Photo Gallery Laughing at Auschwitz

Newly released photos of SS officers sitting in canvas chairs, participating in sing-alongs and enjoying their free time at a recreation home near Auschwitz have shocked many in Germany this week. The images depict the cynicism of the SS, who were able to enjoy a day off from the death camp even as thousands were being exterminated.
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The cover of Karl Höcker's photo album: An important historical document with photos from Auschwitz in 1944

Foto: AP / USHMM
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One of the 116 photos: SS auxiliaries sit on fence railing in Solahütte, an SS resort located 30 kilometers south of Auschwitz, where they enjoy blueberries given to them by Karl Höcker, the camps adjutant camp commander.

Foto: AP / USHMM
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Taking a break: Camp commandant Richard Baer, notorious concentration camp doctor Josef Mengele, and the commandant of the Birkenau camp, Josef Kramer (obscured) and former commandant Rudolf Höss.

Foto: AP / USHMM
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SS officers relax on the grounds of the Solahütte retreat.

Foto: AP / USHMM
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SS officers relax together with women and a baby on a deck at Solahütte. As the SS members took time off, hundreds were being exterminated nearby at Auschwitz.

Foto: AP / USHMM
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The Solahütte retreat was used to provide a relaxing atmosphere for SS officers working at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, where more than 1 million Jews were murdered.

Foto: AP / USHMM
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Singing to release the tension: An accordianist leads a sing-along for SS officers.

Foto: AP / USHMM
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A group photo of the mass murderers of Auschwitz: Josef Kramer, Josef Mengele, Richard Baer, Karl Höcker (from left; man at right unidentified).

Foto: AP / USHMM
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Finding comfort at Auschwitz: SS officers drink together.

Foto: AP / USHMM
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SS auxiliaries pose with Karl Höcker (center) at Solahütte.

Foto: AP / USHMM
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Christmas 1944: Karl Höcker lights the candles of a Christmas tree.

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SS officer Karl Höcker pets his dog "Favorit."

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A large group of SS officers visit a coal mine near Auschwitz.

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SS officers gather for the dedication ceremonies of the new SS hospital.

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SS officers gather at the same event.

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