Spring Auction 2019 Sale 75
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/30/2019
Fascinating, sobering photo album compiled by a member of the "Ordnungspolizei", the uniformed police of the Third Reich. The album, 36pp. 8vo., contains 65 b/w photos, most 3 1/4" 2 1/4" or smaller, primarily depicting anodyne scenes from this police officer's life and career, including individual photos of him in uniform, group photos of his comrades, guard duty, swimming and other sporting events, his police barracks, machine gun training, marches, the arrival of a fellow policeman's coffin aboard a train, and family scenes. However, there are seven images in particular that warrant further examination. The first shows several German soldiers standing guard over a large group of civilians, primarily women and children, ominously seated in a trench. The majority of the figures visible wear white armbands, typical of those worn by Jews imprisoned in the ghettos of Poland, although no insignia can be discerned. The following photo shows a group of Germans observing a column of heavily-laden refugees along a country road, while the following two images show many civilians evacuating a city street with overloaded carts, again as German soldiers look on. An additional image shows police searching a house on an empty, snow-covered alley, while the shot below presents the particularly grim scene of a soldier with rifle and helmet posing with a horse-drawn cart filled with terrified, exhausted refugee women. One photo in particular identifies the location of these scenes; it shows a street lined with wood and barbed wire barriers, traversed by a wooden footbridge. Comparisons with other period photos indicate that this is the bridge connecting two areas of the Lodz Ghetto. Given this identification, it is most probable that the photos of refugees described previously depict their deportation to concentration or extermination camps. In addition, eight additional 3" x 2" b/w photos are tucked into the album, along with an Augsburg "Ordnungpolizei" insignia patch. Of these photos, three are identified in black ink on the verso as being taken at Warsaw in 1940, while two further scenes of city streets are simply labeled "Ghetto". Thus, this album depicts the two largest ghettos in German-occupied Europe, together holding some 564,000 Jews. Of these, approximately 10,000 citizens of the Lodz Ghetto and 8,000 from the Warsaw Ghetto would survive the Holocaust. While providing only a fleeting glimpse of the privations and horrors of ghetto life, this album nevertheless provides an important eyewitness view of the people who lived in them, ironically captured by an individual directly complicit in their captivity and eventual liquidation.
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $400.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $1,062.50
Estimate: $800 - $1,000
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
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