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A Jewish Photographer Buried These Photos So Nazis Wouldn’t Find Them, And They’ll Break Your Heart (NSFW)



In the winter of 1944, at the height of the Holocaust, Jewish photographer Henryk Ross buried a box of photographs in the ground. Just over a year later, he returned to unearth the photos, and the tragic story they told still resonates to this day.

Henryk Ross of Łódź, Poland was a simple news and sports photographer when German forces invaded his city in 1939. From then on, he survived by taking identity photos and propaganda shots for the Nazi Department of Statistics. While on the job, however, he risked his life to secretly document day-to-day events in the Łódź ghetto, which eventually included the deportation of its residents to death camps. Being at risk of a similar fate himself, he buried his photos near his house in a tar-sealed box, preserving evidence of the crimes against his people for future generations.

After the liberation of Łódź by the Soviet Army in 1945, Ross came back to dig up his photos, many of which were damaged or destroyed by ground water. The ones that remained intact, though, provided an intimate look inside the lives of Polish Jews, many of whom met the most unspeakable of ends. They now call the Art Gallery of Ontario home, and live on as a memorial to the victims of the world’s largest genocide.

1940-1944: A Boy Searching For Food

1940-1944: A Boy Searching For Food

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1940: A Man Walking In Winter In The Ruins Of The Synagogue On Wolborska Street (Destroyed By Germans In 1939)

1940: A Man Walking In Winter In The Ruins Of The Synagogue On Wolborska Street (Destroyed By Germans In 1939)

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1940: A Man Who Saved The Torah From The Rubble Of The Synagogue On Wolborska Street

1940: A Man Who Saved The Torah From The Rubble Of The Synagogue On Wolborska Street

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1940-1942: Woman With Her Child (Ghetto Policemen’s Family)

1940-1942: Woman With Her Child (Ghetto Policemen's Family)

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1940-1944: Deportation In Winter

1940-1944: Deportation In Winter

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1940-1944: Portrait Of A Couple

1940-1944: Portrait Of A Couple

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1940: Henryk Ross Photographing For Identification Cards, Jewish Administration, Department Of Statistics

1940: Henryk Ross Photographing For Identification Cards, Jewish Administration, Department Of Statistics

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1944: Food Pails And Dishes Left Behind By Ghetto Residents Who Had Been Deported To Death Camps

1944: Food Pails And Dishes Left Behind By Ghetto Residents Who Had Been Deported To Death Camps

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1940-1944: Sign For Jewish Residential Area (“Jews. Entry Forbidden”)

1940-1944: Sign For Jewish Residential Area (“Jews. Entry Forbidden”)

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1942: Children Being Transported To Chelmno Nad Nerem (Renamed Kulmhof) Death Camp

1942: Children Being Transported To Chelmno Nad Nerem (Renamed Kulmhof) Death Camp

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1940-1944: A Sick Man On The Ground

1940-1944: A Sick Man On The Ground

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1940-1944: A Group Of Women With Sacks And Pails, Walking Past Synagogue Ruins Heading For Deportation

1940-1944: A Group Of Women With Sacks And Pails, Walking Past Synagogue Ruins Heading For Deportation

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1940-1944: Young Girl

1940-1944: Young Girl

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1944: A Mass Deportation Of Ghetto Residents

1944: A Mass Deportation Of Ghetto Residents

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1942: Police With Woman Behind Barbed Wire At The Ghetto

1942: Police With Woman Behind Barbed Wire At The Ghetto

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1940-1944: Woman Sitting In The Ruins Of The Synagogue On Wolborska Street, Destroyed By The Germans In 1939

1940-1944: Woman Sitting In The Ruins Of The Synagogue On Wolborska Street, Destroyed By The Germans In 1939

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1940: Baking Flat Bread

1940: Baking Flat Bread

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1940-1944: A Nurse Feeding Children In An Orphanage

1940-1944: A Nurse Feeding Children In An Orphanage

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1940-1944: “Soup For Lunch” (Group Of Men Alongside Building Eating From Pails)

1940-1944:

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1940-1944: A Smiling Child

1940-1944: A Smiling Child

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1945: Henryk Ross’ Excavating His Hidden Box Of Negatives And Documents From The Lodz Ghetto

1945: Henryk Ross' Excavating His Hidden Box Of Negatives And Documents From The Lodz Ghetto

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1940-1944: A Boy In A Doorway Swing

1940-1944: A Boy In A Doorway Swing

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1940-1944: Abandoned Body, Decomposing In Field

1940-1944: Abandoned Body, Decomposing In Field

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1940-1944: Babies Lying On Floor Mat, Probably In The Hospital Nursery

1940-1944: Babies Lying On Floor Mat, Probably In The Hospital Nursery

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1940-1944: Body For Burial Tagged ’54’

1940-1944: Body For Burial Tagged '54'

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h/t Bored Panda

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