The Task of the Sonderkommando
The Sonderkommando were a special group of Jewish prisoners selected to work in Nazi extermination camps for their forced labor. They were responsible for a range of tasks, from disposing of bodies to cleaning gas chambers, and all of these tasks were incredibly difficult and dangerous.
Tasks of the Sonderkommando:
- Disposing of Bodies: The Sonderkommando had to remove bodies from the gas chambers and transport them to the crematoria, where they were burned. This was a backbreaking, emotionally exhausting task as the corpses had often been piled high with hundreds, even thousands of victims.
- Cleaning & Maintenance: The Sonderkommandos were also responsible for taking down gas chambers and cleaning them after each gassing. This was dangerous work as they were likely to be exposed to toxins and hazardous fumes. Additionally, they were tasked with maintenance and repairs on the crematoria.
- Deception: Another important task of the Sonderkommandos was to deceive new arrivals and convince them that they were simply going to take showers. This was an incredibly difficult task and could be dangerous, as the Sonderkandos were likely to be threatened by the SS guards.
The Sonderkommandos faced the difficult task of carrying out their duties in the face of incredible danger and horror. They were put in an impossible situation and faced great risks in order to survive. Many of them did not survive, but their courage and resilience in the face of such adversity should not be forgotten.