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December 16, 2015

Only two days before the movie “Son of Saul” is ready to view

Filed under: Holocaust, movies — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 3:49 pm

You can read a review of the new movie “Son of Saul” at

This quote is from the article cited above:

Saul is a Sonderkommando, a Jewish inmate compelled to work as slave labor in a death camp. Although the camp in “Son of Saul” has been identified as Auschwitz, it might as well be Treblinka or Belzec or Sobibór or a number of other places. If this is indeed Auschwitz, we are late in World War II, probably the summer or fall of 1944, when the tide of war had turned decisively against Germany and Hitler’s administrators devoted considerable resources to exterminating as many Jews as possible during the time left to them. Of course the Nazi regime had already committed unforgivable war crimes by that time, but one measure of its insanity lies here: Faced with imminent defeat, the Germans did not make the logical decision to abandon the Final Solution and pour all available money and manpower into military counterattack. It would appear they decided that killing Jews was more important than winning the war.


Is it obscene to consider the gas chambers of Auschwitz as a factory, not inherently unlike one where trousers are sewn or automobiles banged together? (Or where cattle are slaughtered, to take the obvious parallel.) Of course it is, but that was precisely the displacement mechanism that allowed the officers, guards and inmates to move from one day to the next in a semblance of normal behavior. The industrial process in which Saul works is mass murder, to be sure, and its principal output is dead bodies by the thousands, which create an increasingly difficult disposal problem. (The men, women and children to be dragged from the gas chambers are always described as “pieces” by the guards.) As in any industrial process, there are important byproducts as well. One of Saul’s jobs is to pull down and sort all the clothing that new arrivals have hung on hooks before being sent to the “showers,” looking for hidden gold, jewelry and other valuables.

End quote

The clothing of the Jews was hung on hooks before they were gassed?  I set out to find some proof of that.  I found it on my own website:

Begin quote from my website

Dr. Susan Cernyak-Spatz was 18 years old when she was sent from Czechoslovakia to the Birkenau camp in 1943 and tattooed with the number 34042 on her left arm. In a newspaper article in the Salisbury Post, Scott Jenkins reported on a talk that Cernyak-Spatz gave to sixth-graders at Corriher-Lipe Middle School in May 2000. She stressed to the Corriher-Lipe students that the Holocaust was not a single event, but an efficiently conceived and executed process that began “the minute Adolf Hitler came to power” as Germany’s dictator in 1933.

The following quote is from the newspaper article by Scott Jenkins in the Salisbury Post:

So fierce was Hitler’s hatred, trains carrying Jews to the death camps were given priority even over troop trains carrying soldiers to battle, Cernyak-Spatz said. When she stepped off the train and onto the platform at Birkenau, the results assaulted her senses.

“The first thing you noticed was an absolutely incredible stink,” she said. The noxious, sickly sweet odor hung in the air with a dusky vapor billowing from smokestacks and staining the distant sky, she said.

Then, the selection began. The Nazis separated families, those who could work to one side, those who couldn’t to another. The second group loaded onto trucks.

The women on the trucks asked where they were going. Don’t worry the drivers told them, you will be reunited with your families.

After a nice hot shower.

“Then they took them directly in the direction of that smoke,” Cernyak-Spatz said. Soon, those who survived learned what burned in those buildings.

Guards led prisoners into the large buildings, told them to take off their clothes, hang them on hooks. And remember, tie your shoe laces together, they said, so you don’t lose a shoe.

The Nazis had told Jews to dress in their warmest clothes for the journey to the “work” camps, Cernyak-Spatz said. After the gas chambers, they gathered those clothes for their own use.

For the years during the war, “that is how the whole German nation was clothed … in the clothing and property of dead Jews,” she said.

End quote

Hungarian women were given uniforms to wear after putting their clothes on hooks

Hungarian women were given uniforms to wear after putting their own clothes on hooks


Dario Gabbai — the last living Sonderkommando Jew

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:05 am
Dario Gabbai the last living Sonderkommando Jew

Dario Gabbai the last living Sonderkommando Jew

Today I am commenting on a news article, which you can read in full at

DarioGabbai points to a photo of Jews getting off a train at Asuchwitz-Birkenau

Dario Gabbai points to a photo of an incoming train at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The news article tells about Dario Gabbai, who is the last living member of the Sonderkommando.  The Sonderkommando was a group of Jewish men who carried their fellow Jews out of the gas chambers after they were dead.  The Sonderkommando men were killed after serving for 3 months; they were replaced by new prisoners who carried on the work of clearing the gas chambers.

This quote from Wikipedia explains the Sonderkommando:

David Dario Gabbai (born September 2, 1922) is a Greek Sephardi Jew and Holocaust survivor, notable for his role as a member of the Sonderkommando at Auschwitz. He was deported to the camp in March 1944 and put to work in one of the crematoria at Birkenau, where he was forced to assist in the burning of the hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews that were deported to the camp during the spring and summer of that year.

Gabbai remained at Auschwitz until its evacuation in January 1945. He was liberated from Ebensee concentration camp in Austria by the United States Army, and has publicly spoken about what he witnessed and experienced during the Holocaust.

End quote from Wikipedia

Why was the last Sonderkommando group allowed to live?  Was it because the Nazis were proud of their work in gassing the Jews and they wanted men to live to tell the world about it?

I blogged about Dario Gabbi previously on this blog post:

and about the work of the Sonderkommando men on this blog post: