Gas Chambers at Buchenwald

Photographs give testament to the horror of the Holocaust

06:52 PM CDT on Friday, August 20, 2004

By BILL MARVEL / The Dallas Morning News texasliving/stories/082204dnlivbuchenwald.7caa4.html

When Oscar Wilson went to war, the U.S. Army issued him the usual battle gear, plus a jeep and a trailer, a submachine gun, a couple of cameras and film.

In the end, it was the cameras and film that made all the difference. […]


Mr. Wilson took the pictures the day after U.S. soldiers drove their tanks through the walls at Buchenwald and liberated the camp.


“The first thing we did was to go into the offices of the head guard,” Mr. Wilson says. In the offices there were lamps whose shades, they were told, were made of human skin. A gallon fruit jar stood on a desk. It was full of gold fillings taken from prisoners’ teeth.


They were shown the large receiving room where people brought in on the trains would shed their clothes.

“Then they’d come into the next room, the shower. The shower heads were hooked up to gas cylinders.”


People will always find ways to get around what the camera tells them, Mr. Wilson says. “We did photographs of the moon landing and we still had many nonbelievers.

“The same is true of the Holocaust. It’s such an unbelievable thing.”

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