Powerful Portraits Of Auschwitz Survivors Pay Tribute To 70th Anniversary Of Their Liberation


January 27th marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet Red Army. In honor of this milestone, a group of Reuters photographers united forces to take photos of Auschwitz survivors and hear their courageous and difficult stories. Every survivor has a heartbreaking tale of loss, and an equally compelling story full of hope and inspiration.

More than 1 million people were killed at Auschwitz, which was only one of many concentration camps run by Nazi. In 1945, on the day of liberation, 200,000 people (predominately Jewish) were freed. Today only 300 of these 200,000 inmates are still alive.

Jerzy Ulatowski, 83, arrived at Auschwitz by train when he was only 13-years-old


In January of 1945, Jerzy and his family were lucky to escape due to a lack of power in the barbed wire that guarded the camp.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Eva Fahidi, 90, stands with a photo of her family, all were murdered at Auschwitz


Eva Fahidi was only 18 in 1944, when her and her family were taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau from Debrecen.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

Jadwiga Bogucka, 89, stands holding her photo from the year 1944



When she was 19-years-old, Jadwiga and her mother were sent to Pruszkow death camp. On August 12, 1944, they were transported by train to Auschwitz.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Maria Stroinska, 82, cherishes this family photo taken before the horrors of the war had a chance to unfold


At 12-years-old, Maria was originally sent to Pruszkow with her sister. Later she was transported to Auschwitz, alone.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Halina Brzozowska, 82, holds a photo taken of her during the war



“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.”

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Bogdan Bartnikowski, 82, was 12 when he arrived at Auschwitz with his mother; he holds a photo of his family



Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Jacek Nadolny, 77, holds a photo of his family from wartime



Jacek was only seven when he and his family were sent to Auschwitz by train during the Warsaw Uprising.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Lajos Erdelyi, 87, shows off a drawing he has kept all these years made by one his campmates


“When he (Lajos Erdelyi) was freed he weighed under 30kg, but tried to walk home. He collapsed, and was taken to a hospital by a farmer.”

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

Laszlo Bernath, 87, holds up a photo of his family, all killed at the concentration camp



Laszlo credits his father for his survival, he told his 15-year-old son to lie about his age so that they would not be separated.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

Danuta Bogdaniuk-Bogucka, 80, was used for Josef Mengele’s experiments at Auschwitz, where she arrived at 10-years-old


Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Barbara Doniecka, 80, was 12 when she was taken to Auschwitz with her mother. She clasps a wartime photo of herself



Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Elzbieta Sobczynska, 80, arrived at Auschwitz at 10-years-old with her mom and brother


Elzbieta was separated from her mother and brother when they arrived at the camp, as they were pushed into different groups for girls, boys, and women.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Marian Majerowicz, 88, lost his mother, father, and younger brother at the camp


At Auschwitz-Birkenau Marian 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.”

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Erzsebet Brodt, 89, shows a photo of her beloved family, all killed at the concentration camp



Brodt was 17 when she was sent to Auschwitz. “Remembering the journey to the camp she said that those who were ‘sick or about to give birth were forced out and put into one wagon. When the wagon was opened in Auschwitz we saw that everyone was dead inside.’”

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

Janina Reklajitis, 80, was sent to Auschwitz with her mother when she was 12-years-old


Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Stefan Sot, 83, was 13 when he was sent to a concentration camp



Originally sent to Pruszkow, Stefan was next sent to Auschwitz and then a labor sub-camp where he cooked for S.S. officers.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Janos Forgacs, 87, was transported to a death camp in a sealed cattle wagon


“Janos Forgacs, 87, holds a document as he poses for a portrait in Budapest January 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.”

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

Photo Credits: reuters.org