Death Camp Sketches Published

Auschwitz Memorial Museum prints Birkenau inmate drawings
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2012 3:20 AM CST
Updated Jan 18, 2012 4:25 AM CST
Auschwitz Publishes Death Camp Sketches
One of the sketches discovered at Birkenau.   (Facebook)

The Auschwitz Memorial Museum has published a collection of death camp sketches by a mystery inmate of Birkenau that was found stuffed in a bottle. The chilling pencil sketches of the camp, by a prisoner who signed them "MM," show children being torn from the arms of their parents, and a guard smoking a cigarette as gas chamber bodies are loaded onto a truck, reports Der Spiegel. "These sketches are the only work of art made in Birkenau that depict exterminations," said a museum spokesman. The sketches, made in 1943, were discovered four years later near the camp's crematorium by a former prisoner working as a watchman at the site.

The artist intended the 32 sketches as a kind of documentary record, said museum officials. Truck and car license plates, badges of prisoners, guard insignias, and signs are all clearly depicted. "The author of the sketchbook hoped that someone would find his work so that it would become a witness to extermination," said an art historian. The images were published to mark this year's 70th anniversary of the beginning of gassings at Birkenau. (More Birkenau stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.