Inmate Art from Auschwitz and BirkenauClick on a thumbnail image to view the full artwork.
Painting of Königsgraben from the ceiling of the penal company barrack at Birkenau. The Königsgraben (King's canal) was the canal being dug to drain swampy water away from Birkenau. A sign in the barrack gives the following details. "A special penal company (Strafkompanie)for men was housed in this barrack from May 1942 to July 1943. These were mainly political prisoners, people for some reason considered particularly dangerous to the Third Reich, prisoners found guilty of breaking camp discipline, or those who were thought to be participating in the camp's underground movement or planning to escape. They were kept in complete isolation from the other prisoners; even the daily roll-call and distribution of rations were done separately in an enclosed yard next to the barrack. Conditions in this unit were extremely harsh. Punishments were severe, the workload murderous, and food rations reduced--all leading to high mortality rate. One of the tasks of this unit was to dig the main drainage ditch (Königsgraben). An original drawing of this made by an unknown prisoner still remains on the ceiling of this barrack." Detail of Königsgraben painting. Detail of Königsgraben painting. Detail of Königsgraben painting. Detail of Königsgraben painting. Detail of Königsgraben painting. Detail of Königsgraben painting. Detail of Königsgraben painting. Camels and pyramids wall painting from block 14 in Auschwitz. The painting was done using stencils. A number of variations of this theme using the same set of stencils decorates a stairwell. Cherubs painting from a washroom in Auschwitz block 7. Horseback riders from the same washroom as the cherubs painting. A third painting (not shown) in this washroom shows two kittens washing themselves.
Return to Art and Architecture
| Bibliographies | Documents | Galleries | Glossary | Maps | Movies | Museums | Music |
| Plays | Quizzes | Software | Videography | VR Movies | Web Search Engines | Web Sites |
A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida © 2005.