The Center Searches for Photographs of Nazi Mass Deportations As Part of the #LastSeen Project
The USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research is proud to announce its cooperation with a German government funded multi-institutional Holocaust research project entitled #LastSeen - Pictures of Nazi Deportations.
This new project, launched in November 2021, aims to gather, analyze, and digitally publish pictures of Nazi mass deportations of Jews, Romani people and people with disabilities from the German Reich between 1938 and 1945. The project is a cooperation of the Arolsen Archives, the City Archives of Munich, the Center for the Research on Antisemitism at the Technical University Berlin, the House of the Wannsee Conference memorial site, and the USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research.
At the start of the project, the project partners assumed that pictures of mass deportations existed from approximately 30 different German cities and towns. A few months into the project, we have already identified pictures from more than 50 cities and towns. Even for many of the previously known places, we have discovered more photos than we previously knew existed. For example, for Breslau/Wroclaw, two pictures of deportation had previously been identified. As of today, we have identified five photos showing Nazi deportations of Jews from the city.
These discoveries are the result of a systematic analysis of the existing literature and searches in a multitude of archives. The project partners have contacted more than 1,500 archives in Germany, which has yielded an exciting response. The next stages include intensive research in archives and public outreach. The project is also developing a digital platform to publish the pictures with all necessary information about their origins as well as the people and locations shown in the images. We are also building an educational tool on how to read and understand photos of Nazi deportations.
Photos of Nazi mass deportations have never before been brought together, made available as a collection, and analyzed collectively in any systematic way. Nor has there been a concerted effort to search for more photos. Knowing these pictures tell many stories – of the deportees, the perpetrators, and the spectators – this initiative invites your participation in helping us to discover and analyze previously unknown photographs that survive in museums, archives, private attics, basements, or dusty photo albums.
How can you help?
• Share information about the project with others.
• Download the #LastSeen flyer here for more information about how to be involved.
• Search for photographs in public and private archives.
• Ask yourself whether you know anyone who might have photos from the Nazi era.
• Help us identify the people and places in existing and newly discovered photos.
• For more information, go to lastseen.org.
Share your findings with us
If you think you have or you know of an image of a Nazi deportation of Jews, Romani people and/or people with disabilities, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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