Inside the gas chambers : eight months in the Sonderkommando by Venezia, Shlomo; Venezia, Shlomo; Prasquier, Béatrice;

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By Venezia, Shlomo; Venezia, Shlomo; Prasquier, Béatrice; Mouttapa, Jean

This can be a special, eye-witness account of way of life correct on the middle of the Nazi extermination desktop.

Slomo Venezia was once born right into a bad Jewish-Italian neighborhood residing in Thessaloniki, Greece. first and foremost, the occupying Italians secure his kinfolk; but if the Germans invaded, the Venezias have been deported to Auschwitz. His mom and sisters disappeared on arrival, and he realized, at the start with disbelief, they'd very likely been gassed. Given the opportunity to earn a bit additional bread, he agreed to develop into a ‘Sonderkommando', with out realising what this entailed. He quickly came upon himself a member of the ‘special unit' chargeable for elimination the corpses from the gasoline chambers and burning their bodies.

Dispassionately, he info the bleak around of day-by-day projects, conjures up the fear encouraged via the guy accountable for the crematoria, ‘Angel of demise' Otto Moll, and recounts the makes an attempt made through many of the prisoners to flee, together with the riot of October 1944.

It is common to visualize that none of these who went into the gasoline chambers at Auschwitz ever emerged to inform their story - yet, as a member of a ‘Sonderkommando', Shlomo Venezia was once given this bad privilege. He knew that, having witnessed the unspeakable, he in flip might most likely be eradicated through the SS in case he ever informed his story. He survived: this can be his story.

released in organization with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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Extra resources for Inside the gas chambers : eight months in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz

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The Germans pushed us brutally into the wagons. Inside there was nothing, just planks on the floor, a big empty can in the middle, and a smaller one with water. In a corner, I saw three crates of raisins and carrots. qxp:Andy Q7 9/12/08 17:08 Page 27 LIFE IN GREECE BEFORE THE DEPORTATION 27 would need to stay seated throughout the journey. I immediately sat in a corner near the window. Men were starting to turn up near the station to start work – this is why the Germans wanted to hurry, so as not to attract too much attention.

We never left them alone, we were always asking for a little bit. In the end, my mother had none left for herself. I have kept these memories, even if they make me sad. I’ve often thought about what I could have done to help my mother. I loved her so much and I know that she was especially fond of me. Her name was Doudoun Angel Venezia. I know all the sacrifices she made for us, I made an effort to help her as much as I could, but I’d like to have done more. But I was still young and I, too, wanted to enjoy life.

I was barely twelve years old. qxp:Andy Q7 9/12/08 17:08 Page 3 LIFE IN GREECE BEFORE THE DEPORTATION 3 And what did your older brother do? He was sent by the Italian consulate to study in Milan. My father had fought in the First World War, and he was an Italian citizen, so he’d had the right to certain privileges. And that also meant we had one fewer mouth to feed. When the racial laws were passed in Italy in 1938, my brother was excluded from the Marchioni Technical Institute in Milan and sent back to Greece.

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