during a military funeral near Auschwitz. The original caption for the photograph reads "Beisetzung von SS Kameraden nach einem Terrorangriff." (Burying our SS comrades from a terror attack.) Pictured in the background are Josef Kramer and Karl Moeckel.This image shows the aftermath of the September 13, 1944, bombing of IG Farben in which 15 SS men died in the SS residential blocks and 28 were seriously wounded.
Scene during the funeral of SS officers killed in the December 26, 1944, Allied bombing of Auschwitz.
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