Home / NEWS / 30 Holocaust Photos That Reveal Heartbreaking Tragedy You Don’t See In History Books

30 Holocaust Photos That Reveal Heartbreaking Tragedy You Don’t See In History Books

By Andrew Alpin, 8 April 2018

Although there have been significant genocides in history, Hitler’s inhuman extermination of the Jews goes down in history as the most cold blood ruthless and programmed one that was not fuelled by hatred and competition between races but for nefarious purposes of making a scapegoat of a community to give war-torn Germany a reason to divert their attention to a made up enemy. What made it even more chilling is the fact that unlike other genocides that resulted in sporadic killings and incidents, this was methodic and almost like a daily business. It was akin to slaughtering animals where belongings were neatly documented and sorted for usage in various purposes. And like lambs to the slaughter, Jews were systematically led to the gas chambers where from their origins of residence to death, it was an organized supply chain of sorts to ensure precision and quantity killing. Take a look at 25 holocaust photographs you don’t usually see in history books.

The arrival of Jewish inmates

The Nazis were so systematic that they made sure they huddled hundreds of Jews into bogeys of trains lying that they were simply being relocated. 

arrival of Jewish inmates

Image Source: www.uu.nl

1They even played music

What was most grisly about these pogroms was the eerie classical music played at stations to keep them calm. 

They even played music

Image Source: sverigesradio.se

2Waiting death

Can you imagine the grossness of it all where people wait in waiting rooms for a turn to acquire something? These are Jewish women and children selected for the gassing process waiting their turn. 

Waiting death

Image Source: ranker.com

3A common scene walking to die

This is typical of a sight in concentration camps where the elderly and children walked to their deaths.

common scene walking to die

Image Source: www.pinsdaddy.com

4Till death do us apart

Wedding rings collected from husband and wives who were gassed. Invariably it would have been more female rings as younger men were always selected for work. 

Wedding rings

Image Source: www.pinsdaddy.com

5The ghetto Jews

This is a famous photograph in the war museum taken of an unidentified boy raising his arms in front of German soldiers.

The ghetto Jews

Image Source: www.pinsdaddy.com

6What goes around comes around

One of the more satisfying pictures taken in June 1945 of the holocaust where a survivor identifies a Nazi camp guard who would beat them ruthlessly.

What goes around comes around

Image Source: www.thepinsta.com

7German woman reacting in horror

Don’t be puzzled at the American GI’s in the background who can be made out by the uniform and helmets. This was a scene in Namering Germany where 800 bodies killed by SS were laid out for other town people to see the work of their Nazi rulers. The woman is a German reacting in horror. 

German woman reacting in horror

Image Source: dirkdeklein.net

8Gateway to death

A photograph of Auschwitz concentration camp taken in 1945 

Gateway to death

Image Source: www.bresciatoday.it

9A secret photo taken by a Sonderkommando

Sonderkommandos were Jewish men forced to act as secondary camp guards almost like your hallway monitor to keep their fellow Jews in line. This secret photo shows women on the way to the gas chamber.


Image Source: howlingpixel.com

10Hungarian Jews

500,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz. Almost all of them were exterminated in the gas chambers immediately upon arrival. 

Hungarian Jews

Image Source: www.historiskan.se

11Prisoner Transport

This was the typical was Jews were transported to the concentration camps. This photograph was taken of a train from Poland in 1944. 

Prisoner Transport

Image Source: huff.ro

12Hope at last

Malnourished prisoners at the Majdanek concentration camp found by allied forces after occupying Poland. 

Malnourished prisoners

Image Source: khaomai.com

13One of the barbarians

This is a photo f Dr Klein of Bergen Belsen concentration camp pictured standing among his many victims. 

One of the barbarians

Image Source: Yukepo.com


The Nazis tried very hard to cover up evidence but their own systematic and quantitative extermination went against them. There was no way they could cover up the thousands of mass graves in the vicinity of the camps and surrounding areas. This is a shot of exhumed prisoners in Lublin camp Poland. 


Image Source: daily.rabbit.co.th

15Profile photos documented by Nazis at Auschwitz

Wilhelm Brasse was a Polish prisoner, who was also a photographer. He was forcibly made to document thousands of profiles after taking their pictures in Auschwitz. This is one of his pictures. Ironically, they also served as identification photos later of people who had died in the camps.

 Profile photos documented by Nazis at Auschwitz

Image Source: extrastory.cz

16Staff enjoying at Auschwitz

One wonders if those who worked for the Nazis had any conscience at all. How could you remain normal in the face of the brutality unfolding before your eyes, unless you too were bitten by the barbaric bug. 

Staff enjoying themselves at Auschwitz

Image Source: ranker.com

17Observe the men in the front row

Those officers you see in the front row were enjoying themselves in this photo and that might have been their last time together. The next time they all stood together were at the Nuremberg trials when most of them in the front row were hanged.. 

Observe the men in the front row

Image Source: www.vanillamagazine.it

18The angel of death

The only one who wasn’t caught and hanged at Nuremberg was Josef Mengele the “angel of death” who escaped to South America and died in Brazil aged 67. 

The angel of death

Image Source: www.pinterest.co.kr


Jewish Prisoners freed by allied soldiers near Madgeburg Germany while they were being taken to a death camp by train. 

Jewish Prisoners

Image Source: www.zug-der-erinnerung.eu

20Nazis made to dig graves

A photo of Nazi soldiers made to exhume and dig proper graves for the executed prisoners at Bergen Belsen camp October 1945.

Nazi soldiers diging grave

Image source: sott.net

21Gas Chamber at Majdanek

If you noticed, the walls on the opposite end have been stained blue by the gas Zyklon B used to kill Jews. 

Gas Chamber at Majdanek

Image Source: ranker.com

22The cues of Babi Yar

This is a scene from the Babi Yar ravines in Kiev where almost 30,000 Jews were ordered to strip naked and then walk in line to be machined gunned by Nazis and Ukrainian collaborators. 

The cues of Babi Yar

Image Source: .pinimg.com

23Artwork by a Sonderkommando

David Olere was a Jew living in France and arrested in 1943. He was sent to Auschwitz and made a Sonderkommando. He drew scenes of everyday life of his work at the camp. These are one of his artworks which serve as powerful evidence of life in Nazi concentration camps.

Artwork by a Sonderkommando

Image Source: www.tes.com

24The shame of Lviv

An equally shameful moment of the Holocaust was the Lviv pogroms of 1941where Ukrainians indulged in rampant rapes and murders of Jews on the streets of Lwow now Lviv by Nazis and Ukrainian collaborators.

The shame of Lviv

Image Source: www.tes.com

25Starving child

Although one does not undermine the significance of the photo of little immigration child lying dead on the beach, In Nazi Germany, such scenes were commonplace and this is one reminder lest we forget that it is always humanity that is the biggest culprit of inhumanity. 

Starving child

Image Source: steemit.com

26Liberation scenes

This was a scene from Buchenwald concentration camp where Czech doctors are examining a patient dying from starvation. 

Liberation scenes

Image Source: ExtraNews.ro

27Liberation but the agony will always be a haunting one

A photo of an inmate sitting on a stool next to a corpse at Thekla concentration camp Leipzig the day it was liberated in April 1945.

Liberation but the agony

Image Source: reddit.com

28Personal belongings

This is a photograph of the eyeglasses collected from prisoners send to the death camps for extermination. Even gold teeth weren’t spared from dead bodies as well as every personal belonging that had to be neatly sorted out by Jewish prisons themselves. It was not uncommon for husbands or wives to recognize the personal items of their partners and family members.

Personal belongings

Image Source: hikersbay.com

29Loading of bodies onto trains

Dead bodies were too many for even the Nazis to handle so they were loaded onto trains like slaughtered cattle for disposal. Incidentally, this was a black and white image but colorized later. 

Loading of bodies onto trains

Image Source: dailymail.co.uk

30it’s nice to see them smile

Prisoners liberated at Bergen Belsen collect their rations from British soldiers in April 1945. One must commend such people who in spite of the most horrific ordeal, still were left with hope to smile. 

Prisoners liberated

Image Source: www.historiskan.se