Seeing Auschwitz, London’s powerful photography exhibition featuring 100 photographs, sketches and survivor testimonies from the largest German Nazi camp of the Second World War, will finish on February 12. The exhibition is currently open in South Kensington and encourages visitors to look deeper than the surface images we see at first glance, considering the true context behind each seemingly ordinary face, figure and building. With the doors closing in a matter of weeks, here are five reasons to visit this immeasurably important exhibition.
1. The UK’s Holocaust Memorial Day is this month
At the end of this month, on January 27, is Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK. A day dedicated to the remembrance of the Jews and others who suffered in the Holocaust. It is also International Holocaust Remembrance Day, with the date holding much significance as it is the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945. A visit to Seeing Auschwitz is a precious opportunity to reflect on the crimes committed at Auschwitz, examining the powerful collection of photographs which serve as a visual testimony of the 1,100,000 people who were murdered at the hands of the Nazis.
2. The moving and impactful collection of photographs and sketches
There are over 100 photographs and sketches displayed at Seeing Auschwitz; each one can be a window into the past, but to see the whole picture requires a deep, analytical look beyond the grains of film and four edges of the frame. As you walk through the exhibition you’ll encounter visual evidence of a time that must never be forgotten, with images ranging from the arrival of the deportees, scenes from the everyday life of the camp officials and portraits of the prisoners.
The photos have been taken by perpetrators, victims and liberators, forcing you to address how the perspective of the person behind the camera influences the moment captured – make sure to look beyond seemingly normal smiling faces to the symbol adorning their uniforms and confront the truth behind each photo.
3. Testimonies from survivors provide vital insight
You will also hear testimonies from Auschwitz survivors on the 45-minute audio guide, which helps to illuminate the reality of time in the concentration camp. Each testimony has been collected over the decades by the USC Shoah Foundation, with each word spoken providing us with enlightening information that ensures an even more enriching experience. Be sure to charge your mobile phone and bring headphones, as the audio guide is accessed through it, free of charge.
4. Part of the revenue generated by the exhibition will be used to help Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland
If you’ve been looking to visit The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum but are unable to make the trip to Poland, then this exhibition can give you a chance to learn and reflect upon the events that took place at Auschwitz without leaving London. Additionally, a portion of the revenue will go towards the long-term preservation and conservation of the authentic site, meaning you will be helping to ensure the chilling piece of history will continue to stand as a physical reminder of the atrocities that the SS committed and tried to hide.
5. Seeing Auschwitz is only in London for a limited time
There are only a few weeks left until Seeing Auschwitz closes, so be sure to book your tickets soon to experience the groundbreaking exhibition. The photography exhibition shines a light on the mass murder of men, women and children at Auschwitz, urging us to take an unflinching and empathetic look at visual evidence of the largest extermination camp run by Nazis between 1940 and 1945. Over the course of 60-75 minutes, you’ll be encouraged to question how much a simple photograph can reveal and have new insight into a process of systematic extermination that words cannot begin to describe. It is truly a transformative visual journey that should be experienced by everyone.