Although the historic authenticity of photographs is in question today more than ever, they are used time and again to provide evidence. On the one hand they seem to offer more reliable testimony than any other medium, on the other they are unable to capture the truth of the reality depicted. For example, the photograph of the Auschwitz-Birkenau gate taken by Stanisław Mucha stands for mass murder per se in many publications.
It is a paradox, however, that the thousand of photographs from the concentration camps reproduced in the course of time with the very best intentions have contributed to lowering the inhibition levels of perception and dampening the sensibilities. The images have nevertheless achieved symbolic strength – the ramp, the barbed wire, the shoes, the tracks leading to the gate of Auschwitz-Birkenau, all this shall represent once and for all the reality of the genocide.
With the massive use of the photos and the consistent depletion of their fictitiousness, they become and became trivial objects of marketing. By the use of shallow analogous conclusions drawn between the event of the Holocaust and other events, the so-called history industry has contributed to a trivialization of the topic.
Stanisław Mucha's photograph of the camp gate at Birkenau belongs to the images that are indelibly stamped on the visual memory of post-War generations. It was taken in February or March 1945 after the liberation. It brings the industrialized mass murder symbolically to the head by combining the sphere where the "goods" are delivered with the snow-covered coldness of the tracks. Mucha's shot has often been reproduced and reconstructed and used as a point of departure for further chains of train and track motifs. Guido Knopp used the photograph to describe the "crime scene Auschwitz" for the year 1942. Guido Knopp, responsible for most of the films about the wartime on German television, has been accused of showing the past as "director's cut" with pictures he has gathered together. In this way of dealing with them he trivializes the genocide, it is claimed. Large parts of the cultural industry serve up the Holocaust in a way calculated to achieve the highest viewing figures or circulations.

The interest that has developed in England for the Holocaust has found expression in the permanent exhibition "Holocaust" at the Imperial War Museum. It was opened by the Queen on June 6, 2000. The look into the exhibition presents the familiar images: shoes piled high as well as the famous photo by Stanisław Mucha.
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