The Photo Album of SS-Obersturmführer Karl Höcker

In January 2007, yhe United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives received a photo album belonging to SS-Obersturmführer Karl Höcker who was stationed at the Auschwitz concentration camp from May 1944 until the evacuation of the camp in January 1945.

The photographs depict Höcker with other SS officers in Auschwitz in the summer and fall of 1944 and provide us with a new understanding of their lives and activities in the camp.

In the above photo, Nazi officers pose with members of the SS Helferinnen (female auxiliaries) on a wooden bridge in Solahutte, an SS resort about 30 km south of Auschwitz. | Photo Album

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Previous comments comparing the monstrosity of the the Nazi extermination camps to Abu Grabe is total B_____t!!! People saying that, are communist propagandists or the useful idiots of same

How do you compare Abu Grabe (underwear on heads) to the beheading of helpless Americans on video by terrorists...

Then also say that Abu Grabe was on the scale of Auschwitz where over 2.5 million people were mass exterminated...

Whats mesmerizing about these photos is that the indiviudals could be normal individuals in any other setting but somehow the consummate evil of Nazism turned them into monsters for all history

I cant stop staring at their faces and wondering is that really all of us at some other time and in some other place,or is there really something about them in particular such that they would always be the monsters they are...

Evil may be dormant in each of us waiting to be unleashed by the wrong sequence of life events...
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Just goes to show you that people are people. Hell even the Jewish people celebrated birthdays and such during the oppression even when many of them knew their fellow neighbors, friends, relatives and such were being tortured, butchered, and killed. Perhaps this was their only way of release for all the sadness they must not only have seen and possibly participated in, but in some ways they too were coerced into. Dave I love what you said "I remember reading something written by one of the guys who testified at the Nuremberg Trials; when he first saw one of the Nazi defendants he was struck by the realization that if circumstances were changed, he could be capable of the same wickedness." So well put, and my point exactly. Thank you.
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Not a very exciting collection of photos.
I suppose we're meant to feel some sort of disgust.

I would say Auschwitz is a pretty extreme example of a "human rights violation". To trivialize it as such shows a lack of understanding and human compassion.

The funny thing about when people kill their spouses, or are found to be serial killers, is the neighbours always say, "but he/she was such a nice person." They're always surprised. The fact is you can be a "nice" person and still do horrible things, or turn a blind eye to atrocities.
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In a similar vein to some of the comments, I like what the Rotten Library has to to say:

"The mistake often made in describing the crimes and actions of the Third Reich is to somehow dehumanize them, turn all the players into demons and monsters, the same techniques used by the Nazis themselves to target and exterminate Jews and other undesirables. To dehumanize Nazis is to turn them into archetypes as opposed to functioning humans; it sets us up to be "surprised" again when traits of the Nazis show up elsewhere, in other places, at a lessened level but with the same misguided goals and logic behind them."
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