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University of Leicester photograph exhibition highlights liberation of Nazi camps

22 March 2017 Leicester, University of

Second World War exhibition organised by History students opens on Wednesday 22 March

Sample photographs from the exhibition showing Nazi guards, male and female, in British captivity are available here:

A photograph exhibition highlighting the liberation of Nazi camps during the Second World War will launch at the University of Leicester on Wednesday 22 March.

The exhibition, which has been organised by History students at the University of Leicester and the University’s Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, is based on wartime photographs that were in the possession of George Barton, a member of a British Photographic Unit.

The photographs revealed evidence of Nazi crimes and depicted the camps as they were liberated and of the Nazi guards as they were taken into captivity.

Barton’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Lowen from Oadby, generously donated the pictures to the Stanley Burton Centre – allowing students to work with these precious primary sources.

Dr Alexander Korb, Director of the Stanley Burton Centre, said: “My students did a fantastic job to use their in-depth knowledge of the Holocaust to explain those chilling photos, to make them speak to the public.

“When one looks into the faces of SS-chief Himmler pictured right after he committed suicide, or of Belsen-commander Kramer right after he was captured, one starts to rethink how these people were capable of doing what they did.”

The third year History students worked with two research interns to create the exhibition on the liberation, using and analysing the images as part of their studies.

The exhibition also discusses wartime photography in general, and what ‘liberation’ meant for the survivors.

The exhibition will be opened on Wednesday 22 March, at the David Wilson Library, between 5pm-6pm, by the University of Leicester’s Head of College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Professor Julie Coleman.

The Stanley Burton Centre’s founding director, Professor Aubrey Newman, will give a presentation on the liberation of the Belsen camp.

Dr Alex Korb will thank the donor and the students.

The students will then talk about their experiences in working with Holocaust photographs. This will be followed by a reception which will end the event. 

The display will remain in the David Wilson Library at the University of Leicester for a short period of time so that everyone has the chance to see it.

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