Thursday, October 01, 2009

On My Nightstand: Inside the Gas Chambers

Inside the Gas Chambers: Eight Months in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz by Shlomo Venezia is a timely read. Shlomo Venezia is a Holocaust survivor from Hell on earth. He was a sonderkommando at Auschwitz, where he survived on his wits, luck, and eventually by working at the crematoria in the death camp.

He had a first hand look at the Nazi mass murder of millions of people - primarily Jews. His is a gripping tale of how he came to work at the crematoria, preparing it for the next arrivals who were dispatched immediately because they were unable to be worked to death.

His is one of the few tales of survival among the group of Jews who did that awful and evil task, because all too many of them were murdered when they were incapable of working, and when the Nazis shut down the camps, most were eliminated to cover their tracks and eliminate the witnesses to the crimes committed there.

All too frequently people call political opponents Nazis or make wanton comparisons to the Holocaust, and in doing so, they dishonor the memories and the historical fact of the Holocaust and all the horror that the Holocaust truly was. It was the mass deportation, murder and genocide of millions of Jews all across the European continent by the Nazi regime.

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