M965.199.176 | Among the Casualities

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Creative Commons License
Drawing, cartoon
Among the Casualities
John Collins
1945, 20th century
Ink, crayon and graphite on card
38.3 x 28.1 cm
Gift of Mr. John Collins - The Gazette
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cartoon (19139) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , war (1452)
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Keys to History

As the Allies liberated Nazi concentration camps it became clear that the rumours of terrible atrocities were true. Evidence of the mass murder of Jews, Gypsies and other "undesirable" people mounted. René Lévesque, who was a war correspondent at the time, witnessed the liberation of Dachau extermination camp. He visited the gas chambers used to kill thousands of prisoners and described the "nightmarish unreality" of the scene. He saw numerous corpses and spoke to survivors with "hands of frightening thinness attached to translucent wrists." The discovery of the extermination camps removed any doubt that the Allied war effort was justified and thoroughly discredited the policies of Germany's fascist government.

  • What

    This John Collins cartoon depicts the genocide in all its horror. As an Allied soldier approaches, the Nazi concentration camp guards ask each other, "Do you think we might have made a mistake?"

  • Where

    Death camps were built in such places as Auschwitz, Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau and Treblinka.

  • When

    The Nazis began to build death camps in 1941 to kill Jews, Gypsies, Poles and Soviet prisoners of war.

  • Who

    Millions of men, women and children lost their lives in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War.