Illustrations

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1. Adolf Hitler (seated, second from the right) and a group of Nazi supporters in the 1920s. Hitler was already conscious of his image, and projects his attempt at a ‘great man’ stare to camera.

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2. Hitler’s mentor in the early 1920s, the alcoholic playwright Dietrich Eckart. Hitler said of him: he ‘shone in our eyes like the Polar Star’.

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3. A young Joseph Goebbels as a rabble-rousing street orator, before the Nazis came to power.

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4. A Freikorps unit marches through Munich in 1919. Despite their somewhat comic Bavarian costumes, these men were tough paramilitaries.

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5. President Paul von Hindenburg (left) and Adolf Hitler immediately after Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in 1933. Their contrasting expressions at the news are revealing.

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6. The ultimate Establishment figures – Otto Meissner, an official close to President von Hindenburg (left) and former Chancellor Franz von Papen. Papen’s manoeuvring helped bring Hitler to power.

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7. Concentration camp prisoners in the 1930s. ‘We had to rescue these people,’ said Herman Göring, ‘to bring them back to the national community. We had to re-educate them.’ This ‘re-education’ consisted of subjecting these prisoners to one of the most brutal prison regimes ever devised.

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8. Prisoners at Dachau before the war. Many of these inmates were sent to the camp because they were political opponents of the regime.

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9. Adolf Hitler in 1936, the year the former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George described him as ‘a born leader of men. A magnetic dynamic personality with a single-minded purpose, a resolute will, and a dauntless heart.’

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10. Joseph Goebbels marries the blonde-haired Magda Quandt in December 1931. Hitler is to the right of Goebbels, wearing a hat.

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11. Theodor Eicke, commandant of Dachau from the summer of 1933. Eicke wanted the SS under his command to be ‘hard’. ‘There is no place amongst us,’ he said, ‘for soft people.’

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12. Hermann Göring (left) and Heinrich Himmler. Two men who could not have been more different in temperament or character – but who were both committed Nazis.

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13. Adolf Eichmann, the SD officer who would help organize the Nazis’ ‘Final Solution’ – in particular the killing of the Hungarian Jews.

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14. Heinrich Himmler (left) and Reinhard Heydrich (right) in Vienna in 1938 just after the Nazis gained control of Austria. Security forces under their command would shortly start arresting those Austrians considered ‘asocial’, ‘criminal’ or simply ‘disagreeable’.

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15. Jews are made to scrub the streets in Austria in the wake of the Nazi occupation in 1938. ‘You were completely outlawed,’ says Walter Kammerling, a Jewish resident of Vienna. ‘There was no protection from anywhere.’

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16. Smashed shop windows in the aftermath of Kristallnacht – the Nazi attack on Jewish homes, businesses and places of worship in November 1938.

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17. A synagogue burns as a result of Kristallnacht. More than ninety Jews died as a consequence of the attacks on 9/10 November 1938, and around 30,000 Jews were subsequently sent to concentration camps.

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18. The main camp at Auschwitz, a place originally designed to strike terror into the hearts of Poles in the surrounding area, with the first mass transport of prisoners arriving in June 1940. The words ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ (Work makes you free), made infamous by their use here, had previously been emblazoned on a gate at Dachau in the 1930s.

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19. Hitler and his generals. The officer in the fur coat to the left of Hitler is Heinz Guderian, nicknamed ‘Schneller Heinz’ (Fast Heinz) because the panzers he led advanced so swiftly. To the left of Guderian, staring at the camera, is Alfred Jodl, Chief of the Wehrmacht’s Operations Staff.

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20. A Legitimationskarte of a Jew in the Łódź ghetto – or the Litzmannstadt ghetto, as the Germans called it. The document, identifying Elazer Jakubowicz as a shoemaker, also carries the name of the leader of the ghetto, Rumkowski, at the bottom right.

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21. Dr Robert Ritter (on the right of the picture) assesses the ‘Gypsyness’ of this Sinti woman. Starting in the late 1930s Ritter led a team which attempted to decide who should be classed a ‘pure Gypsy’, who was a ‘mixed-blood Gypsy’ and who was not a ‘Gypsy’ at all.

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22. One of Ritter’s assistants quizzes a Roma family in Austria. Eventually the Nazis would create a vast card index detailing 30,000 Sinti and Roma. Many thousands of people would eventually be murdered on the basis of this bogus classification.

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23. Jews take a shower in the Łódź ghetto. It was vital to try and keep free from illness within the ghetto, since those who could not work received less food than those who could.

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24. Children in the Łódź ghetto. In September 1942 thousands of the children in the ghetto were deported and murdered.

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25. German soldiers march through Paris after their victory in the summer of 1940. In just six weeks the Germans had achieved more success on the western front than they had managed in the entire First World War.

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26. Dutch Jews prepare to board trains to take them to the east where the majority will be murdered in a Nazi death camp. The Nazis found it easier to deport Jews from the Netherlands than from any other Western country.

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27. Heinrich Himmler (seated in the left front seat of the car) visits the Łόdź ghetto in June 1941. He is talking to Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski (with the grey hair and wearing a yellow star), the leader of the ghetto.

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28. Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski seated in his private carriage. One of the most controversial Jewish figures of the Holocaust, Rumkowski was accused of exploiting his position as leader of the ghetto for his own benefit – including by sexually assaulting women.

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29. Adolf Hitler with Jozef Tiso (on the left of Hitler), the President of Slovakia. Tiso was a Roman Catholic priest and – despite his involvement in the deportation of Slovak Jews – was never excommunicated.

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30. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Mussolini’s rise to power in the early 1920s was an inspiration to the Nazis.

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31. Dr Irmfried Eberl, director of the Brandenburg killing centre and subsequently commandant of Treblinka death camp. He presided over the most intense period of killing ever seen at an Operation Reinhard camp.

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32. Christian Wirth, one of the most infamous of all Holocaust perpetrators. A veteran of the T4 ‘euthanasia’ programme, he was the first commandant of Bełz˙ec death camp and later inspector of all the Operation Reinhard camps.

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33. Pope Pius XII. His refusal to publicly condemn the deportation and extermination of the Jews haunts his reputation to this day.

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34. Once the war started to go badly for Adolf Hitler he made fewer and fewer public appearances. But in many of the speeches he did give, he – ludicrously – blamed the Jews for the fact that Germany was losing the war.

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35. German soldiers steal pigs during the war against the Soviet Union. Just before the invasion, the central economic agency of the Wehrmacht stated that ‘tens of millions’ would die ‘if we take away all we need from the country’.

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36. German units advance against a village on the eastern front. Hitler had said, during the planning stages of the invasion, that this would be a war of ‘extermination’.

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37. Jewish women wait to be murdered by Nazi security forces in the occupied Soviet Union. Increasingly, from July 1941, the Nazi killing squads targeted women and children as well as adult male Jews.

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38. Nazi security forces in action in the occupied Soviet Union. On the eastern front the Nazis’ belief that any civilian might also be a partisan meant the Germans could shoot, as Hitler said, ‘anyone who even looks askance at us’.

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39. A fraction of the 5.7 million Soviet soldiers captured by the Germans during the course of the war against the Soviet Union. The majority – around 3.3 million – would die in German captivity.

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40. Jewish civilians captured by the Germans in the aftermath of the Warsaw ghetto uprising in spring 1943. Though militarily the uprising achieved little, as a statement of the Jewish desire to fight back against the Germans the action was of immense importance.

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41. Hungarian Jews arrive at Auschwitz Birkenau in 1944. The majority of the people in this photograph – including all the small children – would be dead within a matter of hours.

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42. Starting in spring 1944, Allied reconnaissance flights took photos of Auschwitz. This photograph is of Auschwitz Birkenau during the Hungarian deportation action.

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43. This photograph captures the moment of selection – of life or death – at Auschwitz Birkenau during the Hungarian action. Most new arrivals would be told to join a group destined immediately for the gas chamber.

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44. Staff at Auschwitz relax. Oskar Groening, a former member of the SS at Auschwitz, later remarked that working at the camp ‘led to friendships which I’m still saying today I like to think back on with joy’.

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45. Crematorium III at Auschwitz. This killing factory, which opened in 1943, had the gas chambers and undressing rooms in the semi-basement of the building.

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46. Crematorium IV at Auschwitz. Unlike Crematoria II and III, which were altered at the design stage to incorporate gas chambers, this building (together with Crematorium V) was conceived from the beginning as a place of mass murder. The gas chambers and undressing room were on the same level as the ovens where the bodies were burnt.

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47. The Nazi doctor Fritz Klein stands on top of a pile of the dead from Bergen Belsen concentration camp. Klein was forced to help bury the dead by British forces after the liberation of the camp.

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48. Oskar Groening, a member of the SS garrison at Auschwitz. He worked in the economic administration, counting the money stolen from those the Nazis killed.

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49. Petras Zelionka, a Lithuanian who participated with the German Einsatzgruppen in murdering Jewish civilians in the occupied Soviet Union. After the war he served twenty years in a Soviet prison.

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