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Posted Sunday, September 20, 2009

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Rare photos of one of the camp orchestras at Auschwitz concentration camp


Real History: a former camp officer at Auschwitz living in Munich sold to one of us these original snapshots taken of one of the half dozen orchestras and bands formed by inmates of the infamous Auschwitz slave labor camp, the Kubu orchestra, said to have been comprised of Cuban Jews. On the back of some of the five snapshots is a rubber stamp of the Auschwitz camp office, and at some time -- possible after the war -- a German hand has inscribed captions on some of them, as shown below.

1/42, printed on regular wartime photo paper, unbranded, with rubber stamp: Auschwitz; right, 1/38, photo of the same room printed on wartime Agfa postcard paper, pencil caption "gedeckte Tafel für unsere jüdischen Freunde vom Kubu Ochester" [table set for our Jewish friends in the Kubu Band]; below left, the same room, photo printed on regular wartime Agfa photo paper; below right: 1/32, photo of four well-dressed band players, printed on cream wartime photo paper, rubber stamp: Auschwitz, pencil caption, "Kubu in Auschwitz" (see facsimile beneath).


Left: Photo of an accordion player smoking a pipe, printed on white wartime paper, rubber stamp: Auschwitz, caption in pencil: "Der lange Jakob mein Lieblingsjude" [Lanky Jakob, my Favourite Jew]

Left: an enlargement of the Auschwitz rubber stamp on the back of some of the snapshots
Have any of our readers comments to make on these remarkable photos? For example: What is known of the fate of the "Ku-Bu" Cuban Jewish Band? When were these photos taken? What happened to Lanky Jacob? What was his full name? Tell us what you know: We will post it here.


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