Rising From The Ashes

The Auschwitz Memorial Museum has just published sketches which were done by a prisoner at the Birkenau extermination camp somewhere around 1943-44. The sketches are very precise including the badge number of guards or numbered plates of trucks. The scenes they depict are heart wrenching like children being separated from their parents, guards smoking near the crematoria or bodies being loaded onto a truck.
The 22 pages of drawings had been hidden in a bottle and are part of a Polish-English publication launched by the Auschwitz Archives, and are part of a commemorative project being undertaken by the museum. What is poignant is not the scenes or the details which by now are known, but that out of the daily horrors of an extermination camp someone with the initials MM used art as a language. He or she clearly wanted to communicate the details of everyday life in the camp, but perhaps more importantly let us know that life can rise from ashes, hope from despair, beauty from horror.