Reiner Engelmann

Der Fotograf von Auschwitz
(The Photographer of Auschwitz)


cbj Verlag, January 2015, 192 pp.
ISBN: 978 3 570 15919 4

Reiner Engelmann’s remarkable book is an account of life in Auschwitz told through the eyes of the Polish survivor and camp photographer Wilhelm Brasse. Aimed at secondary school children, the book reflects the author’s training as a teacher and years of experience leading school trips to Auschwitz. The short chapters and accessible writing are augmented by a glossary and biographical sketches of key figures in the Nazi regime.

Wilhelm Brasse was deported to Auschwitz on 31 August 1940, aged twenty-two. His appointment as a photographer in the camp records department ensured his survival. Brasse was required to photograph all sorts of things in addition to the stream of prisoners being admitted to Auschwitz, including a highly unusual tattoo on a prisoner’s back, portrait shots of the SS officers and Josef Mengele’s victims. His impromptu shot of a jar of flowers was turned into a postcard and hundreds of copies were sold to the Nazi guards to send home to their families.

Brasse’s long experience of camp life generates insights into diverse aspects of the Auschwitz concentration camp and will prompt young readers to reflect upon how and why it was even possible for a place like Auschwitz to exist.

‘Wilhelm Brasse did what a photographer with a soul had to do: he showed what was happening in Auschwitz.’


Reiner Engelmann was born in 1952. He studied social education and now works in schools and in the field of teacher training. The focus of his work is to promote reading, violence prevention, and human rights. He is an author and editor of several anthologies on topics concerning social hotspots and has been active in Amnesty International since 1969.

Previous works include:
Keiner hat was gesehen (2009)


Application for assistance with translation costs – Germany

Translation rights available from:
Verlagsgruppe Random House
Contact: Gesche Wendebourg
Tel: +49 89 4136 3313

For information on cbj Verlag please contact NBG