I came across the photo above randomly. It’s from a Reddit user I’ve gotten in touch with, who says this about the guy with the gun:
Definitely 100% my grandfather I don’t know for sure where this was taken. I asked my dad about it and he’s not sure either. You see, my grandfather and grandmother didn’t want to talk about the holocaust, according to my father it was total taboo to even mention anything about it. All he kept in a little shoebox was some pictures like this one, his writings and recordings in Yiddish which I’m trying to convince my father to listen to (no success yet) and some misc pictures of his family that he managed to acquire after the war.
I emailed the photo to the Holocaust survivor I call “Yossi Cohen” in this radio story. But he didn’t get back to me. Cohen was pretty hesitant to talk with me at all. “We were tough guys back then,” he told me at his apartment in Tel Aviv. At 87 years old, Cohen moves slow and speaks in a soft raspy voice. But I could sort of picture him as a genuine tough guy, if half of what he was saying about the war and its aftermath were true. As a commander with a group of resistance fighters outside Vilnius, Lithuania, for example, Cohen said it was his job to question the people they came across and determine if they were friend or foe. Friends could join the resistance and help fight the Nazis. “But we didn’t have prisons,” Cohen explained. “We didn’t have prisons.” This is what Cohen meant by being a “tough guy.” As an interrogator, his job was to pretty quickly figure out if the people being questioned were lying or not. And if they would be allowed to live.
Finally, here’s a link to the book I mention in the radio story by Jonathan Freedland. It’s written under his pen name, Sam Bourne and titled, The Final Reckoning.