10 Photos Colourised By Tom Marshall Show The True Horror Of The Holocaust
Earlier this week, the world held Holocaust Memorial Day and marked the 75-year anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. For it, a British photo colorizer named Tom Marshall has colorized a selection of photos that were taken during the first months of 1945 when the majority of the population had learned of the horrors of the Nazi holocaust. “This was the most harrowing project I have ever worked on,” the artist says. “I usually enjoy colorizing photos as the process brings the subjects to life gradually, which is a satisfying experience. Still, with this project, it was upsetting as the images are so shocking.”
However, the artist doesn’t shy away from the horrors that had occurred during World War II. Tom thinks that these pictures “serve as a stark reminder of man’s inhumanity to man.” From time to time, he had to stop working on the photos, naturally so, as they were often too much to handle emotionally. “I felt sicker as the pictures came to life,” Tom says, “but I feel it was an important thing to do, to remind people – especially younger generations, that this happened and that it’s not that far back in history.”
Tom Marshall says that as the years go on, it is important to bring the past to life to keep disturbing images like these relevant so that history would not repeat itself.
The British photo colorizer says that the process differed from his other work greatly as even such details like skin tone was different. At the time that the photographs were taken, “these people were close to death by the time of their liberation, so painting skin tones was utterly different. In color, you can see the bones and the pale, bloodless skin, and even young men look older with greying hair and dark patches around their eyes.”
Tom Marshall, a British photo colorizer, brought the horror of the Holocaust to color
Children in Auschwitz during its liberation
Pictured above are the children in Auschwitz. The photo was taken in January 1945 and it was a still from the Soviet film on the liberation of Auschwitz.
Starved men at Ebensee concentration camp
The picture shows starved prisoners in a concentration camp in Ebensee, Austria.
Ebensee was a sub-camp of the main camp ‘Mauthausen’ near the town of the same name. The camp was reputedly used for conducting “scientific” experiments. Ebensee camp was liberated by the 80th Division of the U.S. Army.
4-year-old Istvan Reiner smiles for a portrait shortly before being murdered in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Two men at Lager Nordhausen
The picture shows two liberated inmates of Lager Nordhausen, a Gestapo concentration camp. The camp had somewhere from 3,000 to 4,000 inmates. The people there were starved, beaten, and tortured.
An 18-year-old Russian girl
An image of an 18-year-old Russian girl whose photograph was taken during the liberation of Dachau concentration camp in 1945. Dachau was the first of the German concentration camps as it was opened in 1933.
More than 200,000 people were detained between 1933 and 1945, and 31,591 deaths were declared, the majority of them from disease, malnutrition, and suicide. Unlike Auschwitz, Dachau was not explicitly an extermination camp but the conditions were so dreadful that hundreds of people died every week.
A prisoner in Ebensee concentration camp in Austria
“This man looks like a living skeleton,” Tom Marshall says. The man above was one of the many prisoners of the Ebensee concentration camp in Austria.
The Bergen-Belsen prison camp being set on fire
“My Great Grandfather, Charles Martin King Parsons, took this photo as he was a chaplain with the British Army and he entered the Bergen-Belsen prison camp in April 1945,” the artist says.
“The camp was rife with typhus and once the large wooden huts had been cleared of the surviving prisoners, they were burnt to the ground in May 1945.”
Both of the photos were taken by Tom Marshall’s great-grandfather
“Like many people affected by the horrors they saw during the war, my Great Grandfather never really spoke about his experiences at Bergen-Belsen,” the artist says, “and these photos show why.”
Tom says that his great-grandfather also took a series of photos of the mass graves around Belsen. However, Tom didn’t want to colorize them as “it didn’t feel like the right thing to do.” You can find the photos here.
Beaten woman at the Bergen-Belsen prison camp
Pictured above is one of the victims at Bergen-Belsen. The woman’s face bears the scars of a terrible beating by the SS guards.
“It is hard to find any hope when viewing the horrors of these photos, but I wanted to include this one as there were survivors of the Holocaust, many of whom are still alive today,” Tom says.
The photo above shows a young Jewish refugee who was rescued from a concentration camp. The young boy is resting in a hospital bed in Malmö, Sweden in 1945.