Below is a link to a photo album once owned by the Deputy Commandant of Auschwitz death camp. In it are photos of the camps officer corp at their leisure, we see them on away days, when they visit the countryside that surrounded the hell hole they helped administer. When they are enjoying a drink or in the festive season.
When you look at these photos Hannah Arendt book ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil’ comes to mind. Arendt’s thesis was that people who carry out unspeakable crimes against humanity may not be crazy fanatics at all, but rather ordinary individuals who simply accept the premises of their state and participate in any ongoing enterprise with the energy of good bureaucrats.
The men and women in these photographs, bar the uniforms, could be any governments or local authority bureaucrats on a works outing. Which for me makes them all the more terrifying, as when these people returned to work next day after having had an enjoyable day out, they continued with their ghastly work slaughtering countless men women and children.*
The link to the Photo album.
* I would like to thank Tony Greenstein for giving me the heads up on these Photos and congratulate both the New York Times and the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum for publishing them.