At Auschwitz, the Sonderkommando Jews were selected to work in the crematoria, carrying bodies out of the gas chamber, and shoving them into the cremation ovens. But first, the Sonderkommando Jews had to pull the gold teeth out of the mouths of their fellow Jews, after they had been gassed. (Shouldn’t they have pulled the gold teeth out BEFORE the Jews were gassed, and their bodies were contaminated with poison gas?)
Holocaust survivor Martin Becker was selected to be one of the Sonderkommando Jews, at the age of 11; he worked in this job for 5 years before he was marched out of the Auschwitz camp.
Martin Becker is still alive, at the age of 87, and he is out on the lecture circuit, telling his story, which you can read in full at http://www.thewrap.com/martin-becker-holocaust-survivor-waxword-column
Look at my photo above, taken at Auschwitz in 2005. It shows the trolley, on which the bodies were placed, before they were shoved into the ovens at Auschwitz. At the age of 11, Martin Becker had no trouble dragging a body out of the gas chamber and throwing it up onto a trolley car.
In my photo above, there are lighted candles on the trolley where the bodies would have been placed by the Sonderkommando Jews. At the age of 11, Martin Becker was not much taller than the trolley car. Yet, he somehow managed to do his job as a Sonderkommando, so that he would not be shoved into the oven alive.
Why did the Nazis keep Martin Becker alive for 5 long years? Didn’t they know that he might live to the age of 87 and tell his story to the world?
This quote is from the article about Martin Becker:
Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, Martin Becker was sent to Auschwitz in 1941, as a child of 11. His parents and grandparents were marched off to the gas chambers. He was handed a pliers and ordered to pull gold from the teeth of gassed corpses, individuals — he recalled in my living room this week — who moments earlier had been alive.
Martin Becker lived and worked in this death camp [Auschwitz] for five years, forced to serve as a Sonderkommando, one of the cursed crew charged with disposing of corpses, removing valuables and putting them in the ovens.
It was terrible,” he said simply, with devastating understatement. He recalled a friend he made among the Sonderkommando, Eric, who missed some of the gold in the teeth. He was thrown in the oven by a Nazi guard, still alive. He recalled 1944, when the Hungarian Jews were shipped to their deaths in Auschwitz: “They had a lot of gold in their teeth.” [...]
The Nazis were careful to kill the Sonderkommando at regular intervals. They were witnesses to crimes, and as such, needed to be liquidated. Martin Becker said that at a key moment of liquidation, he slipped into a line of Russian children and was overlooked. [...]
How many times did Martin have to slip into a line of Russia children to escape being killed? According to Wikipedia, the Sonderkommando Jews were killed every 4 months, and replaced by Jews who had just arrived at the camp.
This quote is from Wikipedia:
Because of their intimate knowledge of the process of Nazi mass murder, the Sonderkommando were considered Geheimnisträger — bearers of secrets — and as such, they were kept in isolation from other camp inmates, except, of course, for those about to enter the gas chambers. Since the Nazis did not want Sonderkommandos’ knowledge to reach the outside world, they followed a policy of regularly gassing almost all the Sonderkommando and replacing them with new arrivals at intervals of approximately 4 months; the first task of the new Sonderkommandos would be to dispose of their predecessors’ corpses. Therefore since the inception of the Sonderkommando through to the liquidation of the camp there existed approximately 14 generations of Sonderkommando.
Was Martin Becker big for his age, when he was 11 years old? Was he a big, strapping boy, who could throw the body of a grown man onto a trolley cart? His photo below, shows that he is shorter than the average man today, but maybe he has shrunk with age.