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A Jewish Photographer Buried These Heartbreaking Photos So Nazis Couldn’t Find Them (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. (h/t: boredpanda)

#1 1940-1944: A Boy Searching For Food

#2 1940: A Man Walking In Winter In The Ruins Of The Synagogue On Wolborska Street (Destroyed By Germans In 1939)

#3 1940: A Man Who Saved The Torah From The Rubble Of The Synagogue On Wolborska Street

#4 1940-1942: Woman With Her Child (Ghetto Policemen’s Family)

#5 1940-1944: Deportation In Winter

#6 1940-1944: Portrait Of A Couple

#7 1944: Food Pails And Dishes Left Behind By Ghetto Residents Who Had Been Deported To Death Camps

#8 1940: Henryk Ross Photographing For Identification Cards, Jewish Administration, Department Of Statistics

#9 1940-1944: Sign For Jewish Residential Area (“Jews. Entry Forbidden”)

#10 1942: Children Being Transported To Chelmno Nad Nerem (Renamed Kulmhof) Death Camp

#11 1940-1944: A Group Of Women With Sacks And Pails, Walking Past Synagogue Ruins Heading For Deportation

#12 1940-1944: Young Girl

#13 1940-1944: A Sick Man On The Ground

#14 1942: Police With Woman Behind Barbed Wire At The Ghetto

#15 1940-1944: Woman Sitting In The Ruins Of The Synagogue On Wolborska Street, Destroyed By The Germans In 1939

#16 1944: A Mass Deportation Of Ghetto Residents

#17 1940: Baking Flat Bread

#18 1940-1944: “Soup For Lunch” (Group Of Men Alongside Building Eating From Pails)

#19 1940-1944: A Nurse Feeding Children In An Orphanage

#20 1940-1944: A Smiling Child

#21 1945: Henryk Ross’ Excavating His Hidden Box Of Negatives And Documents From The Lodz Ghetto

#22 1940-1942: Lodz Ghetto Prison At Czarnecki Street, A Rallying Point Before Deportation

#23 1942: Evacuation Of The Sick

#24 1940-1944: A Boy In A Doorway Swing

#25 1940-1944: Abandoned Body, Decomposing In Field

#26 1940-1944: Babies Lying On Floor Mat, Probably In The Hospital Nursery

#27 1940-1944: Body For Burial Tagged ’54’

#28 1940-1944: Children In Pond Searching For Items To Salvage

#29 1940-1944: Skulls And Bones On Ground

#30 1942–1944: Lodz Ghetto Police Escorting Residents For Deportation

#31 1940-1944: A Group Of Young Residents Standing In A Line

#32 1940-1944: Corpses And Body Parts In The Morgue

#33 1940-1944: Delivery Of Potatoes To The Ghetto

#34 1940-1944: Nurse Holding Baby Before Surgery

#35 1940-1944: Portrait Of Stefania Schoenberg Posing In The Window

#36 1940-1944: The Removal Of Feces In The Ghetto By Men And Women Workers

#37 1940-1944: A Boy Walking In Front Of The Bridge Crossing Zigerska (The “Aryan”) Street

#38 1940-1944: A Wedding In The Ghetto

#39 1942: Men Hauling Cart For Bread Distribution

#40 1940-1944: A Scarecrow With A Yellow Star Of David

#41 1940-1944: Residents Sorting Belongings Left Behind After Deportation

#42 1940-1944: Young Girl Among The Greenery

#43 1940-1944: Youth Selling Goods On The Street

#44 1945: Three Men After Liberation By The Red Army

#45 1940-1944: Woman Posing With A Mail Truck

#46 1940-1944: A Corpse Is Taken Away

#47 1940-1944: A Jewish Policeman With His Wife And Child In Marysin

#48 1940-1944: Ghetto Buildings

#49 1940-1944: Man Brushing Hide In The Leather Factory

#50 1940-1944: Man Working In A Workshop (“Resort”) In The Ghetto

#51 1940-1944: Portrait Of Two Women

#52 1940-1944: Two Young Women Observing The Bridge At Koscielyn Square, Crossing Zigerska Street

#53 1940-1944: A Festive Occasion

#54 1940-1944: A Performance Of ‘Shoemaker Of Marysin’ In The Factory

#55 1944: A Boy Walks Among A Crowd Of People Being Deported In Winter

#56 1940-1944: Workers Breaking Rocks

#57 1940-1944: Young Girls And Boys Working In A Workshop (“Resort”) In The Ghetto

#58 1940-1944: Delegation After Liberation

#59 1940-1944: A Woman Sewing In A Workshop (“Resort”) In The Ghetto

#60 1940-1944: Children Looking Out The Window

#61 1942: Ghetto Residents Held For Deportation

#62 1940-1944: In The Bakery

#63 1940-1944: Male Factory Worker Unloading Mattress Springs

#64 1940-1944: Man And A Boy Looking Out The Window

#65 1940-1944: Men Pulling Road Press

#66 1940-1944: Residents Sitting On The Street

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