Ordinary Men, Extraordinary Photos - Photographs
This groundbreaking article demonstrates the “intrinsic research potential” of photographs by presenting and analyzing photos taken by German soldiers and policemen while serving in Eastern Europe. Although photographs of the Holocaust consitute some of the most horrifying visual documents in existence since the invention of the camera – and some have become well-known as symbols of that tragic period – only scanty use has been made of them to date in the field of historical research. Through the study of photographs, albums and films preserved in the Yad Vashem archives, the authors endeavor to show the great extent to which perpetrators of war crimes were motivated by antisemitic ideology and indoctrination. Consideration is also given to the methodological problems that arise in the use of photographs as a historical source, and suggestions are offered as to the correct interpretation of photos so as to enable them to be used as an additional tool in historical – in this case Holocaust – research.