Women of Peace and Those Sided the Wrong of World War II

Survivors of a Sonderkommando posing next to a bone-crushing machine used for destroying the remains of victims. Wikimedia

34. The Horrific Existence of the Death Camps’ Sonderkommandos

If there is a hell, the Nazi extermination and concentration camps came as close to it as anything that has ever existed on Earth. In that infernal setting, the Sonderkommando dwelt in their own circle of misery. Compared to other prisoners, they were privileged. However, that was a relative term relative in such horrific settings. Their chief privilege was that they got to live, but it was a short-lived privilege.

Every four months or so, the Sonderkommando were liquidated, to be replaced by men from newly-arriving trains of victims marked for the gas chambers. The new Sonderkommando’s first task was to dispose of their predecessors’ corpses. Next, they disposed of the bodies of those who had arrived on the trains with them, and been sent straight to their deaths in the gas chambers. They often included the corpses of their own families.