Canada – a drawing by Jan Komski


“Canada” was a slang expression coined by prisoners. It designated the part of Birkenau (Auschwitz II) containing horse-stable-barracks converted into warehouses. Here, tons of personal possessions taken from Jews and Gypsies upon their arrival in the camp were sorted and stored. The Canada Kommando (work group) are loading luggage and other items for transport to sorting and warehousing. Workers on the ramp often “organized” necessary items for barter and survival. Although there were regulations prohibiting them from such actions, SS – like the man in the foreground helping himself to a jewelry box – routinely stole from the booty. So the items were stolen from the Jews more than once.

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All art in this exhibit is copyright © Jan Komski. All rights reserved.