Wilhelm Brasse: “She was so young and so terrified.”

Czeslawa Kwoka

“She was so young and so terrified. The girl didn’t understand why she was there and she couldn’t understand what was being said to her. So this woman Kapo (a prisoner overseer) took a stick and beat her about the face. This German woman was just taking out her anger on the girl. Such a beautiful young girl, so innocent. She cried but she could do nothing. Before the photograph was taken, the girl dried her tears and the blood from the cut on her lip. To tell you the truth, I felt as if I was being hit myself but I couldn’t interfere. It would have been fatal for me.”

– Wilhelm Brasse

Wilhelm photographed fourteen year old Czeslawa Kwoka, a Polish Catholic girl who was sent to Auschwitz with her mother. She and her mother both died within three months.

Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/10/world-war-ii-the-holocaust/100170/