Barbed Wire in Wartim: Uses and Memories

Liberation of children by Soviet troops from the camp of Auschwitz in January 1945, photography by Alexander Voronzow.


Barbed wire, which is associated in mental representations with the worst totalitarian systems of the twentieth century and with deprivation of the most fundamental liberties, was born in the 1870s in the large prairies of the American Midwest. During World War One it became an essential albeit little-known weapon, and represents a symbol of mass death, which only imperfectly renders the historical conditions of its use.