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Helen and Sol Krawitz Holocaust Memorial Education Center

Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center

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Child Survivors at the Liberation of Auschwitz – 27 January 1945

This photograph was taken at Auschwitz-Birkenau by Alexander Vorontsov, a Soviet photographer who accompanied the soldiers of the Red Army when they liberated the camp on 27 January 1945.  The photograph depicts thirteen children, one of whom (fifth from the right) is hidden from view, and only his cap is visible.

Child survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau when the camp was liberated on 27 January 1945.
Credit: Yad Vashem, “Child Survivors at the Liberation of Auschwitz – 27 January 1945″ www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/through-the-lens/auschwitz-child-survivors.asp

A number of the children have been identified, either by themselves or others (to the best of their memory), and are still alive today.  Six of the seven live in Israel: Gabriel Neumann (fourth from the right), Bracha Katz (formerly Berta Weinhaber, second from the right), Tomy Shacham (formerly Schwarz, first from the left), Erika Dohan (née Winter, fourth from the left), Shmuel Schelach (formerly Robert Schlesinger, third from the right), and Marta Wise (née Weiss, seventh from the left).  The seventh is Eva Slonim (née Weiss, eighth from the left), who lives in Australia.

Some of the survivors in the original picture, 60 years after they were photographed by their liberators
photograph by Dalit Shacham

On 27 January 2005, 60 years after they were photographed by their liberators, the six survivors living in Israel took part in a ceremony in Poland marking 60 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. (photograph by Dalit Shacham)

From right to left – Bracha Katz (formerly Berta Weinhaber), Gabriel Neumann, Shmuel Schelach (formerly Robert Schlesinger), Eva Slonim (née Weiss), Marta Wise (née Weiss), Erika Dohan (née Winter), Tomy Shacham (formerly Schwarz)

Gabriel Neumann researched this photo and was then able to recreate the story behind it. He organized the journey of the six survivors back to Auschwitz to mark the 60th anniversary of their liberation.