Colour Photos of Nazi Ghettos Published

By Sahar Zivan, October 19, 2012
Monument to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising  (Photo: Yuval Madar).

Monument to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising (Photo: Yuval Madar).

Time Magazine has published a selection of photos which portray the Jewish ghettos of Kutno and Warsaw in a previously unseen way. High-ranking Nazi photographer Hugo Jaeger, who took the pictures, was supplied by the Nazi hierarchy with both a colour and 3D-capable camera.

The photos show the residents of the ghetto seemingly at ease with their photographer, smiling at the camera, with almost no military presence around. The photos have been published to coincide with the 72nd anniversary of the opening of the Warsaw Ghetto.

No less remarkable than the photos themselves is the manner in which they reached Life Magazine.

Towards the end of the war, Allied troops were in control of most of Germany when they reached Jaeger’s town and began searching houses.

Inside his house was a satchel containing incriminating photographs of Hitler and the upper echelons of the Third Reich, along with the photos of the ghettos.

Also in the satchel was a bottle of brandy and a small, ivory gambling toy. To Jaeger’s amazement, the soldiers removed the bottle of brandy and the toy and sat down with them for a game. Jaeger drank and played with them, while the photos remained undiscovered in the satchel.

After the soldiers left, he buried the photos in metal jars in a field outside the town, and using a map he’d drawn, he dug them up a decade later and hid them in a Swiss bank. Finally in 1965, he sold the photos to Life Magazine, who on Wednesday decided to publish them.

Last updated: 11:33am, October 19 2012