Between the years of 1933 and 1945, the Nazis committed one of the greatest atrocities that shook this Earth – the Holocaust. It claimed the lives of 11 million people – most of whom were Jews.
After the Allied powers defeated the Nazis in 1945, a few of the survivors rescued used their experiences as fodder for novels in a hope to educate future generations and prevent such evil from ever happening again.
One of the rescued survivors instrumental in exposing the horrors of the Holocaust was Jewish photographer Henry K. Ross who worked as a news and sports photographer in Łódź, Poland, before the Nazi invasion in 1939. Ross survived by taking identity photos and propaganda shots for the Nazi Department of Statistics. But the Germans were unaware that he was also taking images of day-to-day events in the Łódź ghetto, risking his own life.
At the height of the Holocaust in 1944, Ross placed his secret images inside a tar-sealed box and buried it in the ground to avoid being incriminated and to use them as evidence against the Nazis. A year later, when the war was over, he recovered the photos, unfortunately, one were damaged by ground water. Each image gives us an intimate look into the harrowing life the Polish Jews endured inside the ghetto, many of whom eventually met unspeakable ends.
The photographs can be found at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada, and serve to memorialize the victims of the world’s largest genocide.