Review; The Auschwitz Photographer: The powerful true story of Wilhelm Brasse prisoner number 3444 by Luca Crippa and Maurizio Onnis

Earlier this year, I read the non-fiction book The Auschwitz Photographer: The powerful true story of Wilhelm Brasse prisoner number 3444 by Luca Crippa and Maurizio Onnis. Today, I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
Based on the powerful true story of Auschwitz prisoner number 3444 Wilhelm Brasse, whose photographs helped to expose the atrocities of the Holocaust.

When Germany invaded Wilhelm Brasse's native Poland in 1939, he was asked to swear allegiance to Hitler and join the Wehrmacht. He refused. He was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp as political prisoner number 3444. A trained portrait photographer, he was ordered by the SS to record the inner workings of the camp. He began by taking identification photographs of prisoners as they entered the camp, went on to capture the criminal medical experiments of Josef Mengele, and also recorded executions. Between 1940 and 1945, Brasse took around 50,000 photographs of the horror around him. He took them because he had no choice.

Eventually, Brasse's conscience wouldn't allow him to hide behind his camera. First he risked his life by joining the camp's Resistance movement, faking documents for prisoners, trying to smuggle images to the outside world to reveal what was happening. Then, when Soviet troops finally advanced on the camp to liberate it, Brasse refused SS orders to destroy his photographs. 'Because the world must know,' he said.

For readers of The Librarian of Auschwitz and The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz, this powerful true story of hope and courage lies at the very centre of Holocaust history.

My Thoughts on the Book
Where to start as sometimes words aren't sufficient? It was one of those gut wrenching, yet fascinating books that a lot of people should pick up. In a way, it's stories like that which needs to be told, as it's sometimes easy to get caught up in the horrible statistics in terms of WWII. In a way, reading books like this is more bone-chilling than a well-written horror novel, as this is something that actually happened, which makes it even more scary.

Please, pick up this book, even if it's an uncomfortable read.


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