According to Wikipedia:
Sonderkommandos were work units made up of German Nazi death camp prisoners. They were composed almost entirely of Jews who were forced, on threat of their own deaths, to aid with the disposal of gas chamber victims during the Holocaust.
The following Sonderkommandos survived the Holocaust: Zalman Gradowski, Filip Müller, Henryk Tauber, Leib Langfus, Morris Venezia, Henryk Mandelbaum [Saul Ausländer is a fictional character]
A photo similar to the one above is included in the news story and it is purported to be a real photo of a Sonderkommando Jew shoving a body into an oven.
The following information, about the movie entitled Son of Saul, is from the movie review website known as “Rotten Tomatoes”.
October 1944, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Saul Ausländer is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners isolated from the camp and forced to assist the Nazis in the machinery of large-scale extermination. While working in one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the corpse of a boy he takes for his son. As the Sonderkomando plans a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: save the child’s body from the flames, find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish and …
Rating: R (for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity)
In Theaters: Dec 18, 2015 Limited
Runtime: 1 hr. 47 min.
Sony Pictures Classics
You can read the following review of the movie on this website:
Son of Saul
Based on the experience of a Hungarian Jew held in a concentration camp during the Second World War, Son of Saul follows a man who has the harrowing job of leading prisoners into the showers where they will be executed and cleaning up afterwards by shovelling their remains into the river.
Shaken by the death of one young boy, he is driven to give him a proper Jewish burial. Featuring superb acting on all levels, director Laszlo Nemes takes us right into the camp through a unique use of surround sound and filming in 35mm. 5 out of 5 stars. – Sian Jones, producer.
Among the horrors of the Holocaust, the Nazis assigned so-called Sondercommandos a peculiarly dehumanizing job: to herd fellow inmates into gas chambers and dispose of their bodies. Saul is one such man, his face an effigy of pain. When he believes he’s found his own son among the dead, his humanity is restored as he attempts to give the boy a proper burial.
Much of the film lingers on Saul’s face, leaving the most lurid shots out of focus: an interesting directorial choice that avoids a fetishistic lingering on the bodies of victims that still allows viewers to feel the full oppressiveness of his situation. A powerful, devastating film. 5 out of 5 stars. – Deana Sumanac-Johnson, reporter.
I am looking forward to seeing this movie in December. I will write a review of the movie after I see it. You can be sure that I will have a lot of criticism of this movie.