A note on the photograph of the boy in Warsaw (1943)

Richard Raskin

Widely considered one of the most striking images of the Holocaust, this picture - taken by an unknown SS or Wehrmacht photographer - was included in the pictorial section of the so-called "Stroop Report," sent by SS General Jürgen Stroop to SS Chief Heinrich Himmler as a memento after he (Stroop) ultimately crushed the Warsaw ghetto uprising of April-May 1943. Only three copies of the report, with its accompanying photo album, were made.

The boy in the photo may be Tsvi C. Nussbaum, who survived the horrors of Bergen-Belsen and now lives in the U.S. The trooper holding the submachine gun has been identified as SS Rottenführer Josef Blösche, known as one of the worst scourges of the Warsaw ghetto, terrorizing and murdering Jews at every opportunity.

Later this year, I hope to complete a book devoted entirely to this photograph, which inspired Mitko Panov to make With Raised Hands.

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