Dino A. Brugioni collection

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 2003.433.2
  • 2003.433.1
  • 2014.563.1
1 Jan 1944 - 31 Dec 2001
Level of Description
  • English
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium


oversize boxes

oversize folders





Biographical History

Dino Antonio Brugioni (December 16, 1921 – September 25, 2015) was a former senior official at the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC). During World War II, Brugioni flew in 66 bombardment missions, as well a number of reconnaissance missions, over North Africa, Italy, Germany, Yugoslavia and France. He received the Purple Heart, nine Air Medals and a Distinguished Unit Citation. After the war, he received BA and MA degrees in Foreign Affairs from George Washington University, and joined the CIA in March 1948 and became an expert in Soviet industries. In 1955, he was selected as a member of the cadre of the newly formed Photographic Intelligence Division that would interpret U-2, SR-71 and satellite photography. During his 35-year career, Brugioni helped establish imagery intelligence (now called geospatial intelligence) as a national asset to solve intelligence problems. In 1979, Brugioni co-authored an article with Robert G. Poirier entitled “The Holocaust Revisited: A Retrospective Analysis of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Complex” which documented their interpretation and analysis of aerial photographs of the I.G. Farben factories located near Auschwitz III (Buna/Monowitz) taken by the Mediterranean Allied Air Force in 1944-1945. Their research into the photographs revealed that in addition to capturing images of the factories, the cameras were also able to document the layout of Auschwitz II (Birkenau), including evidence of gas chambers and crematoria. Brugioni went on to author numerous other articles related to this topic, as well as the book Photo Fakery, an authoritative text on altered and contrived photography.

Archival History

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Dino A. Brugioni

The collection was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Dino A. Brugioni in 2003. An accretion was donated in 2014. The collections were unified in December 2022, and the collections previously cataloged as 2003.433.1 and 2014.563.1 comprise this collection.

Scope and Content

The collection documents C.I.A. photograph interpreter Dino A. Brugioni’s work on the research and analysis of aerial photographs taken of Auschwitz II (Birkenau) by reconnaissance planes in 1944-1945, as well as other Holocaust-related locations. The collection includes prints and negatives of the aerial photographs, correspondence, writings, articles and publications, clippings, and scrapbooks. Series 1. Photographs includes prints and negatives depicting aerial reconnaissance photographs taken by the Mediterranean Allied Air Force of Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II, Auschwitz III, I.G. Farben factories, and other Holocaust-related locations in 1944-1945. Most include the date the photograph was taken, and some also include annotation identifying specific buildings. Series 2. Correspondence includes letters received by Brugioni after the publication of “The Holocaust Revisited” in 1979, and ongoing discussions regarding the debate around whether or not the Allies could or should have bombed Auschwitz. Series 3. Writings consists of copies of writings by Brugioni regarding photograph interpretation of aerial photographs taken during World War II, including some drafts, notes, and memorandums. Included is material regarding “The Holocaust Revisited: A Retrospective Analysis of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Complex,” “Aerial Photography: Reading the Past, Revealing the Future,” The Last Days of the Bergen-Belsen Camp,” “Why the World War II Photo Interpreters Failed to Identify the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Camp,” as well as a copy of his book Photo Fakery. Series 4. Articles and clippings includes copies of articles, publications, and clippings regarding the Auschwitz bombing debate and different facets of the Holocaust. Additionally, there are photocopies of interrogation reports after reconnaissance flights and several fold-out maps of Germany, Poland, and Austria. Series 5. Scrapbooks consists of two scrapbooks of clippings and correspondence assembled by Brugioni documenting “The Holocaust Revisited” article.

System of Arrangement

The collection is arranged as 5 series. Series 1. Photographs, 1944-1945, circa 1979 Series 2. Correspondence, 1978-2001 Series 3. Writings, 1978-1999 Series 4. Articles and clippings, 1944-circa 1990 Series 5. Scrapbooks, circa 1979




This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.