The Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum is asking Germans and Austrians to donate private letters, memoirs, photos or any other items that could help historians better understand the mentality of the Holocaust’s perpetrators.
The museum said Wednesday it seeks “to better understand the influence of populist mechanisms of hatred for human beings.” It promised to guarantee the anonymity of any donors.
Museum Director Piotr Cywinski said the historical knowledge of what happened at Auschwitz comes mainly from former prisoners, preserved camp documentation and post-war court trials. He said the archives currently “contain very few private materials created by members of the SS staff.”
Nazi Germany operated Auschwitz-Birkenau in occupied Poland during World War II, killing some 1.1 million people there, mostly Jews.