1. Holocaust Victims
Our final frightening photo from history, and the third on this list from World War II, is this photograph of Auschwitz-Birkenau prisoners, wearing the “striped pajamas” garb that has become symbolic of the war’s largest death camp. There are hundreds of worse photos than this that we have all seen before of emaciated children, bodies piled on top of one another, and people being killed.
This photo is not the worst by far, but it encompasses all of the above. Standing behind a wire fence and caged like animals, we know what these girls were going through. But actually, the girls in this picture were a few of the survivors. They were likely spared their lives but lost their loved ones.
Alexander Vorontsov was a cameraman with the 1st Ukrainian Front who helped liberate the camp in winter 1945, and he took this iconic photograph just when the world was learning the truth of the concentration camps in Europe. These children were a few of the “lucky” ones, but images such as these still manage to strike fear through the hearts of many, as they should. Because this could be any one of us, and as it has famously been said, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”
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