Ordinary People, Extraordinary Evil

Last year a former US Army intelligence Officer donated an album of photographs to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The album had belonged to Karl Hocker, adjutant to the commander of Auschwitz, and records the daily life of camp SS officers. They depict men and women engaged in singalongs, naps in lounge chairs, drinks around a picnic table, light-hearted frolics in the countryside, rustic respites from the routine daily murder of thousands. A New York Times article relates how this album came into the hands of the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the accompanying slide show captures its horrific banality.

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