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Sonderkommando is a German term meaning "special unit". Among other usages, it was used in the SS and the Wehrmacht during WWII to designate certain special units.

The term "Sonderkommando" was allegedly also used for units participating in Aktion 1005. Photograph of an alleged "Bone Mill" that was allegedly used by a "Sonderkommando 1005" unit at the Lemberg labor camp in Ukraine. The photograph was frequently used as evidence by the Soviet Union at the IMT trial. The revisionist Klaus Schwensen has argued that research shows that the machine was nothing but a normal ball mill and that the Soviet story was a fabrication.[1] See also the article on the controversial Soviet Extraordinary State Commission, which was involved in this allegation.

More recently, the photograph has been cited by the leftist Wikipedia as evidence in several articles. See also Wikipedia's and RationalWiki's Holocaust articles.

However, the most well-known use of the term is, according to the politically correct view on the Holocaust, as a term for special units of prisoners in the Holocaust camps. Allegedly, these units dragged the corpses out of the homicidal gas chambers, cut their hair, pulled their gold teeth, and shoved them into the ovens or onto pyres. Claimed surviving Sonderkommando members are a very important group of Holocaust witnesses, since it is one of the few groups who allegedly saw gas chamber killings and survived, although allegedly, they were regularly killed themselves.[2]

On 7 October 1944, there was allegedly an uprising by Sonderkommando members at Auschwitz. Revisionists have doubted that it occurred.[3]

Since the National Socialists supposedly were extremely secretive about and made enormous efforts to hide the evidence of the Holocaust, it has been questioned why any Sonderkommando members were allowed to live, and especially after an alleged revolt that killed SS members. The alleged homicidal gassings stopped in November 1944 or earlier, long before the Soviets arrived at, for example, Auschwitz in January 1945, thus leaving a long time period during which the Sonderkommando members could have been killed. They could also have been killed during or after the evacuation of camp prisoners from Auschwitz to other camps. See also Alleged German conspiracy to hide the Holocaust.

A claim by the prominent Auschwitz "witness" Miklos Nyiszli is that the Sonderkommando members were killed every four months. However, many of the surviving alleged Sonderkommando members, including many of the most known, claimed that they had been at Auschwitz for several years, and would therefore miraculously have survived many such killings.[4]

Revisionists have also argued that Auschwitz camp documents prove that the term was never officially used for the prisoners working in the crematories, but instead for numerous other prisoner units working on a great variety of tasks that had nothing to do with murder.[2]

The "Auschwitz scrolls" are alleged writings by Auschwitz Sonderkommando members, who allegedly hid these writings in Auschwitz. Later, allegedly, the writings were discovered under Communist regimes. See the article on this topic regarding revisionist criticisms.

Another raised issue has been why the surviving Sonderkommando members have been treated as heroes, instead of being charged with complicity or participation in the alleged mass murders, such as by allegedly deceiving other Jews to go into the homicidal gas chambers.[5] Claims of having being forced (such as due to superior orders) do not prevent Germans from being found guilty (but may be taken into account during the sentencing). For Germans, simply having being stationed at a Holocaust camp is now all that is required in order to be convicted as an accessory to mass murder. See the article on John Demjanjuk.

See also

Alleged Sonderkommando members

As described in the linked articles, also non-revisionists have admitted that several of these individuals made false testimonies (such as after it being discovered that the supposed Sonderkommando member spent the war in another country), and revisionists have written often detailed criticisms of the claims of the others.

External links


  1. The Bone Mill of Lemberg
  2. 2.0 2.1 Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition.
  3. The ”Sonderkommandos” of Auschwitz
  4. The “Eyewitnesses”
  5. The Guilt of Oskar Gröning and the Innocence of Jewish Sonderkommandos