group of men looking out from behind barbed wire; four men wear striped pants and coats; old man at right leans against a cane

© Estate of Margaret Bourke-White

The Living Dead at Buchenwald, 1945

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A photograph has the rare ability to preserve a historic moment in time and to provide viewers with the uncanny sense of having been present when it was taken. Margaret Bourke-White accompanied General George Patton’s Third Army on its storied march through a collapsing Germany in the spring of 1945. Life magazine published her photographs of the concentration camps in the May 7, 1945, issue with the caption, “Dead men will have indeed died in vain if live men refuse to look at them.” The Living Dead at Buchenwald, however, was not published in the magazine until 1960, in a special anniversary issue. One of the most extraordinary photographs of the Holocaust, it captures both Nazi barbarism as well as the strength of prisoners who survived forced labor and brutality within one of the worst of Germany’s twenty thousand concentration camps.

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Details
Title
The Living Dead at Buchenwald
Artist Life
1904 - 1971
Role
Photographer
Accession Number
2012.47.1
Curator Approved

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group of men looking out from behind barbed wire; four men wear striped pants and coats; old man at right leans against a cane

© Estate of Margaret Bourke-White

Because of © restrictions, we can only show you a small image of this artwork.