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26.01.2015

Auschwitz Survivors

As the liberation of Auschwitz approaches its 70th anniversary this month, Reuters photographers took portraits of now elderly survivors.

About 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, were killed at the Nazi camp, which has became a symbol of the horrors of the Holocaust and World War II, this ravaged Europe. The camp was liberated by Soviet Red Army troops on Jan. 27, 1945, and about 200,000 camp inmates survived.

Here are some of the brave survivors of the Auschwitz death camp…


Eva Fahidi, 90, holds a picture of her family, who were all killed in the concentration camp during World War II, as she poses for a portrait in Budapest Jan. 12, 2015. Fahidi was 18 in 1944 when she and her family were moved from Debrecen to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Jacek Nadolny, 77, who was registered with camp number 192685, holds up a wartime photo of his family, as he poses for a portrait in Warsaw Jan. 7, 2015. Nadolny was 7 during the Warsaw Uprising, when he was sent with his family to Auschwitz-Birkenau by train. In January 1945 the family was moved to a labor camp in Berlin.

Bogdan Bartnikowski, 82, who was registered with camp number 192731, holds a family photograph as he poses for a portrait in Warsaw Dec. 18, 2014. Bartnikowski was 12 years old during the Warsaw Uprising, when he and his mother were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. They were moved between camps several times. After the war Bartnikowski worked as a pilot and then became a journalist and writer.

Jadwiga Bogucka (maiden name Regulska), 89, registered with camp number 86356, holds a picture of herself from 1944 in Warsaw Jan. 12, 2015.

Lajos Erdelyi, 87, holds a drawing made by a campmate as he poses for a portrait in Budapest on Jan. 13, 2015. Erdelyi was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau in May 1944 and was later moved to another camp. When he was freed he weighed under 30 kilograms but tried to walk home. He collapsed and was taken to a hospital by a farmer.

Barbara Doniecka, 80, who was registered with camp number 86341, holds up a wartime photo of herself as she poses for a photograph in Warsaw Jan. 12, 2015. Doniecka was 12 years old during the Warsaw Uprising when she was sent to Pruszkow camp. She was then sent by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Laszlo Bernath, 87, holds up a picture of his family, who were all killed in the concentration camp during World War II, in Budapest, Jan. 12, 2015. Bernath credits his father being a practical man with his survival of Auschwitz. He was 15 when they were taken, but his father told him to lie about his age so that they would not be separated. Even while in the camp, Bernath had no idea about the gas chambers.

Imre Varsanyi, 86, holds up a photo of fellow survivors during World War II, as he poses for a portrait in Budapest Jan. 12, 2015. Varsanyi was 14 years old when he and his family were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was the only member of his family to survive. After the war Varsanyi did not talk about Auschwitz for 60 years because he felt ashamed of having survived.

Halina Brzozowska, 82, who was registered with camp number 86356, holds a picture of herself which was taken during the war, as she poses for a portrait in Warsaw Jan. 12, 2015. Brzozowska was 12 years old during the Warsaw Uprising when her family were sent to a camp in Pruszkow. She and her 6-year-old sister were then moved by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Brzozowska said that it was hard to say what had happened to them, that they were taken from their homes, family, and lost their childhood.

Janos Forgacs, 87, holds a document as he poses for a portrait in Budapest Jan. 12, 2015. Forgacs recalls that he was in a group transported to a camp in a cattle wagon, with the windows sealed with barbed wire. An military officer told them to hand over their belongings, telling them they would not need them anymore.

Henryk Duszyk, 80, who was registered with camp number 192692, poses for a portrait in Warsaw Jan. 12, 2015. Duszyk was 10 years old during the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944. He was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau with his father, brother, and stepmother. The family were separated and Duszyk only saw his father once more before he was killed at the camp. Duszyk, his brother, and his stepmother were kept at Auschwitz-Birkenau until the camp was liberated.

Marian Majerowicz, 88, who was registered with camp number 157715, poses for a portrait in Warsaw Jan. 13, 2015. Originally from Myszkow, Majerowicz was 17 when he was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. At the camp he was briefly reunited with his father, who told him that his mother and younger brother were both killed in the gas chambers. Majerowicz’s father didn’t survive the war.

Danuta Bogdaniuk-Bogucka (maiden name Kaminska), 80, poses for a portrait in Warsaw Jan. 5, 2015. Bogdaniuk-Bogucka was 10 years old when she was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau camp with her mother. Bogdaniuk-Bogucka was part of Josef Mengele’s experiments when she was in Auschwitz. After the war she met her mother again and they discovered they had both been at Ravensbruck camp at the same time, but they had not realized this.

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