Exhibit 7: Sonderkommando
In the Nazi concentration camps, we wonder what evil people can lead the Jews to the gas chambers, force them to undress publicly, lie to them that they are going into the showers, pull out the gold in their teeth after they are dead, cut their hair to be sold, carry the bodies to the crematorium, crush the remaining bones, then throw the ashes into the river.
The people who did these things were ordinary people. They were called the Sonderkommando. They were not typically Germans, but rather, most of them were Jews.
The Sonderkommandos were groups of Jewish prisoners forced to perform a variety of duties in the gas chambers and crematoria of the Nazi camp system. They worked primarily in the Nazi killing centers, such as Auschwitz, but they were also used at other killing sites to dispose of the corpses of victims.
How could a Jew commit such evil against another Jew? Because like all of us, we would rather choose our own welfare over another. They were given better rations than the other prisoners, allowed to live longer, and had better quarters. And if they didn’t do it, they’d be immediately executed.
The Sonderkommando were not “evil” people. They were normal people that when tested under the most extreme test decided to commit evil.