BERLIN (JTA) – Researchers released a photo album with images of the Sobibor death camp, including what may be the face of the late convicted war criminal John Demjanjuk.
The album, presented to the public at the Topography of Terror museum in Berlin on Monday, comes from the estate of Sobibor deputy commandant Johann Niemann. It will be delivered to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington next week.
Niemann was one of ten SS members killed in an uprising of Sobibor prisoners in 1943. His grandson gave the collection anonymously to historian Hermann Adams, who passed it along historians at Topography of Terror.
The resulting book is a collaboration between the museum, the Ludwigsburg Research Center at the University of Stuttgart, and the Stanislaw Hantz Educational Center.
Historian Martin Cüppers of Ludwigsburg said the collection represents a “quantum leap” in knowledge about Sobibor, where several hundred thousand Jews were killed with poison gas. The Germany ultimately destroyed the camp.
“There was supposed to be no proof left,” said historian Steffen Hänschen of the Stanislaw Hantz Center.
The rare photos show buildings, prominent perpetrators and their accomplices.
Suspecting that Demjanuk, who served as a guard at the camp, is visible in two images, historians turned to biometrics experts in an effort to confirm his identity.
Though not 100 percent sure, the resulting comparative photo is “convincing,” Anne Lepper of the Hantz Center told JTA.