The face of fear: Colour image lays bare horror of Warsaw Ghetto

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The face of fear: Colour image lays bare horror of Warsaw Ghetto

Powerful image appears in The Colour of Time, a new book from Brazilian artist Marina Amaral and historian Dan Jones

Francine Wolfisz is the Features Editor for Jewish News.

Brazilian artist Marina Amaral laid bare the horror of the Warsaw Ghetto with this colourised version of the well-known photograph
Brazilian artist Marina Amaral laid bare the horror of the Warsaw Ghetto with this colourised version of the well-known photograph

The sheer look of terror in a young Jewish child’s face as he is rounded up in the Warsaw Ghetto has been hauntingly laid bare in colour for the first time.

Perhaps one of the best-known black-and-white photographs from the Second World War, the image has been transformed into a full-colour digital rendition by Brazilian artist Marina Amaral, who spent months painstakingly researching the image.

Taken in May 1943, the picture reveals Nazi troops rounding up hundreds of victims for Treblinka, just days after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a four-week long rebellion led by Jewish resistance fighters, was brutally brought to an end.

While the ghetto was destroyed, some 13,000 Jews were killed during the fighting and a further 50,000 were deported to extermination camps.

The picture is one of 200 historical images evocatively brought to life by Amaral, who collaborated with British historian Dan Jones on their new book, The Colour of Time, which is published next week.

Commenting on the Warsaw Ghetto picture in the book, Jones writes:  “The identity of the child here is uncertain, but the soldier with the rifle is known to be Josef Blösche, a notoriously brutal member of the paramilitary Nazi SS, responsible for the execution of hundreds of Jews in Warsaw.”

This heart-breaking photograph was taken during the liberation of Buchenwald on 11 April, 1945

Also featured in The Colour of Time, which covers world historical events from 1850 to 1960, including Israel’s fight for independence in 1948, is a heart-breaking photograph taken by US soldiers during the liberation of Buchenwald, on 11 April, 1945.

Among those pictured is a 16-year-old Elie Wiesel.

Jones writes: “This photograph barely hints at the horrors US soldiers found when they liberated Buchenwald. Thousands of inmates were crammed into tiny bunks, thin as skeletons, malnourished and diseased.”

The Colour of Time: A New History of the World 1850-1960 by Dan Jones and Marina Amaral is published by Apollo, priced £25 (hardback). Available from 9 August.



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