Friday, February 2, 2007

We Wept Without Tears: Testimonies of the Jewish Sonderkommando from Auschwitz by Gideon Greif

A great addition to the literature out there on the holocaust. I cannot commend the author enough for his work and diligence in trying to present the Sonderkommando prisoners for who they really were; men thrown into a role they neither wanted or expected by the Germans who let them do all the 'dirty work' in their 'Final Solution' to the Jewish problem. Many historians, as is presented in the book, have misunderstood what these men did and why they did it.

Their influence at times was to survive and tell what they had witnessed, but at other times they couldn't take it and took their own lives. One memorable story is when a son meets his mother, in the end instead of sending her to the gas chambers he goes with her. They did not choose to help the Germans in their mass murder campaign but were rather choosen by the Germans due to their health and availablility at the time.

You could say they were 'at the right place at the right time' and even so these men were the ones who started an uprising and destroyed a crematorium. They lived through hell, they left their emotions with their past lives and accepted what they were handed out. They did as they were told and survived to tell their stories, regrets, and messages for present and future generations.

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