Roundup – a painting by Jan Komski



Roundup - a painting by Jan Komski

Roundup – a painting by Jan Komski shows people being arrested in a Polish town.

Children are also the enemies of the Third Reich.

Roundup - a painting by Jan Komski


Murder by the SS

Murder by The SS – a painting by Jan Komski

The Black Wall, in the courtyard of Block 11, where many innocent people were shot at the base of the neck. About 20,000 people were executed here between 1940 and 1944.

The officer in the picture is Lagerführer Altmeier, the camp’s chief officer at the time of Komski’s escape. The man doing the shooting is Rapportfürher Gerhard Palitsch. He himself shot most of the 20,000 men, women, and children murdered at this wall.

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All art in this exhibit is copyright © Auschwitz Museum – Jan Komski.


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Auschwitz Revisited

At the Auschwitz complex 405,000 prisoners were recorded as laborers between 1940 and 1945. Of these about 340,000 perished through executions, beatings, starvation, and sickness. Some prisoners survived through the help of German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who saved about 1000 Polish Jews by diverting them from Auschwitz to work for him, first in his factory near Krakow and later at a factory in what is now the Czech Republic.

A third group, mostly twins and dwarfs, underwent medical experiments at the hands of doctors such as Josef Mengele, who was also known as the “Angel of Death.” The camp was staffed partly by prisoners, some of whom were selected to be kapos (orderlies) and sonderkommandos (workers at the crematoria).

Members of these groups were killed periodically. The kapos and sonderkommandos were supervised by members of the SS; altogether 6000 SS members worked at Auschwitz. By 1943 resistance organizations had developed in the camp. These organizations helped a few prisoners escape; these escapees took with them news of exterminations, such as the killing of hundreds of thousands of Jews transported from Hungary between May and July 1944.