Public Humiliation: Cutting off the Beard of a Jewish Man in Poland (1941)
The so-called beard game was a popular form of “entertainment” among the German occupying forces in Poland and the Soviet Union, whether it was the Wehrmacht, the police, the SS, or other organizations. This photograph shows a Jewish man being publicly forced to cut off the beard of a religious Jew while members of the SS watched in amusement. The photograph was part of an album kept by the SS officer Max Schmidt. The original SS caption reads: “Purebred Jews line up for beauty treatments in Palinin (Parlin?) Sept. 1941.” Army photographer Philip Drell found the album in an SS building near the Dachau concentration camp after it was liberated in April 1945.
Source: USHMM, Photograph number 18582, https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/pa1159889
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Philip Drell
Alon Confino, A World without Jews. The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2014.
Martina Kessel, Gewalt und Gelächter. “Deutschsein” 1914-1945. Stuttgart: Steiner, 2019.