‘Seeing Auschwitz’, a powerful London exhibition featuring more than 100 photographs, sketches and testimonies of the German Nazi camp, is now open. Over 1 million people, mostly Jews, were murdered at Auschwitz during the Second World War, this striking exhibition invites us to confront the reality of crimes committed at the camp through undeniable photographic evidence, keeping in mind one crucial fact: that some of what we see may have been taken through a Nazi lens. You can find the exhibition on Old Brompton Road in South Kensington. This is an important chance to consider the world that we don’t see out of shot and the true context behind every brief moment captured on camera.
What will you see inside the Seeing Auschwitz exhibition?
After the liberation of Auschwitz in January 1945, the SS attempted to destroy evidence of the atrocities they committed, but the truth endured to send ripples throughout history. A collection of the surviving photographs will be displayed at this exhibition, showing prisoner portraits and groups of camp officials as well as the arrival of deportees and selection process. Over the course of the 60-75 minute experience you are encouraged to look at each image with an analytical mind; look past deceptively ordinary smiles to symbol-clad uniforms and all they entail and reflect on the state of mind of each individual as you share the gaze of victim, perpetrator and onlooker.
Seeing Auschwitz is a powerful visual testimony of a past that should never be forgotten. While each photograph and sketch provides a glimpse at a piece of history, you also are invited to question whether they truly capture the enormity of what went on at the largest German Nazi extermination camp in history, especially if we are seeing it from the perspective of a perpetrator. There is much more to each picture than you may discover at first glance.
The exhibition also includes a free audio guide for an even more enriching experience, just be sure to bring a smartphone and headphones so you can scan the QR code. You’ll be able to listen to testimonies from Auschwitz survivors that have been collected over the decades, each one an invaluable tool to reflect on the reality of Auschwitz. Seeing Auschwitz is now open to the public from 10am to 7pm each day, with a portion of the revenue used to help Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland in the preservation of the authentic site.